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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
First batch of seedlings planted in the site.
First batch of seedlings planted in the site.

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to those who have been continuously supporting the OISCA project through Global Giving since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 and at the same time, to report on the latest situation at the project site.

Through your support, the following activities are made possible.

  • Maintaining a total of 180,000 nursery seedlings
  • Planted a total of 56,000 seedlings in the area of 11 hectares
  • Employed a total of 1,000 people
  • Mobilized 2,000 volunteers
  • Organized report meetings and promotions 30 times and attended by 5,000 people

Our efforts in the disaster recovery work is gaining support and recognition within and outside Japan. In terms of seedling production, despite being an amateur in the competition as the best seedling producer, OISCA Natori Nursery was hailed as second among the 23 nurseries within Miyagi Prefecture. In order to produce high quality seedlings, the survivors have to control the water supply, fertilizer application and the the1-year-old black pines have to be elevated above the ground to meet the ideal size of 25-35 cm height of seedlings. At least twice a year, the nursery has to be sanitized to control the spread of diseases that could affect the growth of the seedlings. At least 5 months before transplanting, container seedlings have to be spread out with a distance of 20 cm for the seedlings to have an ample amount of air and sunlight, factors that are crucial to their survival.

The scope of the project is too big that it would be impossible for us to cover without the help of the volunteers. Now that we are maintaining a total of 37 hectares planted with 190,000 black pine seedlings, and 180,000 of seedlings in our nursery, the mobilized volunteers were a big help.

Normally, black pine seedlings grow up to 60 cm a year. Since some of the first batch of seedlings have grown into 2-meter high, somehow the main goal of the project to create a natural shield to protect the community from salt-sprays and wind-blown sands is gradually being met. Apparently, the gradual recovery of coastal vegetation in Natori City leads to the gradual return of the lost biodiversity as manifested on the presence of animals like racoons, birds and others.

Within OISCA, it is important for us to maintain professionalism and often exhibit transparency, accountability and good communication so as to gain build and trust among the stakeholders. For more than 4 years of lobbying and project promotion, we still need to work hard to raise more than 45 % of the 12 million USD budget needed to implement the 10 years Coastal Reforestation Project.

Survivors during the maintenance of the nursery.
Survivors during the maintenance of the nursery.
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Mushroom growing near the pine seedling.
Mushroom growing near the pine seedling.

We would like to express our deepest gratitude for your unending support to our project and to report on the latest progress in the field.

March 11, 2016 marked the 6th Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster. The disaster-hit areas seem to have returned to the normal life. Although some of the residents could not return to their former way of life either because the government prohibits them from returning for their own safety or it is their decision to not return because of trauma. Even so, they are courageously trying to move forward.

In our nursery in Natori City, for two days, more than 20 people including the members of the Association for Coastal Forest Restoration comprising the disaster-hit local farmers and staff of the Miyagi Central Forestry Cooperative helped in the sowing of 100,000 black pine seeds to be planted after two years in the project site.

In May, the 3rd tree-planting ceremony was joined by 520 participants under the guidance of professional forestry workers. A total of 10,000 seedlings were planted in the area of 2 hectares mostly by the local residents of Miyagi Prefecture, including local high school and university students. We could feel the movement spreading to the younger people.

Currently, some of the seedlings planted in 2014 have grown into nearly 2 meters. It is a big surprise that the 25 cm average size of the seedlings have grown up so much in only a span of 2 years. Moreover, wild edible mushrooms Boletus subtomentosus are now appearing which is a good manifestation of the gradual restoration of the coastal project site`s biodiversity. This we attribute to the generous support of our donors, great efforts of the local farmers who have wholeheartedly raised good quality seedlings and the volunteers who came from all over the country to help in the maintenance of the planted seedlings.

The members of the Association for Coastal Forest Restoration said that although they could not directly repay the supporters and volunteers for their donations and help, they want to repay them by committing to take care the planted pine seedlings.

Again, we would like to thank you for your generous support and sincerely request you for continued cooperation in the future.

The almost 2 year old pine grown into 2 meter high
The almost 2 year old pine grown into 2 meter high
Local students after the tree planting activity.
Local students after the tree planting activity.
Black pine seedling to be planted in 2018
Black pine seedling to be planted in 2018
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Planting of black pine seedlings in the site.
Planting of black pine seedlings in the site.

It has been more than 4 years since OISCA took the initiative to collaborate with various stakeholders including the local farmers, Miyagi local government, forest researchers and experts as well as funding agencies/companies to restore into its original condition the coastal forest of Natori City damaged by tsunami in 2011.

Despite the abnormal weather conditions of the previous months, we are fortunate that the 130,000 black pine seedlings planted in 26 hectares have a survival rate of almost 99% which is higher than the 50% average survival rate of the other project sites. The high survival rate is attributed to the excellent condition of the seedlings as well as the proper hauling and handling during the actual tree planting activities.

