Many Japanese express considerable interest in environmental problems but few Japanese get involved in social action programs for environment. How do Japanese fill this gap between high level of environmental interest and low level of participation in social action? Keeping in mind this gap problem, we tried to clarify the ordinary people's sense of participation in environmental practices through a case study.
The target activity is a bird-watching trip aimed to enlighten the participants about the necessity of bird conservation and to get funds by donations from them. This activity expects two types of participation. One is to support economically by paying donation. The other is to support physically or mentally by becoming volunteer staff.
We did a questionnaire survey on the Internet, targeted at Hiroshima city residents. The questions were about the impression of this bird-watching trip, the intention to participate in this trip, the will of participation as volunteer staff, amount of donation, answerer's avocation and character, answerer's life style for environment and so on.
The findings are as follows.
1) Many answerers don't recognize this activity as a bird conservation activity, but as a kind of environment educational tour program.
2) The rates of answerers who want to participate in the trip and to participate as volunteer staff are less than 10 percents. But the rates of answerers who mark "I could participate" attain 30-40 percents.
3) The amount of donation per head is 1,000-3,000 yen on average.
4) The character of answerers who want to participate as volunteer staff is quite different from that of answerers who agree to pay a high donation.
5) There is a trend that answerers who want to participate as volunteer staff lead an environmentally oriented life, have a sense of environmental crisis or accept constraints in order to conserve nature. They are enterprising persons. They like to camp, to take photos or to walk around mountains. On the other hand, answerers who agree to pay a high donation don't show any significant characteristics.