State Minister for Reconstruction visited Natori Coastal Forest Restoration Project Site in Miyagi
On February 9, Mr. Toru Doi, State Minister for Reconstruction, accompanied by 4 other officials of the Reconstruction Agency paid a visit on an observation tour to OISCA Coastal Forest Restoration Project site in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture.
The Reconstruction Agency is the principal agency of the government tasked with the reconstruction process following the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake which devastated the Pacific coastal areas of the Tohoku Region. Its main role is to accelerate structural reconstruction and revitalization in the affected areas by supporting implementation of government policies and managing coordination of reconstruction strategy and initiatives among various branches of national and local governments.
State Minister Doi and the officials started the on-site observation by visiting the nursery where black pine seedlings are being raised in pots for next tree planting and then, moved to the planting site along the coast and toured around the different sections in which a total of 265,522 seedlings have been planted over the past 4 years since April 2014.
After the on-site visit, the observation team made significant comments on the Natori Project. “Usually, the local people tend to depend on the government for the reconstruction of infrastructure. But the Coastal Forest Restoration Project is carried out proactively by OISCA in collaboration with the disaster-hit local residents and could be a model case not only in Tohoku Region but nationwide. We are very impressed by the private-sector led initiative and operation which is financed solely by donations from private corporations, organizations and individuals. The systematically implemented activities help guarantee project sustainability and continuity.”
In 2018, OISCA and the Association for the Restoration of Coastal Forest (a group formed by the disaster-affected local farmers) are planning to plant about 85,000 seedlings over 17-hectares of land.