The Environment Ministry said recently that it plans to submit to the Diet next year a bill aimed at helping nonprofit organizations and local firms promote environmental protection.

Under the bill, regional organizations in group categories will be established and the ministry will support their work to protect the natural environment, ministry officials said.

The ministry will seek budgetary allocations for the Japan Fund for Global Environment in the fiscal 2003 budget. The fund, established in 1993 by the state-run Japan Environment Corp. with financing from the government and public firms, will become the well for financial support of environmental projects.

The ministry will also seek special tax treatment for donations related to conservation efforts by NPOs, firms and individuals.

Each organization will train personnel who can explain global warming problems to local residents and advise them on conservation measures, the officials said.

Such regional groups will hold training courses mainly designed for housewives and students. Those who accumulate knowledge in the field will be certified as experts.

The ministry plans to submit the bill to the next ordinary Diet session, scheduled to start in January.

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