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  • Arakawa Clean-aid Forum English Guide

About Arakawa Clean-aid Forum

Many different people pick up litter and think about environmental issues, such as garbage dumped in and around the river, water quality and nature restoration, in different parts of the river beds, in order to bring back nature to the basin.
The Arakawa Clean-aid Forum is a Specified Nonprofit Corporation, registered at the Metropolitan Government in Japan. It is run by “participating organizations” (municipalities, businesses, schools, civic groups, and so on) that gather participants and organize volunteer cleanup activities in respective cleanup sessions (areas), mainly during Arakawa Clean-aid Months in autumn.
These activities take place in a total of 150 different areas, from upstream Chichibu City to East Beach (Higashi Nagisa) of Tokyo Bay, and involve more than 10 thousand participants each year.

The Arakawa Clean-aid Forum, an NPO, strives to expand the network of people who are aware of the importance of protecting the environment of the river, as well as the environment of the earth, through a wide range of activities.

Make the familiar river cleaner
Picking up litter for a cleaner environment makes everyone feel good!
One small action by one person can make a difference to society.

Restore nature
*Protect living things
Picking up litter leads to protecting creatures from the harm that litter does.

*Restore ecosystems
The network of nature in the riverbeds that link to one another forms the base of a larger network that includes surrounding natural environments. Picking up litter to restore reed fields and wetlands contributes also to restoring ecosystems in urban areas.

*Make the water cleaner
Reed fields and wetlands have the ability to make water clean. Removing litter that hampers this function results in healthier reed fields and wetlands, thereby contributing to making the water of the Arakawa River and Tokyo Bay, into which the Arakawa River flows, cleaner.

The Arakawa River Now

The Arakawa River runs through the Tokyo metropolitan area.
This river, which flows from the Oku-Chichibu (interior Chichibu) Mountains, across Saitama and Tokyo Prefectures and then into Tokyo Bay, is a very important river that benefits the lives of many people. About ten million people live in its basin, and it provides them with potable water and nurtures many creature.

The Arakawa River's high-water-channel is bristling with plants and provides precious habitats for insects, birds, fish and other creatures.
These creatures, in turn, play a significant role that benefits the river. They help keep the water of the Arakawa River clean.

 


[Data on the Arakawa River]

Length: 173 km
Area of the basin: 2,940 km2
population of basin:9.8 million (3rd in Japan)
Population density in the basin (downstream area): About 9,800 people/km2 (Largest in Japan)
Number of river users: 25 million people per year (Largest class in Japan)


However, rubbish is accumulating between the reeds. The adverse impact this can have on the ecosystem cannot be overestimated.

The river is now littered with things like countless plastic bottles and illegally-dumped large appliances and is giving out a rotten vegetable-like smell of slime.
At this very moment, the ecosystem of the Arakawa River is crying out for help.

We start by “PICKING UP”

Join forces and pick up litter in and around the Arakawa River to restore nature.
This is what “Arakawa Clean-aid” is about.

Clean + Aid

Many different people pick up litter and think about environmental issues, such as garbage dumped in and around the river, water quality and nature restoration, in different parts of the high-water-channel, in order to bring back nature to the basin.
It has been more than 20 years since Arakawa Clean-aid was launched in 1994. During these years, the amount of bulky waste dumped in the riverbeds has decreased and reed fields have come back to life in some places. Nevertheless, the river is still subject to an endless flow of garbage and requires continuous cleanup activities.
In recent years, this movement has expanded to involve participants of a wide range of ages, including elementary, junior high and high school students, and corporate employees who join Arakawa Clean-aid for periods of integrated study, as a volunteer program, and as a corporate social responsibility initiative.

The target of 150 cleanup sessions and 13 thousand participants per year has been reached

Arakawa Clean-aid is run by “participating organizations” (municipalities, businesses, schools, civic groups, and so on) that gather participants and organize volunteer cleanup activities in respective cleanup sessions (areas), mainly during Arakawa Clean-aid Months in autumn.
These activities take place in a total of 150 different areas, from upstream Chichibu City to East Beach (Higashi Nagisa) of Tokyo Bay, and involve more than 10 thousand participants each year.
During each session, participants count the numbers of litter items that they pick up. Collected litter is disposed of through cooperation with the municipalities, Arakawa-Karyu River Office (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport) and other related parties. The Arakawa Clean-aid Forum, an NPO, gathers statistics on the litter collected in all cleanup sessions.

Increase awareness of the importance of environmental preservation through picking up rubbish!

The purpose of Arakawa Clean-id is to raise awareness of the importance of environmental preservation among citizens by working in partnership with “administrators”, “businesses”, “municipalities” and other related parties and providing people with the opportunity to think about nature in and around the river and environmental issues presented by the river through the experience of picking up litter.
This is sure to encourage citizens to participate more in improving the environment of this river.

Integrated activities are of vital importance in solving problems!

The river keeps on flowing, bringing us both blessings and cursings.
The important thing is to grow close to, and interested in, the river and work to improve the environment of the river.

The Arakawa Clean-aid Forum, an NPO, strives to expand the network of people who are aware of the importance of protecting the environment of the river, as well as the environment of the earth, through a wide range of activities.

Introducing our mainly activities

We carry out a wide range of activities, most notably picking up and researching litter, to raise public awareness by addressing issues related to the Arakawa River environment in an integrated manner!

