Living in Harmony with Nature

Education

│“WILD MIND GO! GO!” Website Promotes Nature Experience

Many people worldwide are working hard to stop deteriorating biodiversity around the world, but the decline has yet to be halted.

One of the contextual factors influencing today’s deteriorating biodiversity is that the issue is hard for many people to understand. Providing a precise answer is not always easy, even when someone is asking for an explanation. Another factor is that modern ways of life have removed most contact with nature from many people’s daily lives. Casio is working to improve these factors by operating the website, “WILD MIND GO! GO!” This free online platform offers ideas for various experiences where people can easily encounter nature up close, and in familiar places. 

WILD MIND GO! GO! offers people of all ages a creatively curated selection of experiences crafted by over 80 specialists, including outdoor experts, artists, designers, and scientists. Currently, this selection of ideas for over 200 hands-on experiences can be viewed easily by anyone on a computer or smartphone free of charge. People can experience nature in familiar natural terrain, such as parks, woodlands, and dry riverbeds. Participants can also report back on their experiences and share them with others.
People who have participated in these experiences report they have exciting adventures and make a variety of amazing discoveries in a familiar natural environment.

October 2020: Hands-on experience starting a friction fire

April 2021: Making an oil lamp

The ambitious goal of WILD MIND GO! GO! is to offer ideas for hands-on experiences that give people a fresh taste of the allure of nature and connect them to their natural environment. This is designed to restore an awareness of the abundant “power as a living being” that is innate to every person. The foundation for learning is the acquisition of knowledge, but compared to learning from movies or written texts, which offer a limited amount of information, hands-on experiences in natural terrain can be said to have unlimited informational content. In a nutshell, “some things you can’t understand unless you try them yourself.”

March 2021: Crafting decorations using feathers from wild birds

September 2020: Making ramie rope

Hands-on experiences add a dimension that goes beyond intellectual understanding, including an emotional impact and even the opportunity to sometimes make mistakes. It is precisely the understanding gained from experience and learning through repeated doing that leave an indelible impression on the body and soul. One example is a feeling of symbiosis with nature. A meaningful relationship is born with a part of nature, by eating it, using it, etc. The nature you felt detached from before becomes nature that personally concerns you.

Casio continues to promote WILD MIND GO! GO! to encourage more and more people to experience and understand the nature all around them firsthand, to recapture their own “power as a living being.”

│CASIO Forest

Casio entered into the “Tokyo Waterworks: Corporate Forest (Naming Rights)” agreement with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Bureau of Waterworks on August 29, 2018. Based on this agreement, Casio is conducting conservation activities on 2.46 hectares of an approximately 25,000-hectare water conservation forest owned by Tokyo, which it has named “CASIO Forest.”

Signed the Tokyo Waterworks: Corporate Forest (Naming Rights) agreement (in Japanese)

Activities are carried out by employee volunteers on days off. During the three years from 2018 to 2020, a total of 55 employees and their family members worked hard conducting onsite volunteer activities on six occasions.

Preparatory field work in October 2018: Fallen branches and other leftover materials after thinning were cleared away to expose the ground for planting

Bureau of Waterworks Tokyo Metropolitan Government: “Tokyo Waterworks: Corporate Forest (Naming Rights)” (in Japanese)

FY2019 Activities in the Casio Forest (in Japanese)

May 2019: Tree planting (in Japanese)

July 2019: Birdhouse making (in Japanese)

November 2019: Birdhouse cleaning and installation (in Japanese)

November 2020: Birdhouse cleaning and re-installation (in Japanese)

In the Tokyo Waterworks maintenance project for water conservation forests, the CASIO Forest area is designated for development of a forest of mixed conifers and deciduous trees. Just before the agreement was signed, the timber was cut to renew the woods as a water conservation forest. CASIO’s activities began with preparatory field work, which laid the groundwork to plant broad-leaf trees at the site. After this preparatory field work, 50 Mongolian oak and 50 Japanese maple trees were planted, for a total of 100 trees. 

Planting Trees in May 2019: 50 Mongolian oak and 50 Japanese maple trees were planted

As is the nature of a water conservation forest, CASIO Forest is located deep in the mountains far from the city center. The forest is a two-hour drive from the Hamura R&D Center in Hamura City outside of Tokyo, and because it sits at approximately 1,200 meters above sea level, the weather can be unpredictable. Often, by the time volunteers get to the site, the weather has turned rainy, making outdoor work impossible. Top address this, an indoor program has been developed, where volunteers make birdhouses for wild birds using certified wood from Tama. This program has been held twice, and a total of 10 birdhouses have been installed in CASIO Forest.

Making Birdhouses in July 2019: Birdhouse-making as a rainy day program

The COVID-19 pandemic also impacted the CASIO Forest activities in 2020. Out of concern for infection risk, the usual activity of taking a chartered bus as a group to the forest site was cancelled. 

On the other hand, Tokyo’s provision of tap water is an important lifeline in resident’s daily lives, and management of nature in the water conservation forests continued despite the coronavirus crisis. Furthermore, transmission between humans and animals is said to be why the COVID-19 pandemic originated, and since it is also a biodiversity issue, it is necessary to consider adapting to be able to live with the coronavirus.

Given this, careful consideration was given to fiscal 2021 activities and participation was limited to people who have joined in the past. Three participants, including persons from the secretariat, cleaned and re-installed the ten birdhouses in the CASIO Forest in November 2020. This activity is thought to enable wild birds in the CASIO Forest to continue nestbuilding.

Cleaning Birdhouses in November 2020: Participants check the interior of a birdhouse with their creatively constructed tool using a smartphone 

Tokyo Waterworks has installed around 4,000 birdhouses in water conservation forests. This aims to encourage nestbuilding by wild birds, which eat harmful insects, thereby decreasing damage from those insects to the trees that make up the water conservation forests. In other words, the activity endeavors to resolve problems by utilizing the power of nature, since insect control using pesticides is unsuitable in water conservation forests that serve as the source of people’s drinking water. This can be called a nature-based solutions (NbS). 

Ogouchi Dam is a reservoir for water flowing from water conservation forests and can be considered gray infrastructure, while water conservation forests that function to maintain a low sedimentation rate for the dam can be called green infrastructure. The combination of the two is likely to receive more and more attention going forward as a method of global environmental conservation. This means that water conservation forests not only secure tap water and preserve biodiversity, but also help absorb CO₂, which is key to climate change, and thus they are related to multiple goals contained in the SDGs.
CASIO Forest promotes greater understanding of the importance of these issues thanks to the hard work of participating employee volunteers. To contribute to the resolution of global environmental issues, Casio will continue promoting these activities to create opportunities for employees to think about what the company can do for biodiversity in its business activities.

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