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Traditional ‘Kaibori’ Method Linked to Ecosystem Restoration in Tokyo's Parks

Tomomi Kataoka is head of a nonprofit working to rekindle interest in a traditional Japanese approach to maintaining healthy ecosystems in ponds.



Tomomi Kataoka explains the impact of American crayfish on the ecosystem at Inokashira Park on September 10, 2022 (Photo by Kazuyuki Nagahashi)

Kaibori is a traditional Japanese practice for maintaining ponds. In this method, water is drained from a pond, then mud from the bottom is scooped out and dried in the sun. 

Previously a common method of reservoir management in rural areas, kaibori has gradually fallen into disuse due to government policy on reducing rice acreage. 

Tomomi Kataoka, the 49-year-old chairperson of Seitai Koubou (meaning “Ecology Workshop”), a nonprofit organization based in Musashino City, Tokyo, is reviving the kaibori method in urban areas. 

Her group’s aim is to revitalize water environments and expand the circle of residents engaging in environmental conservation activities.

Read the rest of this article here to learn about how Kataoka and her group of volunteers are using kaibori to combat invasive species in Tokyo's parks. And find more great articles on the environment and the challenges of achieving the SDGs, on our new website Japan 2 Earth, sparking a transition on the environment and SDGs.


Author: Kazuyuki Nagahashi

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