World Wide Fund for Nature Japan (WWF Japan)
Sony Group Corporation.
SynecO, Inc.

February 19, 2024

WWF Japan, WWF-Indonesia, Sony Group and SynecO launch pilot project to utilize Synecoculture™ for forest restoration in Sumatra

World Wide Fund for Nature Japan ("WWF Japan"), Yayasan WWF Indonesia ("WWF-Indonesia"), Sony Group Corporation ("Sony") and SynecO, Inc. (“SynecO”) today announced the launch of a pilot project to introduce Synecoculture™, an agricultural method that utilizes the self-organizing function of ecosystems, to critical areas of forests in Sumatra, Indonesia. The project aims to verify the effectiveness of Synecoculture in forest restoration activities in the places where manual work is constrained.

In April 2021, WWF Japan and Sony signed a three-year WWF Corporate Partnership Agreement to step up their collaboration in tackling climate change and conserving biodiversity through forest conservation, and to bring about a healthy global environment. The two parties will further collaborate to introduce Synecoculture into critical areas of forests where WWF-Indonesia has been implementing a project to conserve forests and biodiversity towards the realization of a nature positive future. In cooperation with the local community, the project will measure the effects of Synecoculture on forest restoration in the area over a period of approximately one year, until the end of 2024. Through these activities, the project aims to both contribute to the continuation of multi-generational use of forests and habitat recovery for biodiversity, and contribute to the local community in the long term.

Main aspects of the pilot project
WWF Japan and WWF-Indonesia have been engaged in forest restoration activities in Sungai Abu village, Solok District, West Sumatra Province, Indonesia to conserve wildlife and biodiversity endangered due to the destruction of tropical forests. In order to ensure the required sunlight for the planted trees and to help their growth, it is necessary to manage the undergrowth for about four years after planting. However, the activity areas are on steep ground and manual work is difficult and inefficient. With this pilot project, strategic vegetation introduction and management of ecological succession based on the Synecoculture concept aims for efficient and diverse vegetation establishment even on steep slopes.

In addition, since Synecoculture enables production of a wide variety of useful plants, this project also aims to provide opportunities to diversify income sources of the local community where rice and fruit trees are the main agricultural produce. This could also improve the livelihoods of the local community.

Through this project, SynecO will provide WWF-Indonesia and the local community with lectures and workshops on Synecoculture, consultation and maintenance for the start-up of the plots, and planning and analysis of effectiveness measurement. WWF Japan and WWF-Indonesia will be in charge of overall preparation and securing cooperation of local stakeholders for smooth operations of setting up and managing the plots, collecting necessary data and measuring the effectiveness of the project.

Survey of the critical areas of the forests

Survey of the critical areas of the forests

About Synecoculture
Synecoculture is an agricultural method that eliminates the need for the plowing, fertilizing, and use of agrochemicals that impact the environment, by taking maximum advantage of the self-organizing functions such as material circulation that occur naturally in ecosystems, aiming to create rich ecosystems with a diverse mix of plants that coexist and thrive.

This cultivation method, advocated by Masatoshi Funabashi, President and Representative Director of SynecO and a senior researcher at Sony Computer Science Laboratories Inc., achieves biodiversity and ecosystem functions that exceed natural conditions, through active intervention by human activities. It is characterized by a comprehensive approach that makes multi-faceted uses of ecosystem, that considers not only food production but also the impact on areas such as the environment and health.

SynecO is working to establish a Synecoculture management system※1 around the world that utilizes Sony’s technologies, such as big data analysis that help cultivate plants in accordance with each local climate, and high-precision compact sensors to help manage farms.

*1 A system that can collect and assess ecological data not only from Synecoculture fields, but also from a wide range of natural environments, and from urban and residential areas.

Sony’s Initiatives with WWF Japan
WWF Japan leads a wide range of environmental conservation projects that help build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. Sony also promotes environmental activities and has launched its long-term environmental plan “Road to Zero” ※2 to achieve a “zero environmental footprint” by 2050, while supporting and working together with WWF Japan for more than three decades since 1989.

WWF Japan and Sony will continue to work together to build a sustainable future and a decarbonized society in which humans live in harmony with nature.

 1989~ Joined the WWF Corporate Club, made donations associated with employee activities, provided support including product donations
 1991 Donated the proceeds of a charity sale
 2006~ Participated in the Climate Savers programme
 2011~ Supported the Project for Forest Conservation in Sumatra
 2013~ Joined the “Consortium for Sustainable Paper Use (CSPU)” ※3 as a founding member
 2015 In partnership with WWF, became the first Japanese company to receive approval from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) ※4
 2017 Donated the proceeds of a charity auction of the autonomous entertainment robot “aibo”
 2021 Signed a Corporate Partnership Agreement

*2 Sony’s long-term environmental plan announced in 2010, striving to achieve a zero environmental footprint throughout the life cycle of our products and business activities by 2050. Road to Zero sets a series of specific goals based on four environmental perspectives and six product life cycle stages. In May 2022, Sony made the decision to bring forward the target year of achieving a zero environmental footprint in the climate change area by ten years from 2050 to 2040. For more information, click here. (
*3 “Consortium for Sustainable Paper Use (CSPU)”: In collaboration with Response Ability, Inc. and WWF Japan, this consortium was established in November 2013 by five companies as part of their advanced efforts for utilization of socially and environmentally conscious paper. It aimed to increase and spread the sustainable paper use across society. Another five entities also joined, and a total of 12 businesses and organizations took part.
*4 An international initiative that encourages companies to set reduction targets consistent with scientific findings toward the goal of limiting the increase in global average temperature due to climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

About WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) Japan


WWF is a global environmental conservation organization established in Switzerland in 1961. To build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, WWF is currently promoting environment projects in more than 100 countries to protect rare wildlife species, preserve natural environments such as forests and oceans, promote sustainable use of natural resources, and prevent global warming, among many other things.
[WWF Japan Website]
[WWF-Indonesia official website]

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About Sony Group Corporation


Sony Group Corporation is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. From Game & Network Services to Music, Pictures, Entertainment Technology & Services, Imaging & Sensing Solutions and Financial Services - Sony's purpose is to fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology.
[Sony Group Website]

SynecO, Inc.


A wholly owned subsidiary of Sony that promotes businesses specializing in environmental technologies related to augmented ecosystems, such as Synecoculture. The inaugural project of the Corporate Venture Capital (Sony Innovation Fund: Environment), which Sony established in September 2020 as an initiative to foster new environmental technologies.
[SynecO Website]

Media inquiries:
Press Communications,WWF
Corporate Communications Department, Sony Group Corporation