Conservation and Restoration of Lake Biwa, and the Mother Lake Goals (the Lake Biwa version of SDGs)

Author(s): OsvaldTakayuki Mochizuki
Email (s):
Institution or organization of origin: Shiga Prefectural Government
Country: Japan


I would like to explain about environmental measures of the past and present of the Lake Biwa, Japan. I would like to start off from the citizen’s movement which was remembered as Soap Movement in the late 70s. The housewives announced not to use synthetic detergent but to use soap instead, after when they knew the cause of the occurrence of the fresh water red tide was the use of the synthetic detergent. That movement led to enact the ordinance “the Eutrophication Prevention Ordinance” by the Shiga prefectural government in 1980. Other measures are the water quality improvement, the fishery production, the countermeasure to the non-native species of fish and plants, etc. Then, I would like to explain about the mechanism of the full-overturn of the lake’s surface and bottom water, which supplies oxygen down to the bottom of the lake. That full-overturn did not occur for two years in a row, which may be considered by the global warming. Furthermore, the citizens and government joint participation which was called Mother Lake Forum and lasted for 10 years, was transformed to the Mother Lake Goals promotion committee in 2021. They made Mother Lake Goals (MLGs) as the Lake Biwa version of the SDGs. The MLGs serve as a bridge between individual action at the local level and the SDGs. I would like to talk about the MLGs with 13 goals which we set after the intense discussion with various entities.

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