Vol.501 July 8, 2015

Nurturing Forest to Protect Rural Livelihood

Aeon has launched three-year tree planting project in Atsuma town, Hokkaido.

On June 13, Aeon Environmental Foundation implemented the first tree planting in Atsuma town, Hokkaido Prefecture. Located in the southern part of the Prefecture, the town boasts rich forests that cover up 70 percent of its land. Agricultural products such as rice, vegetables and haskap are grown in the fertile soil around the Atsuma river flowing in the central part of the town. As to haskap, its cultivation area boasts the biggest size in the country. At the upper part of the river, on the other hand, an obsolete recreation facility was left untended, degrading the soil’s watershed cultivation function. This degradation is feared to have negative effect on the agriculture in the area as well as to cause sediment runoff and river flooding. In response to such situation, the Foundation has launched the three-year tree planting project in cooperation with the town in order to nurture the forest and restore its function essential to the lives of the people in the town. On the planting day, the Foundation planted 5,400 saplings of regional-oriented trees together with 550 local citizens and volunteers from across Japan. Aiming to conserve the natural environment indispensable for lives of people, Aeon will continue to plant trees together with local citizens.