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Restore 100 Hectares of the Miyagi Coastal Forest

by OISCA International
Restore 100 Hectares of the Miyagi Coastal Forest
Restore 100 Hectares of the Miyagi Coastal Forest
Restore 100 Hectares of the Miyagi Coastal Forest
Restore 100 Hectares of the Miyagi Coastal Forest
Restore 100 Hectares of the Miyagi Coastal Forest
Restore 100 Hectares of the Miyagi Coastal Forest
Restore 100 Hectares of the Miyagi Coastal Forest
Restore 100 Hectares of the Miyagi Coastal Forest
Restore 100 Hectares of the Miyagi Coastal Forest
Restore 100 Hectares of the Miyagi Coastal Forest
Restore 100 Hectares of the Miyagi Coastal Forest
Restore 100 Hectares of the Miyagi Coastal Forest
Restore 100 Hectares of the Miyagi Coastal Forest
Restore 100 Hectares of the Miyagi Coastal Forest
Aerial view of our project site.
Aerial view of our project site.

On behalf of OISCA International, I wish to extend my gratitude to GlobalGiving donors for their generous support to our project. Our project helped catalyzed the revitalization of the devastated communities as it involves the tsunami survivors in seedling production, tree planting, and forestry maintenance. We are the only organization entrusted by the Japanese government with more than 100-ha to reforest. Other organizations are maintaining an average of 0.5-ha.

It has been 10 years since we started our project and through the funds that we have raised, we have provided jobs to more than 8,448 tsunami survivors and forest workers; mobilized 11,379 volunteers; and educated 38,212 people through our report sessions, symposiums, and photo exhibitions.

In our nursery, we are raising a total of 30,000 black-pine seedlings and by October 2020, we will maintain a total of 361,748 seedlings planted over an area of 103.04 hectares. Prior to transplanting, we grow our seedlings at our nursery for 2 years. Well-acclimated and long been exposed to relatively the same environment, our seedlings can easily adopt to the site`s elements. For 7 consecutive years, we have 99% survival rate and this we attribute to the excellent condition of seedlings, use of polymer, and tapping of professional forest workers for the tree planting and site maintenance. At first, we faced problem related with the site`s poor water drainage but it is being solved by making canals with the help of volunteers.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government and forest experts are recognizing our seedlings for their ability to withstand the harshest weather conditions. Our site is exposed to Yamase (northeasterly cold wind blowing from May to August), Zao Oroshi (western dry and cold wind blowing from December to April), and typhoon season from September through November. These natural occurrences affect the survival of black-pines as they grow mainly in spring with an average of 50 cm.

Our efforts and commitment to have excellent results are now gradually paying off. The 5-km-long and almost 0.3-km-wide planting site (tallest black-pine is now 5 meters high) now serves as natural barrier from wind-blown sand, salt sprays, and strong winds within 1-km distance. This include the rebuilt 350 agricultural greenhouses and the infrastructures at Sendai Airport.

In line with the global fight against climate change, the growing black-pines now contribute to offsetting carbon dioxide emissions and sequestering about 213.84 tons of carbon dioxide/year. According to the experts, 1 person emits 0.320 tons of carbon dioxide/year and 1 car emits 2.3tons/year. With this, our site can now absorb carbon dioxide emissions of 668 person and/or emissions of 93 cars. After 15 years, based on our calculations, our site can possibly absorb more than 900 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Moreover, as the vegetation cover increases, our project is helping in the restoration of biodiversity. According to the survey result of Miyagi Forest Management, a number of known to be endangered species of plants were observed and different species of animals such as snakes, foxes, raccoons, rats, eagles (6 species), hawks, and dragonflies are now commonly observed in our site.

Our project is now gaining support and recognition within and outside Japan. It is one of the recipients of the “First Infrastructure Maintenance Grand Award” from the Japanese government.

Canal making helped improved site`s water drainage
Canal making helped improved site`s water drainage
Constant weeding crucial to seedlings` survival
Constant weeding crucial to seedlings` survival
Growing of black pines at OISCA nursery.
Growing of black pines at OISCA nursery.
Project promotion to increase number of volunteers
Project promotion to increase number of volunteers
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growing black pine seedlings
growing black pine seedlings

Nine years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. The Coastal Forest Restoration Project in Natori which started on March 17 of the same year marks the 10th year and the final year of the first 10-year project. So far, the project has been going on better than expected without mass withering of black pines and fallen trees by typhoons and strong wind. We would like to express our deep thanks to those who have supported our project. This year, as the preparatory year for the second 10-year project, we will make an effort to cooperate with the government, accept volunteers for field works and put more of a force to promotional activities

Osaka Marathon, started in 2011, is a leading citizen participation type marathon in Japan, of the scale second only to Tokyo Marathon. It is a charity event that aims to raise funds among the runners and roadside cheering people. For 7 consecutive years, including the 2020 Osaka Marathon, OISCA (Coastal Forest Restoration Project) is selected as one of the charity recipient organizations. The registration fee of 70,000 Japanese yen or 700 US dollars paid by an individual charity runner is donated to his/her selected charity recipient organizations such as OISCA.

We are fortunate and appreciative of the foreign runners from Australia, the Philippines, and Taiwan supported our endeavor. The entry for charity runners this year will start on April 23. We are waiting for your entry as charity runners! For further details, please have a look at the official home page of Osaka Marathon.

http://www.osaka-marathon.com/index_en.html

Project site`s latest aerial photo
Project site`s latest aerial photo
OISCA charity runners
OISCA charity runners
charity runners from the Philippines
charity runners from the Philippines
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Shukuko, tsunami survivor and project core member
Shukuko, tsunami survivor and project core member

On behalf of the beneficiaries of our project, particularly the core members of the Association for the Restoration of Coastal Forest in Natori City, we wish to extend our sincerest gratitude for your kindness and generosity.

