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

Project Report | May 22, 2023
The Importance of Developing Youth Leaders for the Sustainability of the Coastal Forest Project

By Kumiko Hayashi | Project Coordinator

A student volunteer while in action.
A student volunteer while in action.

On the 12th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2023, a group of local baseball players from Natori-Kita High School in Miyagi volunteered at our project site. On normal days, they often practice baseball with bats in their hands, but on that day, they worked with shovels to create drainage canals within our site.

Before the work, one of the students who noticed the uneven growth of the surrounding black pines asked, "Are the big pines and small pines planted in different years?" From what was explained to them, the students seemed to understand how the soil and good water drainage are important to the growth of the black pines. After knowing how black pines do not grow well in areas with poor drainage, the students understood the essence of their work.

As I got to know the students, I learned that some of them were four or five years old at the time of the earthquake. They told me how their memories of the March 11 tragedy were vague, but they were able to tell us, "I lived near the coast, and my house was swept away by the tsunami. My family and I now live in the mountains." The impact of the disaster on each of them may be different, but they all felt the significance of being part of the forest rehabilitation on that day. They expressed their intention to be part of our volunteering activities again.

We have been accepting many high school and university students to be part of our activities. However, we missed working with these vibrant young people during the Corona pandemic. The schools` imposed restrictions on off-campus activities for the safety of their students.

We are aware that it will take several decades of management work until the planted black pines grow into a forest that functions as a windbreak and a sand barrier. We believe that it is very important for the young generation to proactively engage in our activities so that, in the future, they will take the lead in protecting and nurturing the coastal forests. With this, we are taking the initiative to encourage young people by launching a youth leader development activity. As part of this effort, we dispatched a total of seven high school and university students from Miyagi Prefecture to the western part of Japan in December 2022 and March 2023 for them to observe how local residents are protecting and nurturing their coastal forests.

The selected students never had the chance to see the coastal forests of Miyagi before the disaster. They only saw the young coastal forests regenerated by the project. As they walked inside the coastal forest of Iki-no-matsubara in Fukuoka Prefecture, they were blown away by the huge and towering black pines. The students saw the number of people strolling through the forest, and they felt how the coastal forest is deeply protected by the community. In contrast, our project site is still in its restoration process and definitely not yet ready for the general public to casually walk on. The young people seemed to have developed a desire to make the coastal forest a place where local people can enjoy and relax in the future.

 Meanwhile, in Niji-no-Matsubara in Saga Prefecture, the dispatched students, together with local high school students, experienced how to thin trees and how to rake pine leaves. We also gave them the chance to play under the forest canopy and become familiar with pine trees. Now, targeting kindergarten and elementary schools in Miyagi, we are considering the possibility of creating a project to let local children become familiar with coastal forests. Local young people envisioned having a healthy and strong coastal forest in Miyagi Prefecture. With various supports, including the GlobalGiving donations, they are now gradually taking action to realize this vision.

Briefing prior to the actual activity.
Briefing prior to the actual activity.
Students while visiting Niji-no-Matsubara forest
Students while visiting Niji-no-Matsubara forest
Students learning about coastal forest.
Students learning about coastal forest.
The students while raking pine leaves.
The students while raking pine leaves.
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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
$21,703 raised of $25,000 goal
 
232 donations
$3,297 to go
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