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Environmental Preservation with External Partners

Kumon Forest Foundation

The Kumon Group has made donations to various environmental organizations in the past, and in 2014 we established the Kumon Forest Foundation to create a system that allows us to continue providing support to organizations engaged in environmental conservation activities.

The Kumon Group uses a great deal of paper for learning materials. For this reason, we have made it one of our most important environmental goals to avoid wasting paper resources, and Kumon staff have been working together to use environmentally friendly paper, to reduce the use of paper other than for learning materials, and to recycle used paper.

In the future, we will strive to reduce our own environmental impact and to promote activities with external partners that protect forest resources through the Kumon Forest Foundation so as to contribute to the conservation of the global environment and the realization of a sustainable society.

Support for WWF Japan forest preservation activities

Through the Kumon Forest Foundation, the Kumon Group started to give our support to WWF Japan in 2014. WWF Japan is a member of the WWF Network, which is an organization for global environmental preservation operating in over 100 countries worldwide.

The WWF was established in Switzerland in 1961. Its mission is to protect biodiversity around the globe and to reduce the human burden on nature and wildlife. Forest preservation is one of them.

In addition to fieldwork, such as surveying and protecting rare species and reforestation through tree planting, WWF Japan works toward the goal of sustainable forest preservation by supporting local communities and the responsible purchasing of raw materials in Japan. It also conducts promotional and educational activities through the development of environmental educational programs and the organization of seminars and other events related to the environment.

WWF Japan supports forest preservation activities worldwide through its global network and also works on environmental education. Through education, Kumon also aims to make contributions to local communities and countries around the globe. Therefore, since we understand their activities, we also decided to support WWF Japan.

1.ESD Activities in Indonesia

In the village of Long Umun, which is located in an area of Borneo with particularly rich biodiversity, an oil palm plantation is being developed for the purpose of palm oil production.

In 2016, WWF started sustainable training as an ESD * activity in the elementary school of this village in order to teach children how to protect the precious forest by themselves. So far, we have trained teachers on a variety of topics, including introducing ESDs, group discussions, lessons utilizing the outdoor environment, and how to incorporate local environmental issues into their lessons.

In November 2019, village teachers and board of education staff visited a successful school in Kalimantan to experience the benefits of ESDs. They were amazed at the ingenuity of learning in all aspects of the school, not just in the classroom, as well as the cleanliness of the school. They said they would like to produce the same results in Long Umun village. However, in 2020, the village was subject to a lockdown through October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant that the school was only able to open twice a week and half of the planned activities could not be carried out.

In Long Umun village, where a main road to connect with other towns will be built in the future, we are preparing a community development plan with the children of the village with the goal of ensuring that elements that are in line with the village policy are protected. We hope that ESD activities in the school will be actively carried out to benefit the entire village.

※Education for Sustainable Development: activities aimed at creating new sense of value and behaviors linked to solving many problems around the world such as the environment, poverty, human rights, peace, and development and creating a sustainable society.

2.Forest conservation in the Mekong region

The forests in the Mekong River basin, which flows through the Indochina Peninsula, are rapidly diminishing and tigers, elephants, and gibbons are in danger of extinction. In particular, the development of natural rubber plantations has been progressing since 2010 and is one of the factors contributing to deforestation.

WWF, in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, has provided productivity improvement training to 590 farmers and 230 agricultural instructors, as well as training to become highly skilled tappers (harvesters) of natural rubber, and 11 participants have obtained certification as highly skilled tappers.

We also conducted a composting training program, which has the advantage of reducing the environmental impact by not relying on chemical fertilizers, and is easily adopted by farmers who have difficulty purchasing fertilizers due to the cost. Twenty people from the government and 37 farmers participated in the training.

In the future, we will continue to support those involved in the production and processing of natural rubber to ensure that it is produced sustainably.

Participation in Reforestation Activities through the Tree as a Present

All Instructors in Japan submit reports via the Center system and they order worksheets and items via the internet as part of the effort by the Kumon Institute of Education. We have set up a system where Instructors are given “Green Points” in this process. The Green Points that are earned can be donated to the NPO Environmental Relations at a rate of 1 Green Point = 1 yen. This NPO is engaged in tree planting activities called the “Present Tree.”

In fiscal year 2020, a total of 550,000 yen, including 250,000 yen collected from Instructors, was donated for a tree-planting activity in Osaki City, Miyagi Prefecture. The forestation site is located in the Onikobe district of Naruko Onsen, which is closest to the border between Yamagata and Akita prefectures, and is an area that has temporarily halted cattle grazing due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Broadleaf tree saplings were planted to restore the natural forest in the area where the demand for pasture grass has decreased and grass harvesting is no longer carried out. A forest of broadleaf trees was created near the source of the Eai River, located in the Naruko Onsen Gorge, to nurture the water that feeds the rice fields downstream.

Together with the Instructors of the 16,200 Centers nationwide we will continue our efforts to reduce paper usage through our Green Points activities and we will participate in the forest preservation activities via the tree as a present.

Environmental Philosophy and Environmental Policy,
and environmental promotion system