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“Forests for the Air” Project: To Conserve and Nurture Forests for a Bright Future

Japan Shiretoko

Where is the Project Site?

The Shiretoko Peninsula is located on the northeastern edge of the Japanese archipelago. From the mountain range that runs along the center of the peninsula, to the shores where ice flows reach, Shiretoko has a diversity of nature and wildlife. For the life forms of Shiretoko’s land and sea that constitute a rich ecosystem, and for a natural environment that fosters rare plant and animal life, the area was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. Forests were lost on a part of the Shiretoko Peninsula long ago due to factors including the clearing of land for farming, and to regenerate these forests, efforts were made to foster saplings and plant trees. Unfortunately, tree growth proved difficult as Sika deer ate many of the saplings. Another problem was the close proximity between human inhabitants and brown bears, an animal at the top of the food chain and a crucial link in forest growth.

If you’d like to learn more about Shiretoko, please see the pages below.

What’s the Project About?

To protect the natural environment of Shiretoko, Daikin Industries Ltd., the Shiretoko Nature Foundation, and the towns of Shari and Rausu signed an agreement to work together on two initiatives. Under the Project to Restore the Rich Diversity of Shiretoko’s Forests, the parties are erecting deer fences and putting tree-bark protective nets on trees to prevent the Sika deer from eating the saplings, and planting Japanese Judas trees and other deciduous trees in order to bring back the forest to its original state and restore its biodiversity. Under the Project to Protect and Pass on Shiretoko’s Value as a World Heritage Site, the parties are teaching those who will carry on the work of caring for the forests — children and all people who visit Shiretoko — about the important role that forests play and about what is being done to protect them. This project is also aimed at fostering coexistence between humans and brown bears.

If you’d like to learn more about these projects, please see the pages below.

©Shiretoko Nature Foundation

Local Wildlife: Brown Bears

Brown bears play a crucial role in forest growth. Through their feces, they transport the plants and seeds that eventually grown into new vegetation, and they nourish the soil. However, they also impact fishing and farming activities when they enter human habitats, making it necessary to implement strategies for preventing incidents between humans and bears and avoiding the resulting damage.

“A Word from Daikin Staff”

Kenji Miyagawa
Environmental Volunteer Promotion Group “DO!”

Kenji Miyagawa Leader Environmental Volunteer Promotion Group “DO!”

Daikin’s Environmental Volunteer Promotion Group “DO!” is an autonomous internal group that organizes environmental events aimed at employees and their families. One of these activities is the Shiretoko volunteer group comprising Daikin Group employees in Japan.
Even when companies make significant donations to NGOs, there is a tendency for the average employee to assume the company is doing something good somewhere far away. Daikin’s Environmental Volunteer Promotion Group “DO!” was launched in 2011 with the hope that each employee would understand current environmental problems as issues that affect them, as well as to offer an opportunity for employees to take action. In 2016, more than 100 employees participated in these activities.
Employees who participated in volunteer activities noted that they “learned that it is a lot of work to return something to its natural state once it has been destroyed,” and “engaged in teamwork and experienced a tremendous sense of accomplishment.” These activities increase employees’ environmental awareness and are useful for communicating within and outside the Company.

“A Word from Field Staff”

Ryota Matsubayashi
In charge of nature restoration
Shiretoko Nature Foundation

Ryota Matsubayashi In charge of nature restoration Shiretoko Nature Foundation

Through the support provided in the five-year period since the first agreement was signed in 2011, we have been able to make dramatic progress in restoring former farming lands and forests along rivers. And over this period, there have also been nine gatherings at which volunteers came to stay in Shiretoko, with over 100 Daikin Industries Ltd.’ employees joining and helping out in our project activities.

Under the agreements that support our activities, we have gained valuable assets in the form of the many people who have learned about the nature and reforestation efforts in far-off Shiretoko, and in the new bonds that have been formed among all people concerned. In the second phase of this effort until 2023, we will continue to benefit from people’s assistance as we pass on to the next generation the job of protecting Shiretoko’s forests and other natural wonders. We look forward to your continued support in these efforts.


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