Chapter I Toward competitive forestry and forest industry which develop healthy forests
1. Why do we need a competitive forestry and forest industry now?
As üggreen infrastructureüh, forests have multiple functions, such as mitigating global warming, conserving national land, nurturing water resources, and retaining biological diversity, etc. and thus play essential roles to protect peopleüfs lives.
Forests, which absorb CO2 in the air and store carbon, have an important role to mitigate global warming. It is essential to maintain forests and promote the use of wood in order to achieve the commitment Japan made under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6%.
With a series of natural disasters in recent years caused by typhoons, heavy rain and earthquakes, it is important to further promote forest management to make them resistant to disasters.
The ways in which forests are used have diversified, such as in the form of forest therapy, which uses forests to improve health, and forest environmental education.
Recently, the volume of forests available for wood supply has been increasing. Now is the time to lead forests into becoming more diverse and healthy entities, which will be achieved after a century has elapsed.
Because of a slump in both the demand for and prices of domestic wood, motivation among owners to manage forests has declined and there is concern over the delay in forest maintenance.
In addition, forestry workers have been aging and their number is in rapid decline.
Therefore, there is a need to focus on enhancing the use of domestic wood to promote the healthy management of forests in Japan by revitalizing the forestry and forest industry.
2. Importance of fostering wood culture
Since ancient times, there has been a ügwood cultureüh in Japan, whereby the merits of wood are utilized in buildings and houseware.
It is useful to rediscover the merits of wood and use it actively in homes and buildings for educational, and welfare services, in order to create a comfortable and healthy human life.
It is important to deepen the understanding of the significance of wood use and nurture a new wood culture, which suits contemporary society, through ügKIZUKAI-UNDOüh (Wood Products Use Campaign) and ügMOKUIKUüh (Education For Wood Products Use).
3. Promotion of ügUtsukushii Mori Zukuriüh (the creation of well-managed forests)
Two-thirds of the land in Japan is forest, forming a beautiful country.
In February 2007, the Government of Japan started promoting the ügUtsukushii Mori Zukuriüh campaign, which aims to hand over well-managed forests and nature-rich land to future generations, and the relevant cabinet ministers endorsed and approved its basic principles.
In future, based on the wide-ranging understanding and support of the Japanese people, public and private campaigns will be conducted comprehensively, in order to manage diverse and healthy forests, by promoting thinning and / or conversion to broad-leaf forests.
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