【Sakaori terraced rice fields’ surrounding forest】
In Japan, during the 1950s and 1960s, it was encouraged that people plant and grow cedar and cypress trees. But the trees were not looked after and the area was just left alone. Without proper management of the forest, heavy rain just flowed straight in the river, causing landslides. So, a movement to protect the Nakanoho area from such natural disasters was started.
This group, known as Soma-gumi, was formed in 2009 by 17 volunteers, who loved the mountains around Nakanoho. They learned forestry techniques from experts, for example cutting down trees safely and then using the wood from cut trees. As a result of the efforts of this group, the forest is gradually being revived.
Efforts to help protect the forest and local region are as follows:
●The “Ki no eki” buys and sells wood from trees that have been cut down (for forestry purposes).
●If you bring a tree that has been cut down to the “Ki no eki”, you can exchange it for “Mori tickets”.
●These “Mori tickets” can be used in local shops and restaurants.
The owner of the shops and restaurants can bring these “Mori tickets” to the “Ki no eki” and exchange them for money.
●The “Ki no eki” project promotes the exchange of local residents, provides local businesses with money and at the same time, protects the forest in the region.