Chapter II Promotion of carbon-sink measures to mitigate global warming
1. Global initiatives for the mitigation of global warming

  Global warming is one of the most critical issues, with severe influences on the natural ecosystem and foundation of human survival

  According to the gForth Assessment Reporth compiled (issued) in 2007 by the gIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)h, the average global surface temperature rose by 0.74 degrees Celsius in the century up to 2005. It is expected to rise by a maximum of 6.4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.

  According to observations by the Japan Meteorological Agency, the temperature in Japan has risen by 1.07 degrees Celsius over the past century.

2. Japanfs initiative to mitigate global warming

  Upon the conclusion of the Kyoto Protocol, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries drew up a g10-Year Action Plan on the Mitigation of Global Warming by Forest Carbon Sinksh in December 2002, to encourage forest-related activities, such as the proper management and conservation of forests by local and national governments.

  In the Kyoto Protocol Target Achievement Plan, endorsed by the Cabinet in 2005, the target was set up to achieve an absorption of 13 million carbon tons of CO2 through forest carbon sinks, equating to 3.8% of the 6% emission reduction commitment for Japan. Forest carbon sinks are positioned as Japanfs most urgent task in the mitigation of global warming.

  According to the preliminary report (published in October 2006), total emissions for FY2005 exceeded the base year total emission by 8.1%. Thus, it is necessary to reduce carbon emission by 8.7% to achieve the 6% reduction target, despite the fact that carbon-sink measures and the Kyoto mechanism have been implemented as planned.

  According to an estimate by the Forestry Agency, there is a need to properly manage an additional 200,000 hectares of forest per year during the period from 2007 to 2012, when the first commitment period ends, in order to achieve the goal in terms of forest carbon sinks. Since the first commitment period is almost upon us, there is a need to accelerate the pace at which appropriate measures are implemented.

  It is important, therefore, to obtain the wide range of understanding and support of the public and promote forest management strongly through thinning and other operations.