Corporate Social Responsibility Information

Biodiversity Conservation in Company-Owned Forests in Japan and Plantation Forests Overseas

Biodiversity Conservation in Company-Owned Forests in Japan

The Policy on Biodiversity Conservation for Company-owned forests in Japan calls for efforts to promote diversity of ecosystems, through proper management of protected areas and consideration toward the continuity of forests; diversity of species, through protection of rare flora and fauna; and genetic diversity, through the maintenance of populations.
In keeping with these policies, forests are subject to appropriate zoning and management according to certain criteria, such as the increment of trees. Sumitomo Forestry is also making efforts to create endangered species lists and manuals, conduct surveys to monitor wildlife, and develop materials for protecting saplings.

Policy on Biodiversity Conservation in Company-Owned Forests in Japan(Excerpt) (Formulated June 2006)

1.Diversity of ecosystems

We will properly manage strictly protected areas designated under the Natural Parks Law and other legislation in a manner stipulated by the law. In other areas, we will ensure continuity of forests by limiting the area of forest harvested, particularly when clear cutting is conducted.

2.Diversity of species

We will work to prevent a decline in the number of species existing in natural forests by refraining from expansive planting projects and other extreme activities involving the replacement of species that would have a major impact on existing ecosystems. We will also give the utmost consideration to the protection of rare flora and fauna in all operations, making reference to the Sumitomo Forestry Red Data Book.

3.Genetic diversity

Genetic variation and the maintenance of populations to support them will become issues in the future. However, analysis is complicated and therefore we will closely watch monitoring activities carried out by government and public institutions and their findings.

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Red Data Book and Riparian Forest Management Manual

Sumitomo Forestry creates a Sumitomo Forestry Red Data Book listing flora and fauna at threat of extinction which may exist in Company-owned forests and distributes it to employees and contractors involved in forest management. By carrying the book with them during operations, personnel can refer to the opinions of specialists when they come across flora and fauna included in the book and take action. In fiscal 2015, the Company reviewed the Sumitomo Forestry Red Data Book (Mombetsu Forest Office Edition) in order to newly add species mapped in the forestry bought in 2014.
The Company has also created the Riparian Forest Management Manual to ensure the appropriate management and preservation of areas around bodies of water that are rich in biodiversity.

Sumitomo Forestry Red Data Book

Sumitomo Forestry Red Data Book

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Wildlife Monitoring Surveys

Sumitomo Forestry monitors wildlife inhabiting Company-owned forests. Every year, surveys are conducted in one of four areas— Mombetsu (Hokkaido), Niihama (Shikoku), Hyuga (Kyushu) and Wakayama. Data for each area is therefore accumulated in four-year cycles. This is used to create basic reference materials relating to biodiversity and to ascertain the impact of forestry on the surrounding environment over the long-term.
In fiscal 2015, monitoring surveys were conducted in Company-owned forests in Hokkaido. They included surveys of mammals and birds and fixed-point photography.

Species of mammals and birds confirmed by past surveys
Surveyed forest Mammals Birds Year
Niihama Forest 14 31 2008
Hyuga Forest 11 33 2009
Mombetsu Forest 10 38 2010
Wakayama Forest 12 25 2011
Niihama Forest
(2nd survey)
11 34 2012
Hyuga Forest
(2nd survey)
12 29 2013
Mombetsu Forest
(2nd survey)
9 40 2014
Wakayama Forest
(2nd survey)
10 29 2015
Hyogo Forest
(1st survey)
6 21 2015

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Value of Ecosystem Services Generated by Company-Owned Forests

Using data on forest registers*1 and maps stored in the Company’s own independent forest management system, Sumitomo Forestry is working to quantify*2 the diverse ecosystem services*3 provided by its company-owned forests, and to render a visual representation of the environmental value of managing those forests.
Through quantifying the ecosystem services and calculating the economic value, the Company will contribute to the establishment of forest management techniques that enhance ecosystem services, and to the development of techniques for evaluating ecosystem services in forests. In fiscal 2015, Sumitomo Forestry examined quantification methods of the potential impact its forestry practices, such as thinning, may have on forest ecosystem services through information exchange with experts and relevant corporations.

  • *1. A register on the forest resources of privately-owned forests. Each register records the species and ages of trees, as well as the size of the forest and its management history.
  • *2. Of the different categories of ecosystem services, quantification of the regulating services (purification of water, climate regulation, protection from natural disasters, etc.).
  • *3. All of the functions derived from ecosystems that are of benefit to humankind. There are a variety of functions, from the production of food and wood, to purification of air and water, the water cycle, and the conservation of biodiversity.

Biodiversity Conservation in Plantation Forests Overseas

Indonesia has the third largest area of rainforest in the world, however, it is said that around 700,000 hectares of forest are lost each year due to such factors as forest fires, illegal logging and slash-and-burn farming. The Sumitomo Forestry Group runs a large-scale plantation in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. The forests are planted and managed using methods suited to each area based on appropriate zoning that takes into account biodiversity considerations.
In fiscal 2012, for the purpose of objectively reviewing the methods used for selecting and managing protected areas set up within the boundary of the plantation site, the Group entered into an advisory agreement with the International Finance Cooperation (IFC), an independent organization and member of the World Bank Group, and in fiscal 2013, identified high conservation value forests (HCVF) areas within the site. The results of this review will be reflected in future business plans. Also in fiscal 2013, the Group acquired PHPL (Sertifikat Pengelolaan Hutan Produksi Lestari), a certification of the Ministry of Forestry of Indonesia for sustainable forest management.

CSR Report 2016