Two international wildlife conservation groups have requested that steps be taken to protect the Kaisho Forest in Seto, Aichi Prefecture — site of the 2005 World Exposition — from development, representatives of the group’s Japan offices said Friday.

Both the World Wide Fund for Nature and Birdlife International sent letters to the International Exhibitions Bureau in Paris voicing concern about the environmental effects of the current plan and calling on the bureau to recommend the abandonment of a controversial housing project, set to be built in a local forest after the expo.

“The Japanese government should take initiative to show a new philosophy toward environmental issues for the theme of Expo 2005,” says the letter from Birdlife International.

Noting that the theme of the event is “Beyond Development: Rediscovering Nature’s Wisdom,” the letter urges that the forest be displayed as it is and preserved as a park.

“I urge you to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to fully protect the Kaisho Forest both during and after World Expo 2005,” reads the letter from the WWF director general sent earlier this week.

Expo 2005 is slated to take place in Seto over six months beginning in March 2005, but local and international concern is mounting that the project might damage the ecosystem of the Kaisho Forest.

Especially in the limelight is the project to build housing to accommodate 6,000 people after the event ends.

The World Conservation Union, another major conservation group, is also likely to fire off a letter to the exhibition bureau in Paris requesting that the Kaisho Forest be adequately protected, other preservation group members said.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.