November 11, 2010 - A welcome-back ceremony for recipients of the 2010 NYK Nature Fellowship1 was held on November 5 at the NYK head office in Tokyo. The NYK Nature Fellowship is administered jointly with Earthwatch Institute - Japan2 and is one of the biodiversity initiatives established in response to NYK's receipt of the Thor Heyerdahl International Maritime Environmental Award3 in 2005. Through this fiscal year, 44 people—23 NYK Group employees and 21 Japan-based university students—have participated in and assisted at maritime environmental research and study sites around the world.
At the ceremony, the three NYK Group staff members and six university students who participated in the fifth year of the program were joined by Shinya Tsuru, the chairman of Earthwatch Institute - Japan, and Yoko Takahashi, the president of the Japan Philanthropic Association,4 whom selected the Nature Fellowship members.
Fellowship recipients received certificates and spoke about their research projects, and each recipient mentioned a desire to use the experience to encourage others to think more deeply about environmental issues. NYK president Yasumi Kudo thanked the recipients and others concerned, and encouraged recipients to share their experiences with a lot of people around for the betterment of society.
The following day, an event was held at the NYK Maritime Museum to share the knowledge that recipients gained during the study and research. At the event, the fellowship recipients spoke about their experiences to museum visitors.
The NYK Group continues to work positively as a good corporate citizen on activities that contribute to our society.
1 NYK Nature Fellowship
The NYK Nature Fellowship is one of the programs resulting from NYK’s receipt of the Thor Heyerdahl International Maritime Environmental Award in May 2005.
2 Earthwatch Institute - Japan
Earthwatch, established in 1971 in Boston, is the world's largest international nongovernmental organization and provides researchers with both human and financial support for overseas field research and surveys. Volunteers dispatched all over the world by Earthwatch have taken active roles at cutting-edge scientific sites, receiving instruction from world-class scientists. Earthwatch Institute - Japan was established in 1993 for the purpose of promoting Earthwatch activities in Asia. In 2003, it was certified as a nonprofit organization.
3 Thor Heyerdahl International Maritime Environmental Award
This award was established by Dr. Thor Heyerdahl5 and the Norwegian Shipowners' Association in June 1999 to improve the global environment, announce to all segments of society the environmental benefits of shipping as a mode of transport, and encourage the implementation of new, specific environmental measures.
An award recipient is generally selected every two years. NYK won the third award in 2005.
4 Japan Philanthropic Association
An association that has been active since 1991 promoting social contribution activities that allow corporations to fulfill their responsibilities to society.
5 Thor Heyerdahl (1914 - 2002)
A Norwegian cultural anthropologist and explorer, Dr. Heyerdahl successfully completed a voyage in 1947 on the Pacific Ocean from Peru to Polynesia on a kon tiki, a light balsa raft made without nails or wires.