Maintenance of the Reforestation Project at Mt. Fuji
Together with the other members of Mt. Fuji Reforestation Project Council, we organized the activity of maintaining our reforestation project at Mt. Fuji on July 6 (Saturday) despite the poor weather condition. Joined by the 150 participants including, Tokyo-based diplomats, OISCA members, OISCA trainees, private companies, local government officials, and forestry experts.
Deputy Director of the Eastern Regional Forestry and Environment Office, Yamanashi Prefecture welcomed all the participants during the opening ceremony. It was followed by a speech of Ms. Etsuko Nakano, President of OISCA Japan emphasizing the importance of collaboration in terms of protecting the biodiversity of Mt. Fuji (certified as a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2013).
Divided into 10 different groups, the participants were guided by professional forestry workers to replace the old bamboo poles and nets with new ones to protect the planted seedlings from wild deer. We had to cut short the activity because of the rain. After lunch break, Dr. Kunihiro Seido, OISCA Forestry Technical Adviser and member of the Reforestation Project Council presented the background and significance of the project.
Started in 2007 in collaboration with 20 different stakeholders, the project aims to improve the biodiversity of the 100-hectare area using 5 different local species of trees, including Japanese maple, beech, Japanese oak, wild cherry trees, and Japanese alder. Solely planted with Veitch fir locally known as shirabe, the project site was damaged by moth infestation.
During his presentation, Dr. Seido emphasized the importance of collaboration and sharing a common goal among the stakeholders in terms of restoring the biodiversity of Mt. Fuji, educating and involving the public on this endeavor, and improving the economic condition of the local communities as they get involved in the reforestation management.
Representing the diplomatic corps, H.E. Ms. Melba Maria Pria, Ambassador of Mexico stated how they were appreciative of the opportunity to be part of the Reforestation Project of Mt. Fuji aiming for 100 years ahead and it was a delight to help Japan in their small way.