Shukuko (Ms.), one of the core members of the Association and in charge in weeding and watering of the black pine seedlings at the nursery mentioned how she wanted to meet all the supporters and volunteers to thank them individually. Since this is not possible, she is showing her appreciation by contributing and giving her best to produce good quality of seedlings.

Shukuko works almost every day at the nursery. According to her, tending to the seedlings is not difficult because of the expertise of Mr. Koichi, overall in charge of the project. At the nursery, Shukuko acts like the eyes and ears of Mr. Koichi. She notices immediately when there is strange thing that is happening such as the sudden wilting of seedlings, which she then reports to Mr. Koichi. Among other factors, we attribute the success of our seedling production from the action of Shukuko.

It has been 8 years since the March 2011 disaster yet Shukuko still remembers the strange sound of tsunami and the murky color of water. The water was already high and there was no place to escape. She felt lucky that their house had a second floor so she managed to survive.

Getting involved into the project and working with her fellow survivors helped Shukuko in recovering from the trauma caused by the disaster. As they worked together to achieve the goal of restoring the damaged coastal forest, they develop a sense of camaraderie and belongingness- exact opposite of the sense of isolation that they felt when they were relocated after the tsunami.

Seed sowing at OISCA nursery
Seed sowing at OISCA nursery
Shukoku with the other survivors.
Shukoku with the other survivors.
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Maintenance of the project site by the volunteers.
Maintenance of the project site by the volunteers.

Black pine trees sown in the spring of 2012 have now grown into 5 meters high (same height of an adult giraffe). It has been 8 and a half years since the start of our project and we have raised 72% (as of the end of August 2019) of the needed fund. We are deeply appreciative of your generous support.

We have mobilized a total of 10,920 volunteers who helped us in nurturing the planted black pines. We value the presence of the volunteers and we do not consider them as a free workforce. In this regard, we let them understand the significance of coastal forest, the importance of the field work, and the immediate need of carrying the work now. We use tools such as hoes and sickles in the field work. We are grateful that we have not encountered any major accidents or injuries. We think that it is because the participants understood well the working environment and they have a strong grasp of the content and value of the field work.

After finishing tidying up the tools, we gather all the volunteers and ask 5 participants of their impressions. A common answer is that they get attached with the black pine and are looking forward to seeing their growth. It may not be scientific, but we believe that the love of the more than 10,000 people who get involved with the project helped in the steady growth of the black pines. One volunteer commented that she maybe weak, but not helpless, and that her contribution can not be done by machines. One person can do little work in one day, yet the power of 10,000 people is a great force.

Meanwhile, one volunteer who happened to be a staff of IBEX Airlines (aircraft expert) based at Sendai Airport mentioned about the anti-fog effect of coastal forest. He clearly understood the significance of growing black pines and its impact to his work, so he is committed to continue volunteering.

It might take time before the coastal forest fully function as a green infrastructure and will impact the life of the local people. We intend to continue nurturing our black pines with the help of our volunteers and expert forest workers. We would like to solicit for your continued and warm support.

Briefing prior to the actual site maintenance.
Briefing prior to the actual site maintenance.
Project site`s aerial view with the volunteers.
Project site`s aerial view with the volunteers.
Volunteers while sharing their impressions.
Volunteers while sharing their impressions.
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Aerial view of our reforestation project
Aerial view of our reforestation project

It has been eight years since we started our project and we are now on the process of transitioning to another level. During the project`s peak period, rows of 8,900 pots containing 200,000 seedlings were a common sighting at the nursery. In the summer season, it takes four hours for two members of the Association for the Restoration of Coastal Forest in Natori to water the seedlings.

Since 2014, we planted a total of 350,000 black-pine seedlings in an area of 67 hectares. At the nursery, we are raising seedlings to plant in 6-hectare area in 2020. Despite the poor soil condition, the black-pines have grown noticeable fast that the highest reached up to 4-meter high. The growth speed is faster than initially predicted and to have a healthy coastal forest, full-fledged thinning is necessary in a few years.

Meanwhile, the wooden windbreak fences that protected the black-pines from cold and dry wind are now gradually degrading. In preparation for the smooth thinning process in the future, we intend to remove these fences.

The increase of vegetation in our project site contributed to the gradual restoration of the area`s biodiversity as manifested by the presence of racoons, weasels, raptors, dragonflies, and reappearance of known to be extinct species of plants.

In March 2019, Miyagi Prefectural Government established a Disaster Prevention Forest Review Committee involving the local government with coastal forests. The committee aims to study future management system of the coastal forests in terms of preventing and mitigating disasters.

While the field is steadily changing, the outpour of support from private corporations, organizations, and private individuals is still consistent. The letter with a message “I am very glad to see that green is steadily regenerated by the people with good intentions in a wide and harsh environment” that we received from one of our supporters is heartwarming.

We are heartily grateful to the supporters of our project.

Our project supports the return of wildlife.
Our project supports the return of wildlife.
Growing black-pines and the degrading wooden fence
Growing black-pines and the degrading wooden fence
Volunteers maintaining our nursery.
Volunteers maintaining our nursery.
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Organization Information

OISCA International

Location: Suginami-ku, Tokyo - Japan
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Ma. Grazen Acerit
Suginami-ku, Tokyo Japan
$14,282 raised of $25,000 goal
 
83 donations
$10,718 to go
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