2015 OISCA Mt. Fuji Reforestation Project
Approximately 180 people took trouble of participating in the annual reforestation event organized by OISCA on Saturday, May 30 at the project site located 1,600 meters above sea level on the foot of Mt. Fuji, the highest and legendary mountain in Japan which was listed as the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 2013. The event was co-sponsored by Yamanashi Prefectural Government and other stakeholders which are members of the Mt. Fuji Nature Restoration Council, a committee comprising OISCA, local government officials, forestry researchers, collaborating companies and representatives of NGOs. The participants included young and senior Japanese volunteers who are OISCA members from the Metropolitan Tokyo Area, Fukushima, Yamanashi, Nagano, Shizuoka and Shikoku Region, representatives of supporting companies, local government officials and forestry experts, OISCA foreign trainees and also Tokyo-based foreign diplomats (Cambodia, Colombia, Fiji, India, Israel, Malaysia and the Philippines).
At the opening ceremony held at Mt. Fuji Visitors’ Center, Mr. Hideaki Oshiba, Director of the Eastern regional forestry office, Yamanashi Prefecture, made an opening speech. Dr. Yoshiko Nakano, President of OISCA International, also delivered an address emphasizing the significance of the reforestation project.
Despite the swelteringly hot weather, all the participants braved to plant a total of 650 seedlings of broad-leaved species such as Prunus jamasakura. After planting, they installed individual plastic nets around to protect the saplings from increasing wild deer.
At the closing ceremony, Mr. Gilberto Asuque, Deputy Chief of Mission in the Philippines Embassy, who represented the diplomatic corps affirmed, “The project is a good example of collaborative efforts among the diverse sectors. It has been a valuable learning experience for all of us to help conserve the Mother Earth and we need to continue this noble endeavor”.
Since 2007, OISCA has been working with the other stakeholders for promoting the Mt. Fuji reforestation project to restore part of the 100 hectare artificially regenerated forest.