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Feb 2, 2010

WWF and Panasonic Start Yalu River Coastal Area Ecosystem Based Management Demonstration Project

The project aims for sustainable use and conservation of marine resources in the Yellow Sea

Tokyo, Japan - World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Panasonic Corporation announced that they started working together on the Yalu River Coastal Area Ecosystem Based Management Demonstration Project (the "Coastal Area Management Project") in January 2010. This project is in the second stage of the seven-year Yellow Sea Ecoregion Support Project, which Panasonic has been supporting since its launch in 2007. The seven-year project aims for environmental conservation of the coastal areas surrounding the Yellow Sea which is located between China and the Korean Peninsula.

The Coastal Area Management Project has officially started today with the signing ceremony taking place in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, between the WWF, the world's leading conservation organization, the Ocean and Fishery Bureau of Liaoning Province Government, and the UNDP/GEF Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Project Management Office1).

In the Coastal Area Management Project, scientific surveys will be carried out at the estuary on the Yalu River2) in Dandong City, Liaoning Province, over three years roughly from January 2010 to March 2013. These surveys are expected to produce scientific data that help analyze the ecological linkages of the coastal ecosystem, especially between the fishery, migratory birds and benthic community including fishery resources in the coastal area, eventually aiming at a stage where necessary measures for sustainable use and conservation of the environment can be achieved in collaboration with the divisions concerned in the local government (ocean and fisheries, environmental divisions, government affiliated research institute).

It is anticipated that through collaboration among the Liaoning Province Government, the UNDP/GEF Yellow Sea Project, WWF and Panasonic, which is working to promote environmental conservation as a corporation, an ecosystem-based management will be introduced to China and a good practice of sustainable development will be created.

1) The UNDP/GEF Yellow Sea Project works with coastal states of the Yellow Sea (China, Republic of Korea and DPR Korea) to develop and implement regional and national environmental strategies and action plans. UNDP is one of the implementing agencies of the GEF (the Global Environmental Facility) that funds projects that protect the global environment, and the project is coordinated by the UNDP/GEF Yellow Sea Project Management Office.
2) The Yalu River estuary has a vast expanse of wetland that is blessed with a richness of benthic organisms -- including crustaceans such as blue crab, and shellfish such as Manila clam. Hundreds of thousands of migratory birds use this wetland, and the site is also used as a rich fishing ground.

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■Outline of Project

1) Name

Yalu River Coastal Area Ecosystem Base Management Demonstration Project

2) Project Site

Yalu River estuary, Dandong City, Liaoning Province, China

3) Signing Ceremony

Date : February 2, 2010 (Tuesday) 9:30AM-11:30AM (local time)
Place : Conference Room, Building A,
Ocean and Fishery Bureau of Liaoning Province
Signatories :
1. WWF
2. Ocean and Fishery Bureau of Liaoning Province
3. UNDP/GEF Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Project Management Office (YSLME Project Management Office)

4) Project related organizations

(1) WWF: Management and promotion of project in general, technical assistance
(2) Panasonic Corporation: Provision of funds for project
(3) Ocean and Fishery Bureau of Liaoning Province: Coordination among the divisions concerned in China
(4) YSLME Project Management Office: technical advice
(5) Ocean and Fishery Office of Dandong City: surveys, analysis and publication of scientific data
(6) Liaoning Ocean and Fisheries Science Research Institute: surveys, analysis, and publication of scientific data
(7) Management Bureau of Yalu River Wetland National Nature Reserve of Dandong City: Provision of data on birds

5) Project funding

Approx. 30,000,000 Japanese yen in total:

Panasonic Corporation (15,000,000 Japanese yen) and Ocean and Fishery Bureau of Liaoning Province (equivalent to 15,000,000 Japanese yen)

■Yellow Sea Ecoregion

The Yellow Sea is the ocean area surrounding China and Korean Peninsula. Having one of the world's largest continental shelves, the Yellow Sea boasts an extremely large variety of living creatures, and, at the same time, has from ancient times been used as a rich fishing area. In cooperation with environmental related organizations from China and Korea, WWF has compiled data on mammals, birds, shellfish, fishes, coastal plants, and seaweeds in 2006, and selected 23 areas that should be given priority in conservation.

■ Yellow Sea Ecoregion Support Project

The Yellow Sea Ecoregion Support Project is a project that aims at preserving the diversity of life in the Yellow Sea Ecoregion, and its sustainable development, through cooperation by China, Korea and Japan. With support from Panasonic Corporation, the Project is being promoted in a 7-year Plan from 2007 to 2014. The Project is in progress in the priority conservation areas selected in 2006.

・First Stage (2007.8-2010.3)

Open recruitment for dissemination and awareness promotion activities and habitat conservation activities to be primarily performed by local communities is being carried out in China and Korea, and subsidies of funding for activities and opportunities for study, and exchanges of experience and information, are being provided.

・Second Stage (2010.1-2013.3)

Model areas will be established in both China and Korea, one for each, and conservation efforts corresponding to the characteristics of the area and making use of international standard habitat management methods will be carried out over three years in collaboration with local communities.

・Third Stage (2013.4-2014.9)

Examples from first stage subsidy operations and examples of results in model areas in the second stage will be compiled, and "Asian Satoumi Co-existence Model" will be issued to China, Korea and then to the world, in a call for building up similar efforts over a broader region.

■World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

WWF, an organization for global environmental conservation that aims to create a future where mankind and nature can live in harmony, was established in Switzerland in 1961. Currently, much of its work focuses on the conservation of biodiversity in forests and oceans, etc., making the use of natural resources sustainable, such as lumber, fish and shellfish, and the prevention of global warming.

■Panasonic Corporation

Giving its approval to the main purpose of WWF, Panasonic Corporation has determined to give its support, since the Project aims at conservation of biodiversity in the environment and is also an activity covering Japan, China, and Korea. As for its efforts as a corporate citizen, under the theme of "education and coexistence," with the key areas of next generation education and the environment, Panasonic's global efforts are ongoing activities. With this concept, Panasonic will be supporting the Project over a period of as long as seven years.

In addition, as the first company in the Asia region, including Japan, to be a Corporate Supporter under WWF International's international corporate partnership scheme, Panasonic has been supporting the Yellow Sea Ecoregion Support Project. Currently, not merely through its joint promotion of the Yellow Sea Ecoregion Support Project, Panasonic has been making efforts in cooperation in such comprehensive environmental conservation activities as exchanging views with WWF on green purchasing policy for paper for the entire Panasonic Group from the viewpoint of forestry conservation, and reflecting this in its policies.

Media Contacts:

Panasonic Corporation

Akira Kadota, International PR
Tel: 03-6403-3040
Panasonic News Bureau
Tel: 03-3542-6205

WWF Japan

Sadayoshi Tobai, Yellow Sea Project Coordinator
Hiroko Sakuma, Public Relations Coordinator
Tel: 03-3769-1713
*The content in the following news releases is accurate at the time of publication but may be subject to change without notice. Please note therefore that these documents may not always contain the most up-to-date information.

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