Mitsubishi Corporation

Tropical Forest Regeneration Project

The shrinking of the world's tropical forests has had a major impact on the global environment, including the effect on the conservation of natural ecosystems and the reduction in the absorption of CO2 which contributes to global warming. In addition, loss of tropical forests is also blamed for causing abnormal weather conditions. MC, in understanding the important role played by tropical forests, has been contributing to the regeneration of tropical forests since 1990. The company promotes initiatives to achieve rapid regeneration through afforestation methods which are accomplished by the dense planting of native as well as mixed plants. MC has made a long-term commitment to tropical forest regeneration, and strives to attain this goal through collaboration between industry, research institutions and government agencies.

Tropical Forest Regeneration Project

Tropical deforestation is one of the most serious environmental issues that humanity faces today. Tropical forests are treasure houses of living species, and the loss of these forests has a huge impact on biodiversity. Because these forests also play an important role as carbon dioxide sinks, their loss could further promote global warming, weather disturbances, and even weather-related natural disasters. Once destroyed, it is believed that old-growth forests require 300 to 500 years to return to their original condition.

In this context, Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) launched the Tropical Forest Regeneration Project in Malaysia in 1990. It is based on the idea of re-creating native forests with native trees and on the concept of the potential of latent natural vegetation.

The Malaysian project is based on the research by Dr. Akira Miyawaki, known as the Miyawaki Method. Its aim is to demonstrate the feasibility of restoring degraded forest land to conditions that closely resemble a natural forested ecosystem within 40 to 50 years, by intensive mixed planting of native tree species. The project began with backing provided by MC for collaborative research by the Agricultural University of Malaysia and the Yokohama National University. The project site is on land remaining after being cleared, burnt, and used for agriculture near Bintulu in Sarawak, Malaysia.

Approximately 300,000 saplings were planted on a 50-hectare experimental site, and now after just over 30 years, some of the tallest trees have reached heights of more than 20 meters, and the site is taking on the appearance of a luxuriant forest.