OISCA Organized Reforestation Event on Mt. Fuji
In cooperation with other stakeholders, OISCA organized on June 4 a reforestation event in the area of 1,600 meters above sea level on the foot of Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest and most celebrated mountain which was designated the World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO in 2013. About 180 people including members of the OISCA Branches in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, Fukushima, Yamanashi, Nagano, Shizuoka and Shikoku region, representatives from the OISCA supporting companies, local government officials, forestry experts, foreign trainees from the OISCA Chubu and Shikoku Training Centers and also foreign diplomats (Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar), actively participated in the annual event.
Before starting field activities at the mountain project site, the participants attended the opening ceremony at Mt. Fuji Visitors’ Center. Mr. Hiroshi Kitta, Director of the Eastern regional forestry office, Yamanashi Prefectural Government, made an opening speech in which he emphasized the importance of continuing the project for beautifying Mt. Fuji viewed as a sacred symbol of the nation. Mr. Yasuaki Nagaishi, OISCA`s Secretary-General delivered a message to welcome all the participants. Then, Dr. Kunihiro Seido, OISCA Forestry Technical Adviser, made a short speech on the significance of the reforestation.
Divided into 12 different groups, the participants moved by mini buses and then walked up to the respective working zones. Under the guidance of professional forestry workers, the volunteers planted a total of 440 seedlings of various broad-leaved species. Afterwards, they installed plastic nets around the planted seedlings to protect from wild deer. Some participants confessed that it has been very tough and tiring to protect and develop forests.
At the closing ceremony, Mr. Julio Seliman, Minister-Counselor in the Embassy of the Dominican Republic, who assumed his post in Japan barely 10 days ago, stated his impressions: “I was very impressed by this nature conservation activity. The project is well organized and coordinated among the diverse sectors. We would like to emulate the excellent organizational strength of OISCA and its partners in our country.”
The Mt. Fuji forest development project was launched in 2007 by the Mt. Fuji Nature Restoration Council, a body comprising OISCA, local government offices, forestry researchers, supporting private companies and representatives of NGOs, for the purpose of restoring the forest trees plagued by pests and wild animals such as deer.