Yui No Mori Project
Since 2006, Kokuyo has been forest thinning and finding effective ways to use the thinned wood to preserve privately and publicly owned forests, named “Yui No Mori” in the Taisho region of Shimanto Town, Kochi Prefecture. The key themes of this project are “regeneration of artificial forests” and “regeneration of the natural environment and regional society.”
1. Activity objective
In order to help grow healthy forests, they need to be appropriately managed and taken care of. Kokuyo, Kaunet, Shimanto Town Forestry Cooperative, Kochi Prefecture, Shimanto Town, Shimanto High School, and people of the local community are working together to nurture the forests and to revitalize the region by creating new value for thinned timber.
2. Activity description
(1) Sustainable management of forests
Yui No Mori obtained the FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) forest management certification in 2007. And in the same year, it signed Kochi Prefecture’s “Forest Creation Project in Collaboration with Environmentally Advanced Companies ” Partners Pact (Shimanto Town Forestry Cooperative/Shimanto Town/Kochi Prefecture), and it is still taking part. And in relation to that, it has received the “CO2 Absorption Certificate” issued by Kochi prefecture. Yui No Mori started with approximately 100ha of forests and 2ha of forest thinning. After 12 years, the efforts have grown to 5,425ha of forests and 1,545ha of thinned forests.
(2) Monitoring activities
Working together with the Shimanto Town Forestry Cooperative, Shimanto High School, and employees of Kochi Prefecture and Shimanto Town, the project has conducted 12 vegetation surveys so far. What is essential to preserving forests is to make the effects of forest thinning “visible.” And in order to keep an eye on the effectiveness of these activities over the long term, ongoing surveys are being conducted in 2 specific locations.
(3) Effective use of thinned wood
To make effective use of thinned wood, Kokuyo has been manufacturing and selling furniture made from such wood in collaboration with the local Shimanto Forestry Cooperative since 2000. Moreover, Kaunet, which provides office supply mail order services, has also been selling “Yui No Mori” branded stationery since 2007. And from 2008, in order to foster understanding for these activities and to increase the number of advocates, Kaunet has made it possible for customers to donate their points to Yui No Mori forest thinning. This year, Kaunet received approximately 100 donations. In addition, from February 2011, it launched the “Yui No Mori 1% Donation Project”, and as such, it has been donating a portion of the proceeds from Yui No Mori products to National Land Afforestation Promotion Organization’s “Green Fund.”