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Japanese Fall in Love with Nature

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 Posted: 09:19 PM JST

Over 85 percent of respondents showed an increased interest in nature, according to an opinion poll released in September 2006 by the Cabinet Office of Japan. The poll also confirmed a rise in the number of respondents who said that nature conservation is the most critical issue, exceeding for the first time those who valued the harmonious coexistence of human society and nature.

The survey is conducted every five years to study national awareness of nature conservation, targeting 3000 people nationwide aged 20 years or more. The 2006 survey was carried out between June and July 2006 and the return rate was 61 percent. As for views on nature conservation, 48.3 percent of respondents chose "the most important issue influencing human life," followed by 46.7 percent saying "conservation should be addressed while seeking a harmonious coexistence with human society," giving the former the most votes for the first time in the past four surveys.

The reasons for nature conservation (selecting up to two options from the list) included; nature provides essential environmental needs for human survival, such as temperature adjustment and carbon dioxide absorption (46.7%); it is important to protect endangered animal and plant species as well as ecosystems that support diverse life forms (37.0%); and nature comforts us and enriches our lives (36.7%).

The areas with the most immediate conservation needs (multiple answers allowed) were; "satochi" and "satoyama," areas with rich biodiversity near human settlements in the countryside that are home to various insects and small animals, such as killifish and fireflies (45.0%); and areas of greenery or waterfront in urban areas or surrounding suburbs (33.2%).

First published in November 2006 by Japan for Sustainability (JFS). Many thanks to JFS for their kind permission to reprint the article at iKjeld.com.

Keywords: national_news

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