Inappropriate management of forests can lead to degradation of its ability to absorb CO2, as well as increasing the risk of landslide and avalanche disasters. It also affects ecosystems. Since 2016, employees of the WAVE—our research and development center located in Tokyo’s Hachioji City—and their families have been carrying out forest maintenance annually at the nearby green conservation area. These activities are held with support from the NPO Green Support Hachioji and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Bureau of Environment. (In FY2020 and FY2021, this activity was cancelled due to irregular weather conditions and COVID-19).
This activity includes thinning trees and clearing undergrowth so that sunlight can reach the forest floor, and also sets aside time to enjoy the blessings of the forest through handicraft experiences for children and planting shiitake mushrooms. To date, a total of 69 persons (this number includes employees and their families) have participated in forest maintenance.
In Komoro City, Nagano Prefecture, 115 species of butterflies were confirmed*1. Asama Plateau is a habitat and breeding environment for various rare species, which also include the Colias palaeno and Aporia hippia, both designated as Nagano Prefecture natural protected species. However, the Red Data Book Nagano Prefectural version 2015 (animal species), a list of endangered wildlife, includes 586 species of insects. There are many insects living in Nagano Prefecture that are at risk of being endangered. Measures need to be put in place to deal with this issue.
Accordingly, the NISSIN FOODS Group has been preparing a habitat for insects by creating a biotope*2 on the grounds of the Momofuku Ando Center of Outdoor Training (Momofuku Ando Center) in Komoro City, Nagano Prefecture since November 2017.
Furthermore, to increase interest in biodiversity, we solicited photographs of insects visiting the biotope to compile a digital insect picture book containing photos of 100 insect species. NISSIN FOODS Holdings received the Biodiversity Action Award in 2018 given by the Japan Committee of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (UNDB-J). The Company was also selected two years in a row for the Japan Nature Conservation Awards (2018 and 2019) organized by the Nature Conservation Society of Japan.
|Implementation date||No. of participants||Activity details|
|2017||November 10-12||23 group employees, 6 local volunteers||
|2018||May 11-12||15 group employees, 339 general participants||
|November 3||14 group employees||
- *1From the Second Komoro City Basic Environmental Plan (revised) (Environment and Water Supply Department, Komoro City, Nagano Prefecture)
- *2“Biotope” in English comes from the German biotope, which originated from the Greek words bios (life) and topos (place). It refers to a space where local wildlife lives, grows, and reproduces.
- *3An agreement under which citizens’ groups, companies, schools, and other organizations cooperate in activities to conserve the natural environment and biodiversity in Nagano Prefecture (This agreement was renewed in May 2021)
Providing Nature-Experience Activities
The Momofuku Ando Center of Outdoor Training (Momofuku Ando Center) is a dedicated facility established in Komoro City, Nagano in May 2010 for the purpose of training leaders for children’s nature-experience activities and popularizing outdoor activities. The Center is located on roughly 52,500-m2 of land with a full view of the Asama mountain range and full of nature.The facility is available for nature experience activities, outdoor activities, and nature education, for research, and for conferences and it also offers courses on nature experience activities. The Japan Long Trail Association executive office is located within the Momofuku Ando Center and uses the facility to host the Japan Long Trail Symposium annually. The Center fosters a “culture of walking” by supporting the popularization and development of “long trail,” a cross-country trip on foot, in cooperation with the Long Trail Association.
Seven treehouses designed by famous designers and architects create a space in which art can resonant with nature. The outdoor event Komoro Treehouse Project is held annually with this forest as the venue. The event held in November 2019—which included outdoor experiences like fire making and tree climbing, workshops for experiencing artwork using natural materials, food booths serving foods prepared with local seasonal ingredients, and outdoor concerts—attracted more than 2,000 visitors. (FY2021, this activity was cancelled due to COVID-19)
Support for Children’s Nature Experience Activities
In accordance with our goal to further spread and revitalize nature activities in line the concept “Nature activities nurture children’s creativity and can-do spirit,” the Ando Foundation has held the Tom Sawyer School Idea Contest since 2002. The contest solicits and selects unique and highly creative proposals for hands-on nature activities from schools and groups around Japan. Donations of support funds for these activities are made to 50 organizations. In addition, excellent organizations are commended each January on the basis of submitted activities reports from each support group.
For the 19th Tom Sawyer School Idea Contest in fiscal 2021, entries were received from 124 organizations. The results of the contest and details of activities have been disclosed on the Nature-experience.com website.