Ministry of Parks and Recreation invited me to give a speech to
twenty senior government officials as well as 200 young foresters
on natural resource protection. My speech was to encourage the young
foresters to help educate Japan about the plight of Old Growth forests.
I asked for
permission to deliver the speech in the forest while perched on
a tree limb and for a man who lives in a Miso Barrel Treehouse this
request was not a surprise to the organizers. I was granted the
approval to give a "tree speech."
Japan is one
of the world's largest importers of lumber and old growth wood.
It is less expensive to buy imported lumber than to harvest generation
old tree farmed wood and consequently the forestry industry is bankrupt
and wood lies rotting in Japanese forests. The paradox is perishing
overseas old growth forests and rotting forest abundance in Japan.
Japan has farmed
forests for hundreds of years and now the nation is covered with
man made forests, designated for lumber but no market. These forests
unless culled, become dark sick and ugly despite the culled wood
lumber will have labels stating whether or not it is old growth
trees so that people can use their conscience when choosing lumber.
Without educating the public they don't have the information to
make a moral decision.
people to take up tree climbing and become instructors, I asked
the Ministry to set up tree climbing stations in the National Parks
and campsites to promote young families coming to the forest and
enjoying the trees. Booths should also be set up to explain about
world trees and exploitation.
I also shared
with the foresters my dream for Japan.
1. That Japan
be less lumber dependent for building and more forest dependent
for fun. Ultimately to be a population that loves nature games,
tree climbing and forest recreation.
2. An Education
Ministry that encourages taking classes outdoors and into the trees.
A country that is not infamous for importing old growth but famous
for forest protection and earth friendly living.
3. Japan needs
to educate the population to import less and use the Japanese farmed
lumber instead. As the forests are culled a more diverse environment
of native plants and trees could be planted and over time the forest
would be returned to it's natural state.
The speech was
a great success and tree climbers who are registered with TCI and
Treeclimbing Japan were given permission to climb in the Aichi Prefecture
National Parks and Forests.
In May 2000,
I will give a nation wide speech to foresters and park employees.
We will be launching the Treeclimbing and Forest Friends as a program
to introduce Forest Fun and protection.