IDF 2016 Country Report: Japan

“The Green Earth Festival for the International Day of Forests 2016” was held in Metropolitan Tokyo Bay Area on March 26th 2016 under the auspices of the Organizing Committee comprised of 4 non-governmental organizations, namely, National Land Afforestation Promotion Organization, OISCA Japan, the Forest Culture Association and NPO Forests and Environment Network Association as well as the Forestry Agency of Japan, in cooperation with the Bureau of Port and Harbour, Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

Participants included ambassadors of diplomatic corps, embassy staff and their families, representatives from international organizations, college students from overseas learning in Japan as well as ordinary citizens totalling around 500 people.

The first segment of the event was opened by welcome remarks by the Organizing Committee in “Umi-no-Mori” (Sea Forest) and the introduction of the messages from both UN Secretary-General and UNFFS Director, after which participants planted approximately 1,500 seedlings of a variety of tree species. “Umi-no-Mori” is planned to be used as one of the venues for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic / Paralympic Games.

The second segment of the event was held in the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation where participants enjoyed several cultural exchange programmes. In view of highlighting this year’s theme of the International Day of Forests, “Forests and Water”, Tokyo Metropolitan government provided some materials to brief its century-long efforts to maintain stable and high-quality water supply through self-management of headwater conservation forests extending as large as 23,000 hectares in the upper stream of Tama river basin.

This was the third consecutive year that tree planting activities were held in “Umi-no-Mori” to celebrate the International Day of Forests.

UN messages, including the one from the UNFFS Director helped raise awareness of the wide range of participants in the event on the significance of forests and trees.