HORIBA creates company calendars featuring 380 kinds of coral to promote the International Year of the Reef.

|   Press Release

Let's focus on coral reefs, ocean forests, and to think about the global environment.

Advocating initiatives by the Ministry of Environment to protect coral reefs, –

As a manufacturer of measuring instruments and machinery focusing on the environmental field, HORIBA (Head office: Kyoto) has created and distributed company calendars designed with themes relating to the global environment. We are happy to announce that we have decided to use coral reefs as the motif of our calendar for 2008, as a part of our efforts to promote the International Year of the Reef in 2008. This is based on a suggestion by Dr. Makoto Omori, Director of Akajima Marine Science Laboratory in Okinawa Prefecture. Images of 380 species of corals were selected and used for the daily calendar with cooperation of leading Japanese coral researchers. The Ministry of Environment of Japan is leading the International Year of the Reef campaign, using the catchphrase “Learn (about), Visit and Protect (coral reefs).” We intend to participate in the campaign focusing on “Learn,” the first step of the conservation efforts, by distributing our calendar featuring beautiful pictures of corals so as to enhance public knowledge of, and interest in, coral reefs. 

While air pollution is damaging natural environments, deterioration of seawater quality has also threatened ecosystems in the sea including coral reefs, which are called “forests of the sea.” Along with tropical rain forests, coral reefs are an area with highly varied biodiversity. However, coral reefs have been decreasing in many seas around the world since they are vulnerable even to small changes in water temperature and quality. Some experts even warn that most of the world's coral reefs could be lost by the end of this century if no effective measures are taken. 

Protecting coral reefs, an invaluable resource of the earth 
Agenda 21, an action plan adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit) in 1992 stressed the importance of protecting coral reefs. Based on this plan, the International Coral Reef 
Initiative (ICRI) was established in 1994 to stop coral reef depletion and work toward their recovery.


“Learn, Visit and Protect” the coral reefs! 2008 is the International Year of the Reef. 
Next year, 2008, has been designated as the International Year of the Reef, during which many activities will be held on a global basis to enhance public understanding of coral reefs. NGOs, governments, researchers, businesses and citizens alike will work together, joining coral reef conservation programs led by ICRI and other organizations. 

http://www.iyor.jp/ (in Japanese only) 

The Republic of Palau and Japan co-chaired the ICRI from last year until June this year, playing a leading role in preparation for the International Year of the Reef initiative. 

Environmental calendar created by an environmental measuring instrument manufacturer 
In 1994 when the ICRI was established, HORIBA, a manufacturer of measuring instruments focusing on the environment, began creating and distributing company calendars featuring themes related to life and environment to help promote public awareness toward global environmental conservation. 
For each version we use different motifs such as bird eggs and endangered species, to impress calendar users with the preciousness and importance of ecosystems on the earth. One of our past versions actually featured more than 360 species, some of which are not covered even in major illustrated reference guides. Therefore, some people are interested in our calendars because they appreciate them as a valuable information material. 

Participation in promotion and education efforts for coral reef protection through company calendars. 
Based on a suggestion from Dr. Makoto Omori, Director of the Akajima Marine Science Laboratory (Okinawa), who also works with ICRI activities, we have chosen coral reefs as the motif for our company calendar for 2008, which is also the International Year of the Reef. 
We thank Dr. Omori and leading Japanese coral researchers who provided support through Dr. Omori for their great cooperation and contributions that enabled the creation of the calendar, which features 380 kinds of coral. 

Akajima Marine Science Laboratory (http://www.amsl.or.jp/eng/) 

• Stony corals: Prof. Moritaka Nishihira (Meio University, Dept. of International Studies) 

http://www.meio-u.ac.jp/ (in Japanese only) 
• Soft corals: Dr. Yukimitsu Imahara (Wakayama Prefecture Nature Museum)

http://www.shizenhaku.wakayama-c.ed.jp/ (in Japanese only) 
• Soft corals: Dr. Fumihito Iwase (Kuroshio Biological Research Foundation) 

http://www.kuroshio.or.jp/ (in Japanese only) 

Coral reefs are an indicator of changes in water temperature and quality; beautiful coral reefs are a symbol of a sound sea environment. 
Our calendar mainly features pictures of reef-building corals taken in Japanese coastal seas, which were collected thanks to cooperation from the experts above. Each page has the logo of the International Year of the Reef and an explanation of the coral to help enhance public awareness of coral reefs and the campaign. 
In 2008, designated as the International Year of the Reef, initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions will also be commenced in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol. Having been engaged in environment-related activities for many years, we would be highly delighted if this calendar could help enhance 
public awareness of the global environment and thereby contribute to promoting more environmental conservation. 

Dr. Makoto Omori (Director, Akajima Marine Science Laboratory) 
The amount of wealth generated by coral reefs around the world is estimated at nearly 375 million US dollars per annum. In tropical regions, more than 100 million people rely on the blessings of coral reefs in their daily lives. 
But coral reefs are now being lost rapidly due to pollution, land exploitation and coral bleaching as a result of human activities. There is even a pessimistic estimation that most existing coral reefs could be destroyed by 2100 if this situation does not change. 
Coral reefs are home for a wide variety of living creatures. Talking about stony corals alone, approximately 800 species are known to live around those stony corals (reef-building corals) which form coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Several decades ago, many people used to think 
that such reef-building corals were simply stones or rocks. Despite their appearance, they are in fact living creatures. Sound ecosystems around coral reefs can be maintained only when abundant species including the corals themselves can properly grow in the sea. The year 2008 was designated as the International Year of the Reef to enhance public understanding of coral reefs on a global basis. This calendar, which is created as a part of these efforts, features various kinds of coral, including stony corals and soft corals, as well as coral jewelry. Enjoy this astonishing collection of various and amazing sea corals.