Nature & Parks

Announcement of "Ecosystem-based approach to disaster risk reduction" and Publication of Handbook "Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan"

It has been recognized that healthy ecosystems contribute to mitigate natural disasters. For example, forests prevent soil erosion, seaside tree plants mitigate tsunami disaster, and swamps prevent temporarily flood.

Ministry of the Environment released "Ecosystem-based approach to disaster risk reduction" that describes function of ecosystem-based disaster reduction (Eco-DRR) and methodologies of ecosystem utilization. And, for better understanding of the said approach we published a handbook titled "Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan - a handbook for practitioners-".

1. Background

"Ecosystem-based approach to disaster risk reduction" shows a background concept of responses by individuals or regional communities to natural disasters in such manners as to prevent human lives and properties from exposure to natural hazards through keeping ecosystem conserved, restored, or maintained and to respond to natural disasters utilizing ecosystem as a buffer zone/item together with various functions such as food supply and water supply.

This approach has drawn attentions internationally after the Great Indian Ocean Tsunami as well as domestically after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Ministry of the Environment set up a relevant study committee respectively in FY2014 and FY2015 to investigate domestic and international relevant information and cases, and formulated "Ecosystem-based approach to disaster risk reduction". This paper summarizes roles of the ecosystem that contributes to mitigate disaster risks, contemplates region-wide future, and demonstrates, together with case studies, fundamental views required to proceed with Eco-DRR as well as methodologies to utilize ecosystem. Also, to widely disseminate this approach, we prepared a handbook titled "Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan - a handbook for practitioners-" that compiles the summary of the above-mentioned approach.

2. Outline

"Ecosystem-based approach to disaster risk reduction"

  1. Natural disaster and ecosystem
  2. Why is Eco-DRR necessary for our future in Japan?
  3. How ecosystem contributes to disaster reduction
  4. Key points of view in adopting Eco-DRR approach
  5. Utilization of ecosystem for disaster reduction
  6. Direction of measures to be taken in the future

Handbook "Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan - a handbook for practitioners-"

  • Why is Eco-DRR necessary for our future in Japan?
  • Benefits and advantages of Eco-DRR
  • Traditional Eco-DRR approaches
  • Ecosystem-based approaches for disaster risk reduction
  • Key points in adopting Eco-DRR approaches
  • Reference examples
  • Q&A

3. Access

Available to download on the website of MOE as follows:

4. Reference

List of Members of Study Committee for Ecosystem-based approach to disaster risk prevention/reduction(without honorifics Japanese syllabary order)

Name Affiliate Organization and Title
Tomohiro Ichinose Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, SFC, Keio University
Takehiko Ohta professor emeritus, Tokyo University
Yuichi Kayaba Team leader / ARRC Director , River Restoration Team, Public Works Research Institute of National Research and Development Agency
AQUA Restoration Research Center
Koichi Kuriyama Professor, Division of Natural Resource Economics, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University
Satoquo Seino Associate Professor, Ecological Engineering Laboratory, Department of Urban and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University
Toru Nakashizuka Professor, Graduate School of Life Science, Tohoku University
Futoshi Nakamura Professor, Laboratory of Forest Ecosystem Management, Division of Environmental Resources, Research Faculty of Agriculture, Graduate School of Agriculture, Hokkaido University 
Atsushi Nishihiro Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Toho University
Keita Furukawa Chief Researcher, Ocean Policy Research Institute, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
Director of Ocean Research and Survey Department
Naoya Furuta Coordinator, Japan Liaison Office of IUCN
Professor, Regional Initiative Institute, Taisho University
Shiro Wakui
Acting Chairman, Japan Committee for UNDB
Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Tokyo City University


Biodiversity Global Strategy Planning Unit, Natural Environment Planning Section, Natural Conservation Bureau, Ministry of the Environment
(Main Tel:03-3581-3351)
(Direct Tel:03-5521-8275)
Unit Chief: Fumiko Nakao (Ext:6480)
Assistant Chief: Takahiro Okano (Ext: 6481)
Assistant Chief: Aya Yatsumoto (Ext: 6483)