Efforts on the environment by Yokohama
Yokohama has been selected as an “Environmental Model City” to pioneer environmental action by cities in Japan, and it is cooperating with citizens to protect the environment at all levels, ranging from the daily living environment to the urban environment and global environment.
Efforts at the level of the living environment is focused on completion of a state-of-the-art sewage system and reduction and recycling of waste. At the level of the urban environment, several projects are underway to protect and create greenery, and, with the participation of citizens' groups, to preserve the city's green spaces and water environments. As regards efforts for the global environment, pioneering steps are being taken to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
Yokohama Wind Plant
Yokohama is one of Japan's “Environmental Model Cities,” a member of the Large Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), and the only Japanese city to be chosen to be one of the World Bank's Ecological Cities as Economic Cities (Eco2 Cities).
To fulfill these roles, Yokohama is pursuing aggressive measures to prevent global warming. Under the “CO-DO30” road map toward the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Yokohama, adopted in January 2008, the city aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions per citizen (as compared to 2004) by at least 30% by 2025 and at least 60% by 2050.
Base of greenery in the Miho/Niiharu district
Yokohama, while being a big city, has considerable greenery, including areas of woodland, farmland, and parks near residential areas and people’s places of work.
Approximately 98% of citizens want to preserve this greenery. Funded by a special-purpose tax to preserve and create greenery, therefore, woodland and agricultural land are being preserved and expanded and parks are being developed with the objective of maintaining and increasing the 31% of the city’s area accounted for by greenery. Yokohama’s environmental campaigns feature regular and extensive involvement by ordinary volunteers.
Sludge recycling center
Yokohama is the birthplace of Japan's modern sewage systems, and the current sewage adoption rate is virtually 100%.
Sewerage is a core element of the social infrastructure that underpins people's lives and social activities, and the city is working to further improve water quality of river and sea in order to protect and create a more pleasant water environment. The effects of global climate change are also now making it necessary to take steps to ensure safety in the event of localized torrential rainfall, and Yokohama is responding by implementing flood measures. Working in collaboration with international agencies, the city is using its experience and expertise in sewerage technology to assist and contribute to the international community.
Yokohama's three zoos and Preservation and Research Center breed around 80 endangered species, and they are working for the ex-situ conservation of endangered animals as part of a global network of zoos. In addition, the zoos are helping in the project to return “Bali Mynahs” to its natural habitat in Indonesia.
Yokohama is also involved in cryopreservation of gametes and cells of endangered animals (mainly mammals) for future use in artificial breeding programs and permanent preservation of genetic resources. Through these activities, Yokohama is contributing to the conservation of biodiversity.