Biodiversity / Food / Water

July 18, 2009


Japanese Regional Banks Cooperate to Protect Forests

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity 

Fifty-six Japanese regional banks, including the Bank of Kyoto, announced on April 14, 2009, that they have developed the FY2009 plan "Regional Bank Federation for Protecting Japanese Forests" to launch full-scale forest conservation activities.

The Federation was founded in July 2008 by several regional banks and aspires to protect Japanese forests, which account for 70 percent of the country's land area, through establishing a network for information exchange. The number of regional banks that concur with this vision has since grown - 64 of 64 Japanese regional banks are now participating.

Although forests naturally possess a fundamental capability to support the existence of all living creatures, including humans, they have been increasingly degraded in recent years due to neglect. The vision of the Federation is to build upon this picture. Many regional banks are closely tied to local communities and recognize that handing down healthy forests to the next generation is part of their mission, and are thus initiating or preparing forest nurturing activities in their regions.

As an inauguration commemorating event, the Federation plans to hold a Japanese forest conservation summit in Kyoto - where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted - in December 2009 with the cooperation of ministries, governmental agencies and prefectural governments. The Federation hopes to communicate the importance of forest conservation in Japan and beyond via the summit.