At some point, we thought that corona has subsided, but in July, there was a surge again and quite a number of people was infected. Across Japan, vaccination is progressing gradually, but the emergence of new strains made future infection trends unclear.
In May, we scheduled our reforestation related activities with the help of volunteers, including the representatives of the companies supporting our project. Due to corona, we have no choice but to cancel all of them. We are lucky enough that we have our sub-contracted local forest workers who are helping us with the site maintenance. From September through October this year, we will organize events to mobilize volunteers to help us in the maintenance of our site. We are hoping though that there will be no corona surges.
Meanwhile, on the 16th of July, we conducted a population survey of Japanese bush warbler in cooperation with Dr. Morimoto of Yamashina Institute of Ornithology. The survey`s objective is to assess the forest condition, and evaluate the impact of our reforestation project. Birds are known to be good indicators of sustainable forest management.
We started doing bird survey since last year. This year, we originally planned to carry it out as part of our volunteer activities. However, corona problem and time constraints (survey can only be done from May to July), we have no choice but to do it on our own.
The survey method includes assigning 10 survey points within our 100-hectare reforestation site. At the survey points, within the 50-meter radius, we listened to bird calls for five-minute intervals. In general, it is difficult to identify bird calls unless you are an expert. This is the reason why we chose warblers, because they have distinct calls that can be easily identified.
Doing bird survey needs a lot of patience and concentration. It may be difficult for us to provide a result since we are still on the survey`s initial stage. In spite of this, we are happy to share with our GlobalGiving donors how are efforts are gradually paying off. Despite the difficult site condition (located at 1,500 meter-high, our planted trees are exposed to strong winds, typhoon in summer, and heavy snow in winter), our planted trees are thriving.
We thank you for your continuous support. Under much better circumstances, we are hoping that you could visit our project site.
We wish to extend our sincerest gratitude to GlobalGiving donors for your generous support.
Based on the survey result that we conducted last year, we found out that 25% of the growing trees that we have planted in our site are in great need of tender loving care. Strong typhoons that hit Japan, heavy snow falls in winter season, and deer infestation affect the growth or worse will result to their mortality. We felt the immediate need to re-raise the fallen trees, replace the rotting bamboo sticks, and reinstall the nets to guarantee the survival rate of our project site. Unfortunately, because of corona, we have no choice but to cancel all the scheduled volunteer related activities. As a consequence, we are lagging behind the schedule.
From October to early November 2020, within our network (OISCA staff and OISCA members), we managed to recover a total of 1,100 fallen trees with the help of local foresters. It is impossible for us to implement activities from December to April 2021 because of snow, but our activities will resume in May 2021.
Meanwhile, as part of our endeavor to promote the sustainable use of Mt. Fuji’s resources, we are supporting the launch of small and medium-size local businesses venturing into the utilization of forest resources. One of these companies venture into the extraction of aroma oil from shirabe trees. In February, we donated 1,000 pieces of 30ml shirabe aroma alcohol spray to health care centers and healthcare personnel’s fighting corona.
On March 25, we organized a general meeting involving the 21 companies and organizations involved in our project to discuss the project`s current situation and future plans on how to cope up with the corona situation.
We wish to extend our deepest gratitude to GlobalGiving donors for your generous support.
We are happy to share with you the good news.
On October 17, OISCA was one of the organizations that received the Environmental Award from the Japanese Government. This is in recognition to more than 13 years of initiative to restore Mt. Fuji’s forest ecosystem by planting broad-lead species of trees in collaboration with various companies and volunteers.
The saplings of Japanese oak, beech, wild cherry, alder, and maple that we started to plant in 2007 have grown into an average of 5 meters high (the tallest have reached 10 meters high). Unfortunately, these growing trees are vulnerable from extreme weather condition such as typhoons, strong winds, heavy snow falls, and deer infestation. We have been doing various interventions with the help of volunteers to protect these trees to guarantee their survival. However, due to corona, the site maintenance activities involving volunteers that we planned to implement this year were all canceled. With the help of sub-contracted forest workers and our staff, we raised up the growing trees that have collapsed and re-installed nets and bamboo sticks to protect them from deer. Despite our efforts, we just managed to cover only 40% of our target area this year. We are still far behind the schedule.
With your support, we hope to raise more funds to enable us to buy materials such as nets and bamboo sticks needed for the site maintenance, hire more professional forest workers, and transportation cost of staff to the site. If we can sustain our project and with continuous proper maintenance, we hope that these growing broad-leaf species of trees will gradually replace the monoculture shirabe forest of Mt. Fuji. Inspired by the noticeable improvement of biodiversity within our 100 hectares project site, with your support, we are committed to hasten Mt. Fuji`s regeneration.
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