News Release

Global: Daikin Agrees to Fund Conservation Activities on Iriomote Island

Osaka, Japan - April 15, 2023. Daikin Industries, Ltd. has agreed to provide funding for activities to conserve the natural environment on Iriomote Island in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan to commemorate the 100th anniversary of its founding. The island is registered as a World Natural Heritage Site, and the support is part of the company’s ongoing social contribution for its "Forests for the Air" project. An agreement was reached with Taketomi Town officials in Okinawa Prefecture and the Iriomote Foundation, a general incorporated foundation, and calls for Daikin to provide a total of 100 million JPY over a 10-year period starting in April 2024.  A signing ceremony was held in recognition of the agreement. 

Daikin launched the “Forests for the Air” project in 2014 for the 90th anniversary of the company’s founding.   The project provides support for tree planting and forest conservation in seven locations, including the world’s largest primeval forest, and has protected approximately 11 million hectares of forests thus far, contributing to a reduction of 7 million tons of CO2 emissions.

In response to growing interest in biodiversity in recent years, Daikin enhances its support in Shiretoko, Indonesia, India, China, and the Amazon basin, while further expanding support to Iriomote Island and Ethiopia on the occasion of the100th anniversary.  Along with the new support, Daikin plans to contribute a total of 900 million JPY over 10 years.

Iriomote Island, which is being added this time, was registered as a World Natural Heritage Site in 2021 together with Amami Oshima, Tokunoshima, and the Northern part of Okinawa Island. The subtropical forest occupying most of the island is home to endemic species, such as the Iriomote wildcat, and there are also mangrove forests. It is a valuable area having a rich natural environment and coral reefs surrounding the developing coastline. However, ecosystem-related issues are becoming more apparent due to the effects of climate change and economic activity.

With this agreement, Daikin will support activities for Iriomote Island related to the conservation of the natural ecosystem and rich biodiversity connecting the mountains and the sea.


[Main Activities Supported on Iriomote Island] 

(1)   Activities to protect the subtropical forest, a World Natural Heritage Site
In the eastern part of Iriomote Island, feral goats breed and create concerns for the possible impact on the precious vegetation in the subtropical forest and disruption in the ecosystem balance. To prevent forest loss, basic data, such as for feeding damage, will be collected and monitored, while measures including behavioral tracking surveys will be implemented.

(2)  Activities to sustain the condition of Japan’s largest mangrove forest
The mangrove forest surrounding the island stretches from the lowlands to the coast. It is the largest in Japan and home to various living creatures. However, serious damage is occurring from debris that is washed ashore. Along with supporting collection and disposal efforts, support will be provided for ecological surveys and monitoring of the mangrove forest to raise awareness of the importance of preserving the tidal flats environment.

(3)  Activities to regenerate sea forests (seagrass beds) supporting biodiversity
In the shallow sea around the island, algae levels have been severely decimated by green sea turtle feeding on seagrass, and a type of seagrass native only to this region of Japan is in danger of extinction. Because algae are essential as a place for sea creatures to spawn and raise young fish, work is being done to install, maintain, and manage a feeding prevention structure to protect the seagrass and revitalize the sea forest.


[“Forests for the Air” project]
As a global air conditioning company, Daikin considers forests to be “nature’s air conditioner” since the water vapor provided by tree leaves keeps atmospheric temperatures from rising, and the processes of photosynthesis and respiration purify the atmosphere. With this understanding, the company views efforts to protect forests and nurture air as a contribution to the conservation of the global environment. Since 2014, Daikin has been conducting activities in seven locations worldwide to both preserve the environment and contribute to local communities. These activities go beyond simple tree planting and involve local stakeholders taking the initiative for sustainable forest conservation. Measures include environmental education and support of agriculture as an alternative source of income to deforestation that offers a sustainable livelihood to local residents. In this way, Daikin has created unique initiatives in support of conservation, and its employees also actively participate in local activities. In working together with NGOs and local residents in each region, Daikin hopes to preserve these rich natural environments for future generations.


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