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Japan: Panasonic ECO RELAY for Sustainable Earth

Panasonic Partnership Program at Yashiro Forest Park working together to create a dream forest full of life - with Gifu butterflies


Together with their families, employees of Panasonic and SANYO have launched a conservation initiative for the Gifu butterfly, a species regarded as Vulnerable with an increasing danger of extinction in Endangered Species, at Yashiro Forest Park in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture. Of the many Japanese butterfly species, the Gifu butterfly has been a focus for particular conservation activity, and takes its habitat in the satoyama woodland (areas of rich biodiversity near human settlements in the countryside) on the main Japanese island of Honshu.

During the butterfly's larval stage, it feeds on Japanese wild ginger (Heterotropa aspera) and asarum takaoi (Heterotropa takaoi), while eggs are also deposited on the same plants. The butterflies mature into adults in spring. In protecting these satoyama by thinning out the bamboo, cutting and trimming back the broad-leaved deciduous forest, and clearing away the fallen leaves, the volunteers from Panasonic plan to conserve the butterflies' natural habitat and continue to develop a "dream forest full of Gifu butterflies."

Biodiversity conservation activities launched in Hotani, Osaka Prefecture


Employees of the Panasonic and SANYO have launched a satoyama woodland conservation initiative in Hotani, Osaka Prefecture, which has been selected as one of the "100 Country Villages of Japan."

The Panasonic employees will continue to work with local NPOs on a regular basis to promote activities such as cleaning up abandoned rice terraces and protecting the plants and animals that find their habitats in Hotani.

Prizewinners decided for 17th Eco Relay Photo Contest


The 17th ECO RELAY Photo Contest attracted a total of 163 entries from 75 people. This year saw a number of works conveying pure emotion and humanism against a background of the surrounding natural environment. Following a strict deliberation process, a total of one ECO RELAY Grand Prize winner, five Awards for Excellence winners, one Special ECO RELAY Award winner, and ten Masterpieces were finally selected. The winner of the Grand Prize, Seiji Mishima, commented as follows: "While taking a two-day, one-night holiday with my friends from my photography club, I noticed a grandfather and his grandchildren happily enjoying fishing together. The looks on the grandchildren's faces were priceless, so I took a picture without a moment's thought."

The chair of the judging panel, Yutaka Kaizuka (member of the Japan Advertising Photographer's Association, The Japan Society for Arts and History of Photography, and the Panasonic Shoaikai), praised the winning entry highly: "This was a powerful, bright, and enjoyable piece with an effective composition. The harmony between the grandfather and his grandchildren is lovely." On the contest, Kaizuka also commented, "Overall, this year's entries featured a larger number of more human pieces, focusing on people in nature. I hope that we will see more entries of people living in harmony with nature next time too, as befitting of our ECO RELAY contest."

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