One big reason why Japanese crested ibises became extinct was the decrease of insects and other small creatures such as loaches and Japanese freshwater crabs, which ibises feed on, due to the deterioration of the living environment. In the pursuit of “Eco-Island Sado,” Sado City has been promoting environment-friendly farming methods which conserve rice fields filled with various little lives.
The ibises that were restored to the wild on September 25, 2008 still live on those small living things in rice paddies today. It is the ibises of Sado Island that demonstrate the safety and reassurance given by “the System of Certifying Development of Countryside Where People Live with Toki.”
Criteria for certification
- 1. Growing rice by employing “farming methods which help to nurture living things”
- 2. Conducting surveys on living things in the rice paddies twice a year
- 3. Producing rice, reducing the use of pesticide and chemical fertilizer (by 50% or more compared with the local conventional use)
- 4. Being a cultivator certified as an eco-farmer ( *1)
*1. An “eco-farmer” is a farmer who carries out farming for producing safe rice that can be eaten without anxiety, and whose skill in soil fertilizing based on soil diagnosis and technical plan for reducing chemical pesticide and chemical fertilizer have been certified by Niigata Prefecture.
Part of the proceeds of Rice of “Countryside Where People Live with Toki” is contributed to the Sado Toki Conservation Fund.