the tideland issue of Isahaya bay
On April 10, 1999, the symposium "Revive! Isahaya
tideland" was held at Toraya No. 2 building in Tokyo
and member of parliament (House of Representatives)
Tatsuo Sasayama participated as a panelist.
This symposium was organized to commemorate the second
anniversary of the shutdown of Isahaya bay as well as to
take the opportunity to again think about wetland issues
in Japan as the 7th Conference of the Contracting Parties
to the Ramsar Convention -The Convention on Wetlands of
International Importance especially as Waterfowl
Habitat-, an international effort to conserve wetlands,
will be held in Costa Rica next month.
The symposium was organized by the World Wide Fund for
Nature, Japan Committee and other environmental NGOs.
M.P. Sasayama expressed the following opinions during the
- There are both merits and demerits regarding the
Isahaya bay issue.
- Formation of the so-called
"Isahaya effect", by which
the significance of tidelands and
wetlands came to be recognized among
the public and affected positively on
the subsequent issues in Fujimae
tideland and Sanbanse tideland.
- Emergence of a new type of
NGO, i.e. advocacy groups.
- Changes in related
ministries and agencies' attitudes
toward tidelands and wetlands
- That there has never been a
round-table discussion between
related ministries, and agencies and
- That the scale of the issue
was contained within the small frame
of "either mutsugoro (a kind of
mudskipper indigenous to the bay) or
humans" or the "problem in
Nagasaki prefecture" - a
- That political parties and
politicians could not continuously
tackle this issue.
- Problems and future measures are as follows:
- It is time to think about
durable measures to protect tidelands and
wetlands, not just as an individual
- The attitudes of administrations
are inconsistent, saying "No"
to cancellation of land reclamation by
drainage in Isahaya but "Ok" to
that in Fujimae and Sanbanse. However,
this inconsistency cannot be justified
because the scale and ecological values
of Isahaya as a tideland is not inferior
to the others.
- Politicians and political
parties responding only to topical
environmental issues, such as dioxin and
so-called environmental hormones
(endocrine disrupters), raise questions
as to the need for setting up a political
agenda aimed at developing a more
sustainable movement and durable
- Future challenges to solve are as follows:
- Paying attention to responses of
prefectural governments and seeking a
point where compromise can be made in
terms of downsizing the projects hurting
- Diverse alternatives must be
submitted from our side as well. Also,
when mitigation methods for environmental
damage are introduced, guidelines and
compensation should be reviewed.
- Establishing cross-border
ecological networks, such as Natura 2000,
reconstruction of national strategy on
biological diversity and formulation of
an action plan are urgently required.
NGO participants agreed with the above mentioned
opinions of M.P. Sasayama.