Submitted by Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas
LONDON AND NEW YORK: Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) has launched two further components of its Global Coral Reef Conservation Project. This project now consists of three scientific research studies, in Japan, the United States and Seychelles, on the ecology of coral reefs and methods for their conservation.
In the United States, the Global Coral Reef Conservation Project has been launched in the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge at Midway Atoll and on the adjacent reefs of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. MC is partnering with Dr. Donald Potts and his team of researchers from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In partnership with US Fish and Wildlife Service staff at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, Dr. Potts is developing an integrated research program on the consequences (physical, chemical and biological) of climate change on coral reefs, and their implications for management of reefs.
The study in the Republic of Seychelles, a nation of islands in the Indian Ocean, will focus on the reef-associated habitats of the Silhouette Marine National Park. MC will work in partnership with the Earthwatch Institute (Europe), the Coral Reef Research Unit and Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles on the study into this fragile and rich ecosystem. The study will involve local communities and organizations and build local capacity, as well as enabling volunteer participants from around the world to join the project's research teams.
The Global Coral Reef Conservation Project was instigated to mark the 50th anniversary of Mitsubishi Corporation in 2004. The first study of the Global Coral Reef Conservation Project began in Japan in 2005, and focused on the process of coral bleaching and developing mitigation measures. This ongoing study is a collaborative effort with Shizuoka University and is being led by Professor Yoshimi Suzuki, a leading coral reef researcher. It began in August 2005 at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture in Japan.
Osamu Namekawa, General Manager of Mitsubishi Corporation's Environmental and Social Responsibility Office, said: "We are very proud to be funding coral reef research in these three locations. Coral reefs, as high-biodiversity regions of incredible importance and beauty, deserve our study and conservation."
The results of the Global Coral Reef Conservation Project will be announced on MC's website, through seminars and similar events. MC will also seek to broadly promote the utilization of the research around the world by supporting the presentation of findings at academic conferences and in various publications. Furthermore, MC aims to support a number of employee volunteers to assist the Projects' scientists in their research activities.
Mitsubishi Corporation is Japan's largest general trading company (sogo shosha) with over 200 bases of operations in approximately 80 countries worldwide. Together with its over 500 group companies, MC employs a multinational workforce of approximately 48,000 people. MC has long been engaged in business with customers around the world in virtually every industry, including energy, metals, machinery, chemicals, food and general merchandise. MC provides philanthropic spending through a variety of mechanisms, including donations to the Mitsubishi Corporation Fund for Europe and Africa in London and the Mitsubishi International Corporation Foundation, based in New York.
For more information on MC visit www.mitsubishicorp.com, and for more information on the Global Coral Reef Conservation Project, visit the Corporate Citizenship section of the website, at http://www.mitsubishicorp.com/en/csr/so_report/s_cont0511.html.
The Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas, based in New York City was established 1991 with funding from Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan, and its U.S.-based subsidiary, Mitsubishi International Corporation. Since its establishment, the Foundation has contributed over $12 million to environmental causes throughout the Americas. We have funded over 100 projects in more than 15 countries, focusing on four themes: biodiversity conservation, environmental education, environmental justice, and sustainable development.