About the local hosting organizationThe pollution has been totally cleared away and it?s completely safe now, but the image of Minamata is still ?dirty? or ?dangerous? and some people are discriminated in getting jobs or finding marriage partners. The first 10 years of workcamps since 1992 made a significant impact to create a forest on the reclaimed land which was built in the process of clearing the mercury from the bay. This forest bears new lives as a symbol of revival and is an important place to pray for the victims of Minamata Disease, as well as for the world to reflect on the effects of modern industrialization. As well as many other parts of Japan, bamboo trees, that was originally brought from China by human being, have been severely spreading and damaging the other trees and eco-system. There is also a new project to revitalize the marine environment. There is a lot of rubbish on the beaches, but when it?s clean, there is a lot of sea food such as oysters and sea urchins. Rehabilitation of seaweed forests is taking place since a few years ago.
About the volunteer work1. Trimming bamboo trees that can increase the whole amount to fix carbon in the forest. 2. Making bamboo charcoal from ones cut in the Work 1 and use it for BBQ, etc. instead of oil. 3. Other work such as harvesting paper mulberry trees, citrus fruits, onions, helping to run marine environmental education for middle school students and ocean life investigation. * Working time will be normally 7?8 hours per day and 5 days a week. < Results in 2016 > SCC (Global Voluntary Service to Stop Climate Change) 2016 project in 01 Oct - 28 Oct.; Cut bamboo trees and made charcoal from them that reduced 1,840 kg of ???. * It was conducted by 8 volunteers from Japan, Mexico and Europe. < Plan for 2017 > The target number of carbon reduction is 6,000 kg that will be defined by the amount of the fund raised by this carbon offset. There may be a few times of international weekend (very short term) workcamps in Jul.-Sep.
Local accommodationShared the house in local area. It is called "Garanse house". Cooking by yourselves. Wifi is available in the house. Sleeping bag is needed. We use bicycle to go to project site normally.
About the project locationThe area is famous for huge public pollution of mercury happened over 60 years ago. It is located in southern Kumamoto prefecture of Kyushu island with a beautiful semi-closed sea and mountains with several villages, where traditional culture remains strongly. There are many mandarin farms and the local onions are said to be so sweet that you can eat them like an apple! It is a very hot and humid season (especially August)! Enjoy Japanese summer!
RequirementsInterest to environmental issues, stop climate change, carbon offset.
Extra info about the projectOther activities: The person in charge of organizing this program is a traditional Japanese paper maker, and his wife makes textiles (she grows her own organic cotton, hand spins it into thread, dyes it with natural plant dyes, and weaves it into cloth on a loom.) If anyone is interested, we are able to make time to experience any or all of these.