The forest brings us countless blessings. Delicious water, fresh air, beautiful scenery, and delightful plant and animal life. We have learned this through thousands of years of history.
Entering a forest calms our heart. Working up a sweat in a forest is a wonderful feeling. Recently however, the forest hasn’t been cared for sufficiently, causing more of it to grow dark and unhealthy.
Let’s make Kyoto’s forests healthy again. Making the forest healthy makes us healthy too. The Kyoto Model Forest Association is looking for people who want to make the forest healthy. The Kyoto Model Forest Association was the first group in Japan to promote the Model Forest Movement and was established on November 21, 2006.
Kyoto ModelForest Association Charter
A blue world floating in space. Something bad is happening to this beautiful world. Global warming caused by human activity is melting the polar icecaps, spreading desertification, and causing other problems that threaten the existence of humankind. As part of the solution, forests are being focused on because they absorb carbon dioxide and thereby prevent global warming.
Japan is fortunate to be a country with many forests, and forests cover 75% of Kyoto Prefecture. The forest not only prevents global warming, but also produces timber, prevents mud slides, preserves the soil, creates beautiful scenery, and provides a place for environmental education and strengthening health among other benefits such as supporting safe and secure living for us all. By skillfully incorporating the blessings from the forest into our lifestyles, we can nurture a culture and industry that utilize the characteristics of trees. This will also create an environmentally friendly resource-recycling society.
During the last half century; however, the rapid increase in the use of fossil fuels and chemical fertilizers, the movement of the population away from the country and from farming and forestry, and other factors have caused major changes in the social economy that have weakened the interaction between people and forests and left the forests uncared for, so if things continue as they are, some of the functions of the forest could be lost.
To protect and nurture this common valuable asset of the people of the prefecture, all prefectural citizens must be aware of the roles played by the forest, the importance of restoring the relationship between people and the forest, and promote strengthening the forest to contribute to prevent global warming. This is the duty of Kyoto—the site from where the Kyoto Protocol Treaty was launched.
Activities to strengthen the forest are already underway and expanding across the prefecture as forest volunteers have begun working to care for the Satoyama area, companies make contributions to a fund for strengthening the forest, and other initiatives are launched.
As part of these efforts, the Kyoto ModelForest Association has been established to form the nucleus of these activities as a new step going forward to expand the circle of related activities and to promote participation by more citizens in the cooperative effort to strengthen the forest.
To encourage participation by everyone, combine efforts to protect and nurture the forests of Kyoto, and to build a new symbiotic relationship between people and the forest, the Association will:
- form organizations to facilitate collaborative efforts between citizens, enterprises, and other organizations and the forest property owners, forestry cooperatives, and others, and
- receive donations from individuals, enterprises, and other groups to use for strengthening the forest.
We ask for participation by everyone to launch a new forest culture from Kyoto to the world.
September 8, 2006