Coastal Forest Restoration Project in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture

Year Started 2011
Name of Coordinator Mr. Yoshida Toshimichi
  • Facing the Pacific Ocean, Natori City in Miyagi Prefecture is one of the areas severely damaged by the March 11, 2011 tsunami. Based on the data of the Japan`s Forest Agency, more than 3,600 hectares of coastal forest in Tohoku Region were uprooted and wiped out by the 13 meters high tsunami. Almost half of the damaged coastal forests are in Miyagi Prefecture with an approximate area of 1,700 hectares including the black pine trees planted 400 years ago in Natori City. 
  • The local people particularly the farmers whose lands had been shielded by the coastal vegetation are now exposed and vulnerable from strong winds, salt damage and blown sand from the sea coast. Because of these problems, the local farmers are having difficulty producing good quality of vegetables thereby affecting their source of livelihood. 
  • Activities of the project include the provision of immediate source of income among the disaster-affected farmers through sub-contracting them to raise black pine seedlings to be planted along the damaged coastal area of Natori City in Miyagi Prefecture. 
  • Increase the level of awareness of the general public on the importance of coastal forest conservation to mitigate the impact of natural disasters. 
  • Mobilize volunteers through actual project site tours, hands-on experience in seedling preparations, tree planting and weeding and organizing symposiums/conferences. 
Project Target
  • The project aims at restoring the damaged coastal forest by planting 500,000 seedlings of black pine and other tree species over an area of 100 hectares in a period of 10 years up to 2020. The total amount of budget is estimated to reach 1 billion yen including management and maintenance cost until 2033, to be raised entirely through donations from private corporations, organizations and individuals. 
Project Implementation
  • OISCA and the Association for the Restoration of Coastal Forest, a body formed by the disaster-affected local farmers carried out the first sowing of black pine seeds at the nursery in March 2012 and the first tree planting two years later in April 2014. By the end of 2017, a total of 265,522 seedlings have been planted, and the survival rate has recorded more than 98% over the 4 years.
  • The cumulative total of persons employed in the project numbered 6,013 at the end of January 2018 and is expected to reach about 14,000 persons by 2033.
  • Volunteers who participated in the various reforestation activities numbered 5,118 individuals over 4 years since 2013.
  • The total amount of donations and grant raised has reached roughly 590 million yen by the end of January 2018.
Project Impact
  • The project is helping in the recovery of the disaster-hit local residents, particularly farmers of Natori City. The action will contribute to the establishment of a natural barrier that will help protect the residents and their agricultural crops from wind-blown sands and salt sprays. 
Project Location  Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan