SCIENTIFIC CERTIFICATION SYSTEMS
PUBLIC SUMMARY REPORT
FOR THE CERTIFICATION EVALUATION OF
THE HAYAMI FOREST
1.0 GENERAL INFORMATION
1.1 Name and Contact Information of Certification Applicant
Miyama-cho, Mie Prefecture, Japan
Contact: Tohru Hayami
1.2 General Background
At the request of Mr. Tohru Hayami, Scientific Certification Systems conducted an evaluation of the Hayami Forest, located in Miyama-cho, Mie Prefecture, Japan. The purpose of the evaluation was to determine the extent to which the Hayami Forest operations are consistent with the characteristics of exemplary plantation forest management, as represented by the evaluation criteria of SCS' Forest Conservation Program (plantation forest option). The scope of the evaluation included a review of the management of the timber resource, the care taken in protecting the forest ecosystem, the financial viability of the operation, and the socio-economic effects of the forestry operation on communities and economies within Hayami Forests sphere of influence.
1.3 Forest and Management System
The Hayami Forest is comprised of approximately 1,070 hectares, of which approximately 820 hectares are under active timber management. Whereas the unmanaged component of the Hayami Forest is occupied by native broadleaf species, the managed component is occupied by planted stands of conifer species not indigenous to this region of Japan.
The management regimes employed on the planted conifer stands are even-aged and involve several intermediate treatments culminating in a clearfelling final harvest, at ages of approximately 80-120 years. Because of the species being managed and the even-aged silviculture, it is the judgement of the SCS experts that the Hayami Forest should be evaluated under the plantation forestry standards as opposed to the natural forest standards, both of which are contained in the SCS Forest Conservation Program.
Management of the conifer plantations is broken into two broad classes: ordinary forest and restricted forest. Restricted forest is primarily those areas within the Hayami Forest that are designated by governmental officials as watershed lands. In these areas, the breadth and intensity of timber management activities is restricted relative to regimes that are employed in the ordinary forest component. Approximately 46% of the planted conifer stands fall within the ordinary forest component and 54% fall within the restricted forest component.
Total standing volume of timber (all species) on the Hayami Forest is approximately 144,000 cubic meters with annual growth of approximately 4,400 cubic meters (3% of inventory). Relative to plantation forests in other parts of the world, the conifer plantations of Japan are slow growing. To be competitive, they must produce high quality wood products rather than high volumes per hectare.
Environmental and Socioeconomic Context
The Hayami Forest is located in a rural and largely forested region along the Pacific Coast of the main Japanese island of Honsyu, in a region known as the Kii Peninsula. The Hayami Forest is located within the small coastal town of Miyama, with the closest mid-sized town being Owase. Miyamas economic base is heavily dependent on natural resources: commercial and sport fishing as well as forestry. The Hayami Forest is one of the two largest private forest operations in Miyama and it has been under continuous management by the Hayami family since the 18th century.
Due to centuries of commercial timber harvesting and active silviculture, the forested landscape of Miyama, and the broader region of Mie Prefecture, is highly modified, particularly with the extensive and long-standing introduction of planted conifers. Of the almost 10,000 hectares of forest cover in Miyama, approximately two-thirds is occupied by conifer plantations with the remainder being secondary natural forest (broadleaf species). On an even larger spatial scale, roughly 60% of the total forest cover in Japan is occupied by natural forests with varying degrees of alteration due to past human intervention. The remainder, roughly 40% of Japans forest estate, is occupied by conifer plantations.
The relative distribution of planted conifers and natural broadleaf forest within the Hayami Forest parallels the distribution found throughout Miyama and Mie Prefecture.
From a socio-economic standpoint, the Hayami Forest is a long-standing, important element of the regional economy of Miyama. The Hayami Forest employs 23 forest workers, all of which have been employed for many years. As the forestry sector of Japan has been depressed for several years, the employment stability that Hayami Forest brings to the region has been a pleasant contrast to the norm.
High Conservation Value Forests:
Under the revised Principle 9 of the Forest Stewardship Councils Principles & Criteria, it is required that a certification evaluation team address the issue of high conservation value forests. HCVs, due to their uniqueness and heightened ecological and/or socio-economic value, must be managed so as to maintain the attributes that make them of high conservation value. That is, HCVs cannot be converted to other types of forest cover lacking in the attributes that made these areas of high conservation value.
In the case of the Hayami Forest project, the Evaluation Team considered past management practices within the region as well as the local/regional rarity or limited distribution of forest types. In Mie Prefecture, approximately 62% of the forest area is covered with conifer plantations. Of the 38% of the region that is occupied by natural forest cover, virtually none of the natural cover is primary forest.
In recognition of their limited remaining extent within the region, the Evaluation Team concluded that the following forest types be considered as HCV for the purpose of the Hayami evaluation:
For the region around Hayami Forest, mapped sites are a wetland/bog type and dragon fly habitat, neither of which is found within the Hayami Forest.
Within the Hayami Forest, there is no sea shore forest type present nor old remnants of primary natural forest. There are town-designated protection forests within Hayami Forest that are being managed so as to be in compliance with applicable limits and constraints (such as clearcut size).
In the judgement of the Evaluation Team, the management of the Hayami Forest does not conflict with the FSC policy that HCV forests be maintained.
1.5 Products Produced
The Hayami Forest is managed for the production of high-quality logs of the species hinoki and sugi. These logs are used for products such as: squared poles (timbers) used in traditional Japanese home construction, lumber, and household products such as cutting boards and paper weights.
1.6 Chain of Custody Certification
Handling and shipment of Hayami Forest logs, as well as products manufactured under contract with local businesses, is covered under a separate chain of custody certificate issued to Mr. Tohru Hayami (SCS-C-00155).
2.0 THE CERTIFICATION EVALUATION PROCESS
The preliminary evaluation was conducted during the month of October, 1998. The preliminary evaluation was conducted by Dr. Robert J. Hrubes, who subsequently served as team leader for the full evaluation.
In June 1999, Dr. Hrubes returned to Japan for the purpose of forming a team of Japanese forestry experts to conduct the full evaluation of the Hayami Forest. After meeting with many Japanese experts, Dr. Hrubes selected four individuals with expertise in forest ecology, forest silviculture and forest mensuration. These individuals are described, below.
During the months of August and September 1999, the Evaluation Team reviewed written materials and assisted the team leader in modifying the evaluation criteria to reflect the Japanese context. The Japanese certification standards were made available to interested parties in advance of the field evaluation.
On September 20, 1999, the Evaluation Team convened in Miyama-cho. Interviews with Hayami personnel took place on September 21 along with review of planning documents and inventory information. On September 22, the Team held a public meeting at which over 25 individuals from within Mie Prefecture attended. A list of the meeting participants is appended to the full certification report and can be requested either from SCS, its Japanese representative (Mr. Ito of Sumieito Company) or from Mr. Hayami. The purpose of the meeting was to solicit public input regarding the Hayami Forest. September 22-24 was devoted to field inspections throughout selected areas of the Hayami Forest. The team conducted the scoring protocols on September 25. A portion of the team engaged in the field inspections for chain of custody on September 26.
2.2 Assessment Personnel
Dr. Robert J. Hrubes, Team Leader: Dr. Hrubes is a consulting California registered professional forester (#2228) and forest economist with 24 years of professional experience in both public and private forest management issues. In addition to serving as team leader for the Hayami Forest evaluation, Dr. Hrubes worked in collaboration with SCS to develop the programmatic protocol that guides all SCS Forest Conservation Program evaluations. Dr. Hrubes has previously led other SCS Forest Conservation Program evaluations of North American industrial forest ownerships, as well as operations in Scandinavia, Chile, and New Zealand. As the Hayami Forest team leader, Dr. Hrubes is the principal author of this report.
Dr. Shiba: Dr. Masami Shiba is an Associate Professor of forest management and forest engineering in the Graduate School of Agriculture at Kyoto University. Prior to his posting to Kyoto University, Dr. Shiba served on the Faculty of Bioresources at Mie University in Tsu. Dr. Shiba has published widely on subjects ranging from forest engineering and forest operation systems to multi-criteria decision-making. From past professional and academic work, Dr. Shiba is personally knowledgeable about the forests of Mie Prefecture. He holds and undergraduate degree from Miyazaki University and graduate degrees from Kyoto University.
Dr. Shiraishi: Dr. Norihiko Shiraishi is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Science, The University of Tokyo. He has been on the faculty since 1997. Prior to his academic posting, Dr. Shiraishi was employed for 10 years as a researcher at the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI) in Hokkaido. His professional specialization is in the fields of forest mensuration, forest inventory, and forest management. He was awarded is doctorate from The University of Tokyo. He has published widely on subjects such as forest monitoring and natural stand attributes in Aomori National Forest.
Mr. Tomimura: Mr. Shuhei Tomimura is a professional consultant based in Tokyo. He is Chief of Tomimura Environment Research Office. His professional expertise is in the areas of forest ecology, forest conservation and engineering in the forestry domain. He received his forestry training and diploma from the Forestry Faculty of Kyoto Prefectural University. He also studied forest ecology at the National Forest Research Center of France. Prior to establishing his own consultancy, Mr. Tomimura was employed for 23 years by Asia Air Survey Co., Ltd.. During this time, he acquired extensive international forestry experience in countries such as Morocco, Ivory Coast, and Paraguay. He has also served as a Lecturer in the Ecology Faculty at Toyo College.
Mr. Ito: For the Hayami Forest evaluation, Mr. Kenichi Ito served as project facilitator and support staff to Dr. Hrubes. In that capacity, he made the necessary stakeholder contacts leading up to the public stakeholder meeting during the week in which the evaluation team was in Miyama-cho. Mr. Ito also served as translator during the course of the field evaluation and translated the regional standards and this report into Japanese. Mr. Ito is employed by Sumieito Co., Ltd. He holds a B.S. in environmental studies from California State University-Arcata.
