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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
Hitoshi-"Thanks for helping us regain confidence"
Hitoshi-"Thanks for helping us regain confidence"

Today, we'd like to share a story out of many lives you have changed - through supporting our project.

Hitoshi used to live a comfortable life from growing vegetables in his own farm located several meters away from the shoreline of Natori City in Miyagi. Unfortunately, the March 11 catastrophe did a major change in his life as his house and main source of income (agricultural machineries and greenhouses) were not spared by the raging eight meter high tsunami.

The high salt concentration of his farm prohibited him from growing vegetables with that of good quality. Because of this, he has to borrow money and invest on renting a piece of land away from the coast to grow broccolis, spinach and cauliflowers. However, despite this decision, his income is still dwindling because the quality of his vegetables are not the same as what he used to grow.In spite of growing it inside the greenhouse, his vegetables are still susceptible from salt damage, strong winds and windblown sands from the sea coast. These are some of the problems that he and the rest of the survivors are facing after the tsunami uprooted and wiped out the coastal vegetation, including the 300 year old black pine trees.

Hitoshi and the rest of the tsunami survivors felt the need to restore the coastal forests for the immediate recovery of their community. Although still suffering from the aftermath of the tsunami,he and the other survivors are working in collaboration with OISCA International, the local and national government of Japan, forest experts and funding agencies.

OISCA International`s experience in collaborative projects become very useful in the implementation of the Coastal Forest Restoration Project in Natori City. Hitoshi is one of the beneficiaries of the scheme of providing an immediate source of income among the tsunami survivors by subcontracting them to grow and raised black pine seedlings needed for the immediate recovery of the 100 hectare coastal land in Natori City.

Unlike the traditional dole out approach in helping the survivors, this scheme encourages a sense of ownership and guarantees a sustainable and long term involvement of the tsunami victims like Hitoshi as they are actively involve in the decision making and actual project implementation. 

In honor of the 3rd anniversary of East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, GlobalGiving is hosting a matching campaign for projects that work for recovery in Tohoku area.  Starting today, your donations will be matched 100% by GlobalGiving until matchign funds last.  To donate, click on "give now" button below.  

Thank you for your support for this project, and thank you for tranforming the lives like Hitoshi! 

Kiyoshi - "Thankful to be a part of restoration"
Kiyoshi - "Thankful to be a part of restoration"
Higeo&his wife-"Thankful for bringing us together"
Higeo&his wife-"Thankful for bringing us together"
"Thankful for giving us hope to see black pines"
"Thankful for giving us hope to see black pines"
Newly purchased rakes and sickles.
Newly purchased rakes and sickles.

In preparation for the scheduled activities of planting the 100,000 black pine seedlings grown by the nursery workers and who are the tsunami survivors along the 20 hectares coastal area of Natori City near the Sendai Airport this April until May, we built a dome to store the materials needed for the reforestation related activities such as plastic containers, fertilizers, hoes, sickles and nets. With the help of Maeda Corporation staff, net fences were also installed within the perimeter of the dome to protect it against the strong wind damage.

Prior to its building, the materials and equipment which are often use by the nursery workers were cramped in OISCA Natori Office. Sometimes they are burdened to bring the tools in their own respective homes. Now that the dome provides a safe and secure space to house the newly purchased reforestation tools, the nursery workers and volunteers from Tokyo and other parts of Japan who are expected to be involved in the massive tree planting activities on May 24are no longer doomed to bring their own planting tools.

Meanwhile, in collaboration with the local government of Natori City, we are organizing a symposium to be held on February 22 targeting 500 participants with an objective to further encourage the involvement of the locals after showing the progress and future plans of the project.

Containers for the third batch of seedlings!
Containers for the third batch of seedlings!
The 18 m length x 5.4 m width dome.
The 18 m length x 5.4 m width dome.
Preparing the seedlings for winter
Preparing the seedlings for winter

The change of the season means that the winter is not suitable to plant a new batch of black pine seeds. But this does not stop the seedling nursery workers, who are the survivors of the great tsunami, from learning more about restoring the lost 400-year-old forest.

Since the start of the 10-year-project in 2011, 245,000 black pine seedlings have been steadily growing at the OISCA nursery in Natori City. One batch of the seedlings is growing in new technology-advanced reliable black pots inside the greenhouses. The survivors are taking this time of the year to carefully observe and maintain the hundreds of thousands of seedlings and participate in forestry training programs in Fukushima.

The survivors are learning new and efficient forestry techniques to ensure a high rate of survival for when the seedlings are transplanted on the coastal mounds in spring 2014. For example, the potted seedlings are arranged in order for the length of the roots to extend out of the pots and into the ground. Once they are ready to be transplanted to the ground before the coastal mounds, the workers must cut the roots resulting in a tiring extra step. But after two training sessions in Fukushima, the workers learned that placing a film sheet in between the pots and the ground will skip the cutting step and may still result in a high survival rate. A sample of potted seedlings will be growing on top of a film sheet. The workers will observe the results of the both samples in the early spring.

With the support from the GlobalGiving community, these tsunami survivors are given the opportunity to learn more forestry skills to pass on to their future generations. 

Potted Black Pine Seedlings
Potted Black Pine Seedlings
Roots growing past the pots
Roots growing past the pots
Forestry Training Session in Fukushima
Forestry Training Session in Fukushima
Sendai Toyopet - 30 Years of Support
Sendai Toyopet - 30 Years of Support

Toyopet in Sendai has been a longtime supporter of OISCA activities in Japan for the past 30 years. This summer, Toyopet has helped supply a Toyota Vanguard 4WD for the general transportation of the team of disaster-affected locals of the Coastal Forest Restoration Project.

Before this vehicle was purchased, the team used an old, unreliable two-seater pick-up truck that could not reach distances outside of the local neighborhood nor survive in the sandy field site. With their new Toyota Vanguard, the team will be able to quickly go to the station, store and supporters for their daily needs and reports. But most importantly, they will be able to go to the field planting site more frequently because the Toyota Vanguard’s 4WD is more suitable for the sandy trails and more resistant to the strong winds.

In 2014, the nursery seedlings will be transplanted at the mound field sites. With this new, fast and strong means of transportation, the Coastal Forest Restoration Project will save time and energy on simply getting from place A to place B, and will be able to spend that extra time and energy on restoring their coast, one seedling at a time.

The Toyota Vanguard will arrive in mid-October. It is silver metallic, can accommodate 5 people, and has a large trunk storage area. 

Toyota Vanguard 4WD
Toyota Vanguard 4WD
 

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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
$14,115 raised of $25,000 goal
 
79 donations
$10,885 to go
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