Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity
Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.
Initiatives for biodiversity at Osaka Gas LNG terminals
The LNG terminals of Osaka Gas, which produce city gas, are cultivating green spaces on the grounds with the aim of not just securing such spaces, but to revive greenery that possesses the local region’s inherent biodiversity and has high ecosystem functions.
Under the concept of a green network that is linked to the community, the Senboku Terminals (Sakai City and Takaishi City, Osaka Prefecture) are promoting the creation of greenery that serves as the habitat for many living things. This includes the planting of native seeds and seedlings in the “Senboku Forest” and planting a field of Imperata cylindrica, Japanese blood grass described as “very aesthetic” by Sei Shonagon in Makura no Soshi (The Pillow Book) around the turn of the 11th century.
Under the guidance of the Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo, at the Himeji Terminal (Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture) the company has, since 2002, been cooperating with activities to preserve rare plants native to the Nishi Harima area and cultivates rare species including Gardneria multiflora and Meehania montis-koyae (both placed on the red list of threatened plants compiled by the Ministry of the Environment). The biotope newly established in fiscal 2013 reproduces the satoyama woodlands, fields, and waterside areas with the native seedlings of the Nishi Harima area, and conserves rare plant species such as Platycodon grandiflorum and Eupatorium fortunei (both also included in the above red list).
Because the native seedlings are expected to grow well since they are suited to the local climate, management of the greenery on the grounds does not require special consideration and is not burdened.
Stocks of the coastal plant, Linaria japonica (Unran), originating from Keinomatsubara in Minami Awaji City, Hyogo Prefecture, which were conserved at the Himeji Terminal, were transplanted back to Keinomatsubara in December 2013 in an effort to recover the plant population there—the only natural habitat for Unran left on the Seto Inland Sea side of Hyogo Prefecture.
Due to a decline in the Unran plant population, in 2006 the Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo, evacuated some of the plants from Keinomatsubara to its gene farm for protection and proliferation. From the perspective of diversifying risk, in 2010, 39 of the protected Unran seedlings were transplanted to the Himeji Terminal grounds and conserved. With an increase in the number of these plants to about 150, in 2013, 20 were transplanted to Keinomatsubara under the guidance of the Museum and the University of Hyogo.
Connections with neighboring green spaces are expected to expand due to the fact that the types of insects and birds flying in the areas appear to be increasing as a result of such efforts by the terminals. These spaces are also serving as places for local elementary school children and other visitors to learn about the environment.
Osaka Gas will continue to strive for biodiversity by implementing qualitative and quantitative monitoring studies while receiving advice and guidance from experts.