Supporting Conservation of Asian Forests

Geographical location:

Asia/Pacific > East Asia > Japan

Asia/Pacific > Southeast Asia > Indonesia
Europe/Middle-East > Eastern Europe > Russian Federation > Siberia > Maritime Territory (Primorye or Primorsky Krai)

Land of Leopard
© WWF Japan

Summary

Japan has close links with the timber trade in Indonesia and the Russian Far East. Both these areas have lost vast areas of forest to meet the demands of the timber trade. This project aims to raise funds to reduce the ongoing destruction of these forests.

Work will focus on the sustainable use of forest resources and the raising of public awareness of the Japanese timber trade's direct inks to endangered wildlife and forests.

Background

20% of all Japanese wood imports are thought to be from illegal sources. Japanese timber purchasing practices have a direct negative impact on forests, particularly in the Pacific region. Although there has been a shift to other regions, Japan still has close links with the destruction of high conservation value forests (HCVF), particularly in Indonesia and the Russian Far East.

In response to HCVF destruction in Indonesia, particularly central Sumatra, WWF Japan started an Indonesian Forest Conservation Fund Project in January 2004. This project builds on that work, expanding to also cover the Russian Far East and other areas which have close links with the Japanese timber trade.

Objectives

- Conservation of natural forests (particularly high conservation value forests).

- Sustainable use of forest resources (including measures against illegal logging and poaching).

- Restoration of degraded forests.

- Increase public awareness by providing relevant information regarding the endangered status of wildlife and forests particularly in terms of how this relates to Japanese timber trade.

Solution

- Establish specialized fund for Asian forests from concerned corporations on the issue.

- Prepare and implement projects through close collaboration with relevant WWF offices.

- Provide information regarding the endangered status of wildlife and forests, particularly in terms of Japanese timber trade links (to increase public awareness).

- Encourage corporations to include confirmation of product information at the producer’s side in the policy or guideline of procurement for forest products.

Achievement

By March 2006

- Donation Appeal was completed by the end of March 2006.

- WWF approved grant funding to WWF Russia for a project, “Far Eastern Leopard Forest Restoration and Protection Related Activities” for the period between 1 April 2006 and 31 March 2007.

By March 2007

- WWF Japan funded WWF Russia's project “Establishment of Fire Breaks”. This is the first project for forest restoration and sustainable use in the Amur-Heilong ecoregion. Seedlings are to be planted in a 20km-long belt.

- To cope with a government’s plan to build an oil pipeline which would threaten the Amur leopard habitat, WWF Japan, under close contact with WWF Russia and collaboration with Japanese non-governmental organizations (NGOs), ran a signature campaign to ask for a route change. WWF Japan submitted the signatures to the Russian embassy in Tokyo.

By March 2008

- Fire Break Project: A 10km-long fire break was planted in an area along the borderline with China and a 9km-long in other area in October 2007. Fire drills were conducted with the local frontier guards, and watchtowers were constructed.

- Amur - Heilong Regional Conservation Programme: WWF Japan officially joined the programme in June 2007. WWF Japan will participate in formation of and support projects in Russian Far East, i.e., conservation of Amur leopard, conservation of HCVF, promotion of FSC.

- Expansion of Tesso Nilo and Eyes on the Forest: To conserve the natural forests in the State of Liau by supporting expansion of Tesso Nilo National Park and the enforcement of a ministerial ordinance to make the state a center of elephant conservation. Activities include pressuring relevant administrations for appropriate actions, discussions with local stakeholders, demarcating boundaries based on the information collected through “Eyes on the Forest” project (e.g., distribution of natural forests, elephants and other wildlife), appealing conservation of peat bog forests as carbon sink affecting global warming, identifying locations and names of persons and companies engaged in illegal logging and cutting of HCVF and disseminating such information to the world.

- Buki Barisan Selatan National Park: Reinforced surveillance on illegal activities in the buffer zones by encouraging more local participation and providing training for effective patrolling. A pilot project was developed outside the protected area to generate regular income from sustainable resource management such as coffee plantation.

By March 2009

(Fundraising)

- A company to which WWF has been providing relevant information on Sumatra and advising their responsible purchasing policy committed over JPY70 million for two years from April 2009.

- WWF Japan’s donation appeal for the conservation of Amur leopard and their forests in the 2008-2009 winter season raised over JPY22 million from over 3,600 donors. Supporting budget for FY2010 will be increased. The projects to support for FY2010 has been fixed as follows:

- Tesso Nilo National Park - Bukit 30 National Park Expansion and Eyes on the Forest (ID 0176.03-3512), Oct. 2007-Sep.2008, Budget: USD80,000.

- Joint Community Patrols and Promote Sustainable Livelihood in Buffer Zone Area to Protect Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (ID 0164.02-3512), Nov.07-Oct.08, Budget:USD55,000.

- Amur/Heilong Conservation Programme (PIA), (RU 0096.14), July07.7-June08, Budget:JPY16,500,000.

- Support to Decrease Illegal Practices in BBS AND Tesso Nilo National Park through Mutual Cooperations between Regional Government and Local Community (Tesso Nilo: ID017603-3512-701) & (BBS : ID016402-3512-702), July 08-June 09, Budget: USD143,950.

-Amur/Heilong Conservation Programme (PIA), RU 0096.14, July 08-June 09, Budget:JPY16,500,000.

As for the progress of each project on the ground, please refer to each project TPR.

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