Eco-business / Social Venture

October 12, 2005


Japan's First Ecotourism Award Winners Announced

Keywords: Eco-business / Social Venture Government Non-manufacturing industry 

Japan's Ministry of the Environment announced the winners of it first Ecotourism Awards, and presented the winners' activities at the Expo 2005 site in Aichi Prefecture on June 5, 2005.

The grand prize was won by Picchio Wildlife Research Center in Nagano Prefecture, for its efforts in conservation and sustainable utilization of local resources through four categories of projects: conservation, environmental education, eco-tours, and research. Their research on co-existence of humans and the Japanese black bear won particular approval for the excellent practical programs that grew out of the research.

Second prize went to four organizations. The Ogasawara Whale Watching Association was awarded for its initiatives in vitalizing ecotourism by promoting whale watching tours that follow voluntary rules on approaching whales in the Ogasawara Islands, a tropical archipelago that falls under the jurisdiction of Tokyo Metropolitan government. Minami Shinshu Kanko Kosha, a travel company in Nagano Prefecture, was recognized because the local economy has benefited from the company's programs featuring local agriculture and industry, such as farming experience programs. The Whole Earth Nature School in Shizuoka Prefecture was also commended for the wide range of nature-based experience programs the school has offered for more than 20 years across the country. Finally, Yanbaru Nature School in Okinawa Prefecture was recognized for its efforts to vitalize the local economy through ecotourism in and around mangrove forests.

This award is one of the ministry's initiatives to promote ecotourism in the country. By recognizing outstanding organizations and communities that provide ecotourism services, the ministry aims to encourage them to keep up their efforts and improve program quality. Another aim is to build up a sense of unity among such organizations through exchanging information.

Posted: 2005/10/12 05:58:47 PM
Japanese version