2.3 Assessment Process
Hayami Forest was evaluated under the plantation forest management option of the SCS Forest Conservation Program. That is, it was the team leaders early determination that the species selection and silviculture practiced on the Hayami Forest yields forest conditions that substantially differ from the conditions found in natural forests that are indigenous to the region.
Commensurate with the size of the land base being evaluated, the Evaluation Team conducted a 6-day field investigation in September, 1999. Prior to and during the field evaluation, face-to-face and telephone consultations were conducted with a cross section of regional stakeholders including regional environmentalists, local governmental personnel, public agency personnel involved in the regulatory oversight of commercial forestry in Japan, and members of the business community. The primary purpose of this consultation was to solicit perspectives and opinions about Hayami Forest and the nature of the interaction between the company, its employees and representatives, and the "regional community", largely defined Miyama-cho, Mie Prefecture, Japan.
The purposes of the September 1999 field investigations were to: 1) through discussions with company resource professionals and through reconnaissance-level inspections of the forest, familiarize the Evaluation Team with the Hayami Forest and the management operations designed and executed by company staff; 2) gather and evaluate available data already generated by Hayami Forest staff and/or their client land owners; 3) conduct interviews with Hayami Forest employees, contractors, and members of the local affected communities as well as relevant public agency employees; 5) review financial and other company information.
Subsequent to the field work, in October and November, 1999, the team collaboratively authored the draft report, which was then reviewed by Mr. Hayami for matters of factual accuracy. The draft report was then peer reviewed by three leading Japanese forest scientists (listed, below). The final report reflects comments and suggestions made by the peer reviewer.
The Hayami Forest evaluation represents the 7th world-wide application of the plantation forest option of the Forest Conservation Program evaluation criteria. It is the first certification by any FSC-accredited certifier to be conducted in Japan.
The Forest Conservation Program, plantation forest option, evaluation criteria total 14, apportioned across three general topics or "program elements:" timber resource sustainability, forest ecosystem maintenance, financial and socio-economic considerations. The scoring guidelines which, in part, comprise the evaluation criteria have been modified to reflect the regional circumstance. These standards have been explicitly evaluated by the Forest Stewardship Council and found to be fully compatible with the FSCs International Principles.
Ultimately, the criteria employed in the assessment of Hayami Forest represent the collective perspective of the Evaluation Team as to the definition of exemplary forest management in the region of Japan in which the Hayami Forest is located. Pursuant to SCS and FSC protocol, the standards employed in the Hayami Forest evaluation are publicly available to any interested party, upon request, from SCS.
3.0 RESULTS, CONCLUSIONS, CONDITIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
HAYAMI FOREST NUMERICAL RATING
Numerical ratings are the importance-weighted averages of three sets of evaluation criteria. For each of the three subject areas (i.e., program elements) of the analysis, the team employed a set of evaluation criteria, first assigning weights of relative importance for each criterion within a set and then assigning a performance score based upon field observations and information review. For each set of criteria (i.e., for each program element), the assigned scores were multiplied by their normalized weights of relative importance and then summed in order to generate three numerical index scores, one for each program element. Based upon information collected and team judgments formed, the Hayami Forest received the following overall numerical scores, on a scale of 0-100, with higher numbers representing superior performance. While 0 and 100 represent theoretical extremes, it is highly unlikely that any actual forestry operation would be scored at either extreme.
Timber Resource Sustainability
Forest Ecosystem Maintenance
In that the threshold for certification requires a score of at least 80 for each of the three program elements, these scores indicate that award of certification is fully warranted. In other words, the Evaluation Team found the management of the Hayami Forest to be truly exemplary relative to international standards of plantation forest management.
COMPLIANCE WITH THE FSC PRINCIPLES AND CRITERIA
Based upon the full and proper execution of the SCS Forest Conservation Program evaluation protocol, it is the judgement of the SCS Evaluation Team that the management of the Hayami Forest is in compliance with the FSC International Principles and Criteria.
GENERAL CONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSION
A summary of the Evaluation Team's findings and conclusions follows, segmented into two parts: commendations/observations and conditions/ recommendations. Conditions, as distinguished from pre-conditions, can be dealt with during specified time periods after award of certification.
For the Hayami Forest, the evaluation team has specified only one condition.
C.1: Within one year of the date of award of certification, Hayami Forest personnel must complete the designation of a reserve area network on the Hayami Forest. The reserve area program should include written policies as to the characteristics of lands meriting inclusion in the reserve network, as well as maps that display the locations of the areas comprising the reserve network. In designating areas for inclusion in the reserve network, first priority should be placed on representative indigenous forest types, particularly any areas occupied by forest types of limited distribution in the region.
A draft version of this report was reviewed by:
Professor Masami Kitamura (emeritus)
Professor Rokurou Kasahara (emeritus)
The Mie University
Professor Sadamoto Watanabe
Peer review comments were considered in the process of producing this final version of this certification evaluation report.