Kabukuri-numa Information

Action History for Wetland Conservation


Since 1970, Miyagi Prefecture has undertaken a project intended to turn the marsh and the surrounding rice fields (475 ha) into a water-retarding area. The prefectural government has consistently claimed that full-scale dredging of the marsh cannot be avoided because its water-retarding functions are reduced by mud and sand inflow. Such dredging will result in the destruction of the natural beauty of Kabukuri-numa and the extinction of numerous species living there.

The dredging plan became a major issue and served as the turning point in the campain's search for a method to stop the plan. our goal is to conserve the natural environment of the marsh, and allow it to function as a water-retarding area, thus benefiting the local residents, including those involved in agriculture.

The First Kabukuri-numa Expedition was held in March 1996. It attracted more than 40 participants; including such people as environmetal experts (i.e. experts on birds, fish and shellfish, animals, plants, benthos, water quality, insects, and civil geotechnology), local farmers, government officials, Diet members and members of prefectural and municipal assemblies. Participants visited and confirmed the value of Kabukuri-numa and discussed future problems.

The Kabukuri-numa expedition

At this time, the marsh was the subject of a question-and-answer session in the Special Committee on Environment of the Nation Diet. Speaking to the committee, the Ministry of Construction gave the following answer: "There is no plan to conduct deep dredging in the area of Kabukuri-numa." Miyagi Prefecture, the developer of the dredging project, then expressed the following view for the first time: "There is no need for full-scale dredging."

In the Town of Tajiri, the International Conference for Country Life and the Japanese Association for Wild Geese Protection took the initiative through holding a meeting to discuss Kabukuri-numa. A Parent-Child Expedition to Kabukuri-numa was organized by local PTAs, and panel exhibitions were held to show the role of nature in the marsh. At the November 1996 Ramsar Symposium in Niigata, details of the cancellation of the full-scale dredging project were presented. In December the same year, the 12th Goose Symposium was held under the theme of symbiosis between geese and agriculture, enhancing local awareness of the marsh. In February 1997, the River Division of the Miyagi Prefectural Government organized the Kabukuri-numa Water-Retarding Area Meeting. Local residents, environmentalists, scientists, farmers and local prefectural government officials (river and environmental conservation) participated in the meeting to discuss the Kabukuri-numa Management Plan which is to be established in March 2000.

The parent-child expedition

The 12th Goose Symposium

A NGO offered their own Management Plan at the second meeting. Subsequent activities have grown in scope. Not only companies but educational organizations have also become interested in the activities in Kabukuri-numa. One company offered a funding to investigate the symbiosis between geese and agriculture, and the other took pictures of the landscape from air.

The Environmental Education Center of Miyagi University of Education began to use Kabukuri-numa and rice paddy field around the marsh for environmental education. this was supported by Tajiri Town Office. The River section of the Prefectural Government and NGOs are discussing setting up a monitor camera which can be used both for water management and environmental education by offering data through the Internet.

National , Prefectural and Town governments have become interested in this project, as well as other on going related projects. There have been rather many inspections not only from the River Management section, but also the Agricultural Sction. The Governor of Miyagi Prefecture also visited the marsh in February, 1999.

The Governor of Miyagi Prefecture visited.