Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori Project

National forest cloaking the foothills of Mt. Fuji was extensively damaged when a typhoon struck southern parts of the Kanto region in 1996. In 1998, setting out to restore the vitality of the original forest, Sumitomo Forestry launched a natural forest restoration project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Company’s establishment; encompassing around 90 hectares of the damaged forest named Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori.

The Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori is open not only for the volunteer activities in reforestation and environmental education programs, but also for NPOs and other organizations. A total of 1,547 people visited Mt.Fuji Manabi no Mori from inside and outside of the Company in fiscal 2017 with a total of 26,634 people visiting the project between 1998 and 2017.

Volunteer Activities in Forestry Development

Tree-planting activities carried out by many volunteers from both inside and outside Sumitomo Forestry since the start of the project in 1998 have already been completed and the project has entered the forest protection stage.

Volunteer activities were implemented on 8 occasions in fiscal 2017, with participation by a total of 359 visitors. In addition, we conducted tree surveys in October through volunteers to grasp the state of trees in Manabi no Mori, including natural forest areas.

In the future, we will shift Manabi no Mori to a more suitable forest for learning.

Employees Participating as Volunteers

Employees Participating as Volunteers

Students of the Sumitomo Forestry  School of Professional Building Techniques Participating as Volunteers

Students of the Sumitomo Forestry School of Professional Building Techniques Participating as Volunteers

Forest Recovery Volunteer Activities Trend

Forest Recovery Volunteer Activities Trend

Environmental Education Program

Sumitomo Forestry has been implementing an Environmental Education Program for local elementary and junior high school students since fiscal 2006 in collaboration with the NPO Whole Earth Institute. Activities include nature observation and games incorporating the five senses. The aim of these opportunities to rediscover the natural world is for the students to learn about the importance of nature and encourage them to consider new ways in which people can coexist with nature in the future. In fiscal 2017, a total of 1,003 students from 12 schools participated in the program.

Environmental Education Program

Environmental Education Program

Environmental Education Program Trend

Environmental Education Program Trend

Vegetation Monitoring and Wildlife Habitat Survey

Experts have been carrying out surveys, including vegetation monitoring and wildlife censuses, since fiscal 2000, providing valuable data for understanding the biodiversity of the region.

Cultivating a forest is a never-ending job and Mt. Fuji Manabi no Mori, too, is a 100-year project. To ensure that the project is still running 100 years from now, forest management and environmental activities will be continued as a way to communicate the importance of nature to as many people as possible.

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Forest Maintenance Activities at Gunma Manabi no Mori

In July 2012, Sumitomo Forestry and Gunma Prefecture signed a prefectural forest maintenance partnership agreement, and are working with the prefectural authorities to promote the maintenance of forest at the foot of Mt. Akagi.

Located within the jurisdiction of Maebashi City, Akagi Forest is owned by Gunma Prefecture, which promotes maintenance and conservation of its forests in cooperation with companies and organizations. Sumitomo Forestry held Gunma Manabi no Mori during fiscal 2017. 47 Sumitomo Forestry Home house owners and their families as well as 54 employees of Sumitomo Forestry and partner builders as well as their families participated in the activities which included planting of Japanese cypress seedlings and thinning work with the help of local forest associations in July and August respectively.

Gunma Manabi no Mori

Gunma Manabi no Mori

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Development of Technology to Pass Down Heritage and Precious Tress to the Next Generation

Sumitomo Forestry uses the most cutting-edge biotechnology in addition to conventional grafting and cutting based on the request of owners to pass down heritage and precious trees to the next generation. We are also putting our strength into breeding seedlings that provide the properties in the flowers and leaves of heritage and precious trees as a way to pass down both heritage and precious trees to the next generation. In addition, we are building a DNA database for trees to further advance a sophisticated program to identify individual varieties.

