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
Selective cutting of black pines
Selective cutting of black pines

We wish to extend our deepest gratitude for your continuous support to our project in Natori. Without your generosity, it would be difficult for us to implement the needed activities.

Our project is now on its second phase and despite the corona pandemic, we are working hard together with the government`s forest experts, sub-contracted forest workers, and mobilized local volunteers for the maintenance of our project site.

On May 17, we conducted a thinning trial together with the Miyagi Central Forestry experts and Matsushima General Forest. In an area of 0.12 hectare, we meticulously removed a total of 138 growing black-pine trees. For the entire process of thinning, we needed 6 people who had to work relay for the safe and efficient removal of the black-pines away from the site. One person was assigned for the actual cutting using a small chainsaw, 4 persons to carry them outside, and 1 person to load on the truck. If the cut trees are left within the project site to rot, it will become a hotbed for damaging pine worms.

Here are the three main reasons why there is a need to do thinning:

  1. Thinning will promote horizontal growth of roots which is important for growing strong, big, and sturdy individual trees tolerant to natural disturbance. This is crucial for the creation of a healthy and resilient forest that will protect the people from disasters, wind-blown sand, salt-spray, and strong wind. Moreover, the pre-tsunami black-pines were never thinned and as a result, they were easily uprooted and wiped-out by tsunami.
  2. With thinning, sunlight could freely penetrate the ground and will prevent black-pines` lower branches from withering. Both the lower and upper branches of the black-pines are crucial for the protection of the communities and their agricultural farms from disasters, wind-blown sand, salt-spray, and strong wind.
  3. Thinning encourages undergrowth expansion, plant diversity, and improve wildlife habitat. Undergrowth hampers movement of wind-blown sand/soil that can be damaging to the agricultural farms.

We initially scheduled to do thinning in 2023, but due to the unexpected fast growth of our black-pines, we felt the need to immediately reduce the number of standing trees starting this year. Following the guidelines of Japan`s Forest Agency, we are scheduled to remove at least 25% or 6,250 black-pines planted in 5-hectare 2014 site.

 

 

Loading of cut trees on the dump truck.
Loading of cut trees on the dump truck.
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Project site's aerial view
Project site's aerial view

It has been 10 years since the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, and more than 10 years have passed since the project started on March 17, 2011. We are grateful that we have been able to proceed with the project with the generous support of many people from all over the world.

When the project started, the only thing that had been decided was just to regenerate the uprooted coastal forest along the coast of Natori. As for the location of the project, we had no idea who would play what role, and the outline of the project was not clear. First of all, we have to entrust the restoration of coastal forests to the central, Miyagi Prefecture, and Natori City Government, and we remember having many discussions to gain their trust. The government was initially skeptical on our capability to regenerate the 100-ha coastal forest, but their stance gradually changed as we started growing seedlings in our nursery and transplanting them in our project site.

As of January 31, 2020, 10 years later, through various funding platforms, we received donations of 811,597,999 yen or about 7.69 million dollars from all over the world, and we were able to plant 370,000 Japanese black pine trees in 72hectares. All the planting of Japanese black pine was completed this year, and from now on, we will be focusing on maintaining the planted trees.

For the 10 years from 2011 to 2020 (1st phase), we have called for donations as the first 10-year plan centered on activities to raise seedlings in our nursery and plant them in our project site. In the second and third 10-year plans from 2021 (2nd and 3rd phase), we will continue our activities centered on growing and maintaining our project site using the funds that we have raised.

It is said that tree planting is not the end of reforestation, but rather it is the start. We plan to continue the project until at least 2040 until the 370,000 black pine trees become a strong and resilient forest that will protect the lives of the Natori citizens from tsunami and storm surges.

We will take this opportunity to thank you for your generosity. Without your support, it would be difficult for us to implement all our target activities. We will no longer be accepting donations, but please be encouraged to check our website and read our blogs on the status of our project.

Thank you for your kindness and generosity.

Black pines planted 5 years ago
Black pines planted 5 years ago
Mobilized volunteer students at the project site
Mobilized volunteer students at the project site
Project stakeholders
Project stakeholders
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Mayor Shiro Yamada while planting black pines.
Mayor Shiro Yamada while planting black pines.

We are currently carrying out our last tree planting activity along the coast of Natori City in Miyagi Prefecture. This year, we covered an area of 2.18 hectares and planted it with 12,000 black pine seedlings to complete out target area of 100 hectares.

On October 6, various project stakeholders including the members of the Association for the Restoration of Coastal Forest in Natori City, government officials of Natori City led by Mayor Shiro Yamada, professional forestry workers, Ms. Etsuko Nakano, OISCA Japan President, and mobilized volunteers participated in the tree planting activity. Prior to transplanting, the black pine seedlings raised by the Association members were soaked in a polymer solution to guarantee the survival of seedlings under the extreme condition.

Natori Mayor Shiro Yamada, while struggling hard with an unfamiliar field work did his best in planting seedlings together with other participants. Boarding the 27-meter high platform, Mayor Shimada had the chance to see the aerial view of the 5-kilometer-long project. He commented: “with the help of more than 10,000 volunteers, we have come to this point. We do hope it will be a citizens’ forest in the future.”

The 10-year project was first conceived and implemented following the devastation of the coastal forest in March, 2011. So far, about 370,000 seedlings were planted and the survival rate is remarkable 99.1% since the first tree planting 7 years ago. The seedlings planted in the early stage have now grown into splendid trees over 4 meters in height. The total cost of the project including future maintenance work is estimated to amount to one billion yen to be entirely raised through donations and grants from Japanese and foreign private companies and organizations.

From March 2021, the project will move to the 2nd 10- year project mainly for maintenance work such as weeding and thinning. This tree planting event attracted a strong interest from national and local media. NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) filmed it and broadcasted as a hot news program nationally on TV and a local news radio program on the same day. Other TV and newspapers such Miyagi TV, HIGASHINIPPON Broadcasting, the YOMIURI SHIMBUN and the KAHOKUSHIMPO also carried out on site coverage and respectively reported it.

Soaking of seedlings into polymer solution.
Soaking of seedlings into polymer solution.
Project`s media coverage at the site.
Project`s media coverage at the site.
Highest trees have grown into more than 4-m high.
Highest trees have grown into more than 4-m high.
Mayor Yamada observing the project from above.
Mayor Yamada observing the project from above.
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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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Organization Information

OISCA International

Location: Suginami-ku, Tokyo - Japan
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Ma. Grazen Acerit
Suginami-ku, Tokyo Japan
$15,534 raised of $25,000 goal
 
110 donations
$9,466 to go
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