The relentless endeavors of the local community and Brother to restore the healthy forests.
In the Brother Forests in Gujo City, Gifu Prefecture, where the former ski slopes were located, Brother has been devoted to planting trees with the city and prefectural officials since 2008.
By 2015, Brother employees had participated in the tree-planting project to plant approximately 4,300 seedlings. However, not all of the seedlings they had planted can take root and grow. By carrying out an independent survey with the local people, we came to realize that particular types of seedlings are likely to take root in some areas while certain types of soil in other areas will not allow these seedlings to grow.
To enhance the rooting rate, more advanced knowledge and techniques from academia are necessary. We decided to team up with Nagoya University. Together with academic specialists, we launched a joint research project to seek further effective ways of planting.
Our goal is to bring back the pristine ecosystem
In the joint research with Professor Takano at Nagoya University, we strived to specify the best type of tree for each particular area through various surveys and fieldwork. These included attaching tags to the trees which were planted before, researching how many trees took root, collecting soil samples in certain areas, and measuring the water content of each soil type. Through these studies, we have gradually gained accurate information on the former geographical features of the Brother Forests in Gujo. As an example, from the topographic point of view, the forests were formed by landslide, so that the area in which soil is suited to tree-planting is limited. In this case, converting that area to grassland can be one of the possible options. Now, we are developing a more optimal tree-planting plan according to soil types.
We have still a long way to go before the research will bear fruit. Even so, Luehdorfia japonica (known as Gifu Butterfly in Japan), a valuable indigenous species, often appears in the forests now. It can be said that the ecosystem is being gradually restored. Cherishing the ideal Brother Forests in Gujo, where once disappeared plants and animals will return and the local people spend their time enjoyably, is proof that we have surely taken a step forward.
Voice of a local Brother employee
Through this project, we at Brother have found multiple solutions to restore the healthy forests, such as converting some of the unused areas into grassland, apart from planting trees. This is one of the results of the tree-planting endeavor which we have been working on since 2008. And it also shows new possibilities for future environmental activities. We will continuously strive to grow the Brother Forests in Gujo, which is teeming with diverse forms of life and beloved by the people in Gujo.
Satoshi Matsumura Corporate Communication Dept. BROTHER INDUSTRIES, LTD.