Clean-aid activities (picking up and researching litter)

-Picking up litter is an eye-opener-

Participants of Arakawa Clean-aid count the numbers of river litter items that they pick up by category. Identifying the types and numbers of litter items allows each participant to raise their awareness of the issue.
Moreover, the results of the research are translated into the development of measures targeted at minimizing the generation of waste to create a waste-free society.
This is something more than mere cleanups. The major differences between Arakawa Clean-aid and general “cleanups” are that:
- The aim is to restore nature.
- Participants count the numbers of litter items that they pick up.

River / marine litter problem as a social issue

In recent years, the river / ocean litter problem has attracted attention as a global social task. Not only the landscape but also various influences such as adverse influence on ecosystems due to accidental ingestion by animals and adsorption of hazardous chemical substances, coiling around  creatures are concerned. According to the ocean conservancy report(2009), more than 90% of marine litter comes from the urban area, and it flows out to the ocean through a river. Plastic waste becomes micro-plastic by fragmenting due to the influence of wind wave and ultraviolet ray, and it is difficult to accumulate.

Micro-plastics (less than 5mm) Sea turtle who was bound by fishing net

Support of environmental education

-It is more important to have “fun” than simply “study”-

We support waterfront environmental learning using the Arakawa River through activities such as providing support for integrated study classes of elementary and junior high schools, hosting instructor training courses and publishing “A Guide to Practicing Arakawa Gakushu” and “A Guide to Enjoying and Learning about the Arakawa River.”
In addition, we also provide nature observation programs, eco-tours and other programs to raise children who know how to safely play in and around the river.

Provision of support for corporate social responsibility initiatives and participation of citizens

-We provide the support you need by making the most of our more than 20 years of experience-

We provide corporate and government employees and other people with opportunities to demonstrate their social responsibility through participating in Arakawa Clean-aid, training courses of various kinds, and other programs.
In response to growing demand, we are now inviting more companies to take part in our employee training programs. For more information, please refer to the relevant materials we have prepared.

Save Biodiversity

Our lifes are living through enjoying benefits from biodiversity. Biodiversity thus serves as a basis of the survival of human beings. In addition, biodiversity, as the particular assets of each region, also supports the diversity of unique regional culture. We remove non-native species such as a golden rods (Solidago altissima),Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) and burr cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) etc... at downstream of Arakawa river.

In addition, We understand that it is sometimes not good for preserving biodiversity to protect only specific species (Secretary-General is a phD. of ecological engineering). We conserve more species by conserving our habitats such as removing river litter, creating wetland, etc...

We need your help

Arakawa Clean-aid is perfect for first-time volunteers!
You are always welcome, regardless of whether you participate on your own, bring a group of hundreds, or just casually volunteer once.
We need your support.

How to JOIN Arakawa Clean-aid action

Participate in Arakawa Clean-aid as an individual

Anyone is welcome to take part in our cleanup and research activities because they are open to the general public. Why don’t you take your
first step as a volunteer worker with Arakawa Clean-aid?
* For venues and other information, please refer to the leaflet for the Clean-aid Months in autumn or our official website (http://www.cleanaid.jp/).
* If you want to participate with a large group of people, please contact
the secretariat in advance.

Participate in Arakawa Clean-aid as an organizing group

Each year we designate October and November as the “Arakawa Clean -aid Months”, during which many cleanup sessions simultaneously take place in many different riverbeds.
Companies, schools and other groups of people are strongly urged to participate in these cleanup activities.
* We hold a briefing for organizing groups in September. So even first timers have no reason to hesitate!
Groups who want to participate in Arakawa Clean-aid as “organizers” are recommended to do so during this time of year.

Hold a Clean-aid session as an organizing group (any time of the year)

If your group wants to organize a Clean-aid session on your own, our secretariat can help you with all aspects from selecting the venue to preparation. You are always welcome to hold one, not only during the Clean-aid Months in autumn, but at any time of year.
* A coordination fee may be charged.
For details, please contact the secretariat.

Participate in an employee training program

We also provide training programs mainly for new employees, in which solutions to social challenges are explored through cooperation between corporations and civil groups.
* For details, please feel free to contact the secretariat to get specific information and materials.

How to SUPPORT Arakawa Clean-aid Forum

We hope that as many individuals and organizations as possible will support our cleanup and nature restoration efforts, which we carry out with the aim of passing down the rich natural environment to future generations.

Participate in and/or support our activities as a member

The Arakawa Clean-aid Forum is financed mainly by membership fees and donations. We invite individuals and groups to become members and support our activities. Members will receive our newsletters, information and reports (In Japanese).

Participate in and/or support our activities as a sponsor

We are looking for companies and other groups to support the Arakawa Clean-aid cause and sponsor our activities. (Unit of sponsorship: 50,000 JPay)
We sincerely ask for your support.


Contact

Address:
204 NIC Heim Funabori, 3-35-13, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo 132-0033, JAPAN

Telephone/ Facsimile:
+81-3-3654-7240 / +81-3-3654-7256

Contact person:
Director/The Secretary-General : IMAMURA Kazuyuki (Ph.D)

E-Mail : renraku@cleanaid.jp

Web site : http://www.cleanaid.jp

 

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