Donation of cloned Kuchiya Akagane-no-Matsu pines to Niihama City where Sumitomo has close ties on the 80th anniversary of the city’s founding

Sumitomo Forestry donated cloned Kuchiya Akagane-no-Matsu pines to Niihama City on November 2, 2016 as a celebration of 80 years since the city’s founding. We began to research Kuchiya Akagane-no-Matsu pines with the cooperation of Niihama City in the spring of 2012. This strain of cloned pines was a test for propagating and cultivating trees grafted from the Miracle Pine to have survived the Great East Japan Earthquake. The age of this tree makes harvesting the optimal materials impossible and prorogation was thought difficult, but a seedling was successfully cultivated in 2014. The seedlings of the clone pines that were donated are growing next to Kuchiya Akagane-no-Matsu together with Niihama City and connect to the future of Niihama where Sumitomo Forestry has close ties.

Choukouzan Shoutai-ji Temple weeping cherry seedlings cloned from the Senhime cherry blossoms from unite Odawara and Sendai

Tissue culturing is one of the techniques of biotechnology at Sumitomo Forestry. The Senhime cloned cherry blossoms cultivated as clones were planted at the Tricentennial Celebration for The 300th Anniversary of Date Tsunamura, the fourth daimyo of the Sendai domain, held on April 7. The Choukouzan Shoutai-ji Temple weeping cherry blossoms propagated from the Senhime cherry blossom trees are known under the name Yoraku cherry blossoms in the Edo period because of the delicate shape of the tree. These trees stretch back 340 years and have been designed a protected species by Odawara City. Concerned about the declining vigor of trees in the dramatically changing environment in recent years, Choukouzan Shoutai-ji Temple, Odawara City, and Sumitomo Forestry joined forces and succeeded in the technical development in 2009 to cultivate decedents of trees via tissue culture. The Senhime cherry blossom trees cultivated in this project have been given their name for the union between Senhime (Manjujidono), the daughter of Inaba Masanori who was the daimyo of the Odawara domain, with Date Tsunamura in 1674.

Planting the Senhime Cherry Blossom Tree

Planting the Senhime Cherry Blossom Tree

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Teaching a Course Under the Theme “The Dream of Bio Hanami to Create a Future for the Earth Through the Power of Trees!” to High School Students

Sumitomo Forestry Group cooperated in the 17th Nikkei Education Challenge held in July 2017. The Group conducted a course under the theme “The Dream of Bio Hanami to Create a Future for the Earth Through the Power of Trees!” for high school students who will be entrusted the future of our society. Through participation in this program, Sumitomo Forestry introduced the broad range of its businesses center upon trees and the direct connection to businesses through the research results of the Tsukuba Research Institute. This effort was able to share the sensation, dreams and joy earned through research experience and work.

This course reviewed the project for the weeping cheery blossom trees synonymous with Toyotomi Hideyoshi at the Daigoji temple in Kyoto found in the research to cultivate and pass down these heritage trees utilizing the research and development in tissue cultures for plant life. We talked about the many failures in thousands of attempts to find a culturing medium suitable for cherry blossom trees until finally finding success in cultivating the first weeping cherry blossom tree in the world. High school students also passionately worked in actual experiments to harvest cells for growth using a microscope.

Explanation about Cell Harvesting for Growth

Explanation about Cell Harvesting for Growth

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Conducting Corporate Research Seminars for SGH-designated Ehime Prefectural Matsuyama Higashi High School

As part of the Super Global High School (SGH) Program underway since 2014, the students of Matsuyama Higashi High School visit Niihama, Ehime, where the Sumitomo Forestry Group was founded, to take part in a seminar every year.

The seminar held in June 2017 was made up of two sections; a lecture to introduce the businesses of the Sumitomo Forestry Group as well as a discussion about the experiences of employees working abroad among other things in Niihama Office as well as field work at the Forester House in Kyubesshi. These students learned about the corporate spirit passed down through the close to 325-year history of Sumitomo Forestry as well as the contributions to current business expansion overseas.

In fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015, students visited the Djakarta office to experience the Sumitomo Forestry business expansion in Indonesia.

Sumitomo Forestry sponsors and cooperates with the Super Global High School Program to foster global leaders starting from high school who can participate on the international stage through these series of activities.

Field work scene

Field work scene

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