May 30, 2007

Inner Mongolia: Support for Greening Project

The Japan Airlines group has decided to increase its support the Inner Mongolia greening project against desertification.

The Japan Airlines group has decided to increase its support the Inner Mongolia greening project against desertification.

Below is an article published by China Corporate and Social Responsibility:

Japan Airlines will, for the second time, support the Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement International's Inner Mongolia Greening Project against Desertification through 'JAL Miles For Eco'.

'JAL Miles For Eco' is an environmental campaign launched by the airline in June 2006, which enables members of its frequent flyer program, JAL Mileage Bank, to make donations using miles from their accounts to the non-profit organization OISCA.

Through 'JAL Miles For Eco', JMB members worldwide can make donations of 10,000 miles or in units of 10,000 miles to the project. Counting one mile as one yen, the JAL Group will donate the equivalent amount in cash to the OISCA International project.

The period for making donations is from June 1 through to the end of July 2007. Donations by Japan Region members can be made through the JAL website. In other regions, JMB members can make donations by contacting their regional JMB call center.

'JAL Miles For Eco' is one element of 'JAL SKY ECO CHINA', a JAL Group-supported ecology initiative focused on China. The JAL Group will also provide OISCA International with funding for their projects, as it did last year. The Group is discussing further ways in which it can assist this organization.

Founded in 1961 and based in Tokyo, OISCA-International focuses on environmentally sustainable development in countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. OISCA's Inner Mongolia Greening Project Against Desertification aspires to curb increasing desertification and to mitigate damage caused by the clouds of yellow sands created by the phenomenon. The gradual encroachment of the desert is leading to soil degradation of the grassland and farmland which local habitants rely on for their livelihoods. Clouds of yellow sand cause sand storms across China and reach other countries, including Japan and Korea. The sand storms pollute the environment and can, for example, cause respiratory health problems in humans, and damage the health and habitat of wildlife.

Launched 5 years ago, the project focuses on the Arashan region in Inner Mongolia where, during the past decade, up to 1,000 square kilometers of land has become desert due to adverse climate changes, rivers drying up and overgrazing.

Working closely together with local communities and government, the project aims to create a green belt that will curb desertification in this dry region through reforestation, the development of greenery planting techniques, environment-awareness building activities with the local population, and the creation of a locally supervised self-reliant and sustainable anti-desertification program.

With the financial support of JAL and other participating organizations, in October 2006 OISCA opened in the region the Arashan Desert Ecological Research and Training Center to act as a base for its greening projects and environmental education programs.

Now that the center has been established, OISCA plans to accelerate its reforestation projects, and initiate projects for composting, developing water-saving technologies and the utilization of renewable energies. It also plans to develop and introduce cultivation methods for some medicinal plants as a means of enhancing the livelihood of local people.