Meanwhile, the black pine seeds sown by the members of the Association for the Coastal Forest Restoration in Natori City last year have a germination rate of 93%. Based on the monitoring and evaluation conducted by Forestry Agency of Miyagi in June and November 2015, the Association has the best record for 4 consecutive years among the 23 different organizations that grow black pine seedlings within Miyagi Prefecture. Growing a total number of 145,000 seedlings, the members of the Association are responsible in maintaining the ideal size of 25-45 cm of the seedlings before transplanting in the project site.

With a target number of 50,000 seedlings to cover an area of 10 hectares this year, we have started planting black pine seedlings last April 18. OISCA is working very hard to meet the objectives of the project, provide a good output and to maintain the trust of our supporters. For more than 4 years of lobbying and project promotion within and outside Japan, we still need to work hard to raise more than 50% of the 12 million USD budget needed to implement the 10 years coastal reforestation project. 

Preparation of seedlings before planting.
Preparation of seedlings before planting.
The members of the Association with the seedlings.
The members of the Association with the seedlings.
The black pine seedlings planted two years ago.
The black pine seedlings planted two years ago.
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The seedlings partially covered with snow.
The seedlings partially covered with snow.

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to those who have been continuously supporting the OISCA project through Global Giving since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011 and at the same time, to report on the latest situation at the project site.

In Japan, we are now in the winter season, and snow is piling up in the disaster-hit area. Despite the snow, the 130,000 black pine trees planted at the project site are steadily growing. We can see some of the seedlings planted in 2014 have grown over 1 meter in height. At the nursery, 130,000 new seedlings are enduring the cold weather eagerly waiting for spring. Various animals which disappeared after the disaster are now returning. On the snow, we see the footprints of animals such as cats, raccoon dogs and birds. On the surface, we have the impression that under the extreme weather condition, it is difficult for the planted seedlings to grow. But when we observed closely, we noticed that they are growing steadily. 

 March 11, 2016 marks the 5th anniversary of the disaster. The disaster-affected local people have all different feelings and perceptions. It is unfortunate that the farther the distance from the disaster-hit area, we find that the memories have been weakening and that the number of those who are forgetting is growing. Against this backdrop, we have to seriously think about, not only making the project successful, but as to how we can preserve the memories of the disaster, how we can best manage the forest after completing tree planting and how to inform the public of the importance of the coastal forest.

The disaster-hit local farmers involved in the project are working hard with the strong belief that restoring the coastal forest is not for them but for their children and grand children. The local people who are directly involved with the project expect that the planted black pine seedlings will grow and will serve as natural protection against strong winds, salt damage and blown sand from the sea coast.

 We, on our part, also intend to involve the locals of Natori City in implementing the project so that they will feel like they are managing it by themselves.

Thank you again for your generous support and I am hoping for your continued cooperation. 

Locals of Natori City visiting the project nursery
Locals of Natori City visiting the project nursery
Footprints of birds in the planting site.
Footprints of birds in the planting site.
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A Japanese newspaper featuring Mr. Mori`s efforts
A Japanese newspaper featuring Mr. Mori`s efforts

To the Supporters of our Project in Tohoku, Japan

 “I have noticed that despite all the rubbles and debris, the stars were shining like diamonds the night after the tsunami” was the answer of Mr. Mori (72) when asked what he remembers on the day of March 11, 2011 catastrophe. Mr. Mori, a widower whose wife was one of the thousands of victims engulfed by the raging tsunami, is one of the members of the Association for the Coastal Restoration Project in Natori and a project beneficiary. He added that at that night, perhaps his wife Mrs. Tomiko is one of those stars guiding him through the night.

The shock of losing his loved one, haunted by guilt of surpassing death and the uncertainty about the future led to Mr. Mori`s depression. In February 2012, almost a year after the tsunami, Mr. Otomo (Association`s Vice-President) encouraged him to be part of the project. Since then Mr. Mori has been working with the other tsunami survivors particularly in the seedling production and sometimes in guiding volunteers who are helping in the maintenance of the nursery.

“I feel grateful to the project since it is helping me find new purpose in life. Since I am working with the people whom I have known since I was a kid, communication is not difficult and work here is a lot of fun”, were Mr. Mori`s comments about the project.

Because of the former coastal forest, the sea seemed so far and Mr. Mori did not expect that tsunami will reach his house which is about 2 km away from the seashore. As the tsunami uprooted and wiped out the former vegetation, the sea seams so near and he is constantly in fear that big waves will come and cause much bigger destruction.

In 10 years, Mr. Mori is looking forward to seeing the growth of the seedlings planted along the coastlines of Natori City. While eating their favorite rice balls, Mr. Mori and his friends will surely be reminiscing the happy moments that they have shared while raising the seedlings.

On behalf of his family and friends who are benefitting from the project, Mr. Mori is wishing to extend his heartfelt gratitude to supporters and to the donors of Global Giving.

Mr. Mori and his peers in the project`s nursery.
Mr. Mori and his peers in the project`s nursery.
Watering of the seedlings prior to transplanting.
Watering of the seedlings prior to transplanting.
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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
$14,267 raised of $25,000 goal
 
82 donations
$10,733 to go
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