In Sep. 2013, we became the world's first official supporter of UNESCO and its international programs related to education and world heritage conservation.
In addition to providing international travel for UNESCO related individuals, syncing UNESCO donation programs with our mileage program and with onboard sales, and more, we co-sponsor the ANA & UNESCO World Heritage Classroom in collaboration with the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan. The value of this shared project is to teach children the importance of conserving the environment and world heritage. The project also sends employee volunteers to the Heritage for the Future.
ANA continues to proactively search for solutions to social and environmental issues across the planet.
As part of the "Wings Within Ourselves" project, one of the ANA Group's environmental and social contribution activities, we conducted activities aimed at preserving the Kamigamo Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kyoto, in collaboration with the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan on May 30, 2015.
Wild ginger plants (Asarum caulescens) are a feature of the Aoi Festival, one of the largest festivals in Kyoto. The number of these plants has been decreasing rapidly in recent years. In response to this, we implemented preservation activities under guidance provided by the AFUHI PROJECT*, an NPO working on the revitalization of the Aoi forest around the Kamigamo Shrine through the protection and cultivation of wild ginger.
The "Fushinogawa River Project to Revitalize the Forests, River and Ocean and Connect People" is an environmental preservation activity focusing on the Fushinogawa River Basin, including its water source, upper stream, middle stream, lower stream and estuaries. It has been operated by an association of local residents.
The Project has been registered as a "Heritage for the Future Project" by the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan, which is aimed at preserving Japan's cultural and natural heritage and passing it on to future generations. Agreeing with the purpose of this activity, the ANA Group started participating in it in collaboration with local residents and the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan in October 2014.
In our latest involvement, we took part in an activity to check the status of and improve the environment for the Japanese littleneck clam, which is an indicator species for evaluating the revitalization of the richly diverse tidal flat ecosystem at Yamaguchi Bay, an estuary of Fushinogawa River.
With guidance from members of the association and the local fishery cooperative, a total of 61 volunteers worked together to scoop sand from the surface of the tidal flat and sieve it to pick out the littleneck clams. By the end, we had dug out an area measuring 10 square meters and approximately 40 centimeters deep to compare the status of the clams. Digging and moving the sand using a bucket relay system was definitely hard work, but having completed the task we felt the solidarity and satisfaction of a job well done.