2012/07/17

Kao Starts "FURUSATO Environment Conservation Project in Northern Thailand" as Part of its Environment Conservation Activities

- Creating Sustainable Environments -

Kao Corporation (President and CEO: Michitaka Sawada) initiated the "FURUSATO Environment Conservation Project in Northern Thailand" in 2012, together with the Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement Japan (OISCA Japan), a public benefit corporation.

Kao has been carrying out its original greening program, named "Kao Creating Forests for Everyone," for ten years, supporting citizen's activities for protecting and nurturing forests. Kao positions environmental conservation as a global societal issue and intends to make significant contributions to sustainable environment creation on a global basis. Thus, in addition to ecology activities in Japan such as the Kao Creating Forests for Everyone Program, the company started this project in Thailand for environment conservation.

The region where the "FURUSATO Environment Conservation Project in Northern Thailand" is being implemented used to be blessed with broad tracts of forests containing many endemic species of trees; however, due to uncontrolled logging and land development, the forested area has been devastated. Moreover, logged areas were converted to agricultural land by burning off the remains of clear-cut forests. Subsequently, single-species crops were planted. Such drastic habitat alteration caused the soil to degrade and become infertile. The massive decrease in forested land and the resulting soil deterioration have led to floods and mudslides in rainy seasons, while forest fires accompanied by smoke pollution occur in dry seasons. The natural environment in the region has lost its resilience, and that has had drastic effects on the people living the area.

To rejuvenate logged forests and promote sustainable conservation, the FURUSATO project is undertaking such activities as planting trees and empowering local people. OISCA Japan and OISCA Thailand are taking a lead role in getting the local community involved in such activities as planting seeds compatible with local vegetation. Over a five-year period, a total of 35 hectares will be planted. At the same time, the project provides programs such as studying the importance of environmental conservation. Through these programs, people living in the region can continue to nurture and manage the tree plantation, and ensure sustainable environmental conservation, even after the project comes to a close.

Upholding the "Kao Environmental Statement" under the theme of "eco together," Kao is bringing forward environmental initiatives as it strives to promote environmental conservation, together with various stakeholders, on a global basis.

* The project is named with the hope of contributing to community creation that local people are proud of, by sharing with local communities the image of FURUSATO, or home towns, where sustainable industries are developed in balance with surrounding woodlands.

(left) Tree-planting activities in the local area of the project
(right) A scene of empowerment activities

(left) Tree-planting activities in the local area of the project
(right) A scene of empowerment activities

Outline of the "FURUSATO Environment Conservation Project in Northern Thailand"

• Project term

April 2012 to March 2017 (five years)

• Location where the project is being implemented

Northern region of Thailand: Tambon Rimkhong, Chiang Khong District, Chiang Rai Province

• Details of project activities

1. Tree-planting
Plant trees on a total of 35 hectares for five years. By reforesting logged-off and devastated woodlands, the project aims to restore ecological systems and return the local environment to a disaster-resistant state.
- Plant seeds of trees, including domestic species, in consideration of local vegetation
- Help residents to carry out effective tree plantation and management practices

2. Empowerment for local residents
Establish a base to continue tree-planting activities and environmental conservation beyond the project's term, by promoting to area residents, including children, a better understanding of the importance of environmental conservation.
- Provide residents, including children, with environmental education
- Propose lifestyle choices that have less environmental impact, and provide technical guidance for organic agriculture

• Planning/management

The Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement Japan (OISCA Japan), a public benefit corporation, and OISCA Thailand

About OISCA Japan and OISCA Thailand

The Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement Japan (OISCA Japan), a public benefit corporation, was established in 1969, and is involved in activities for farm village development and environmental conservation mainly in the Asia-Pacific region. Specifically, the organization emphasizes human resource development and conducts training workshops for agriculture and environmental conservation practices with the aim of fostering youth in each country to be regional leaders. In Japan, OISCA Japan conducts educational programs including seminars and workshops that provide experience in farming and forestry, and promotes environmental conservation including tree plantation and forestry maintenance.

OISCA Thailand Chapter (OISCA Thailand) has undertaken activities for tree plantation, environmental education, human resource development, agriculture, and exchange programs since its start in 1975 in northeastern Thailand's Surin Province. Recently, serious environmental concerns have been raised in Thailand as its economic growth continues. Therefore, OISCA Thailand has focused on empowerment activities for regional residents, including children.

About Kao

Kao creates high-value-added products to help consumers around the world enrich their everyday lives. Over 20 leading brands such as Asience, Attack, Bioré, Goldwell, Jergens, John Frieda, Kanebo, Laurier, Merries and Molton Brown are part of the lives of people in Asia, Oceania, North America and Europe and help generate about 1,200 billion yen (about $US13 billion) in annual sales. Kao employs about 35,000 people worldwide and has more than 120 years of history in innovation. Please visit the Kao group web site for updated information.
http://www.kao.com/group/en/group/

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