A Japanese who worked on peace by greening the desert 砂漠の緑化によって平和に取り組んだ日本人

English Article
Translation / 翻訳


A Japanese who worked on peace by greening the desert -Seiei Toyama(1906-2004)

Global warming is believed to jeopardize food production and lead to desertification, leading many to starvation. Global warming is expected to reduce cultivated land, reduce food and water supplies, and continue to increase the Earth’s population. The effects of global warming are likely to be serious, especially in poor countries where food supply is inadequate.

The “Sahel” zone is a belt-shaped area extending east to west to the south of the Sahel Desert on the African continent, and is becoming increasingly desertified, reducing agricultural land and putting it in a poor economic condition. According to the “Human Development Index 2011” (out of 187 countries), which is an index showing the quality of life and the degree of development of people, Niger in this area is very poor at 186th and Mali at 175th, and Japanese people are also sacrificed. A group claiming to be “Ansar Shariah (supporters of Islamic law)”, to which the perpetrators of the Tunisian case belonged, is also active in these countries.

There was a Japanese who worked on the greening of the desert, thinking that desertification would bring about political and social turmoil. Seiei Toyama (1906-2004) began researching greening in the Engopei Desert in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in 1980, and spent nearly 10 hours every day for 14 years during his 8-9 month stay. In addition to continuing, he traveled all over Japan and energetically raised funds for desert greening.

In 1990, Toyama began to live in the Engopei Desert in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. “Engopei” is a Mongolian word meaning “peace, happiness” and was once a green area. By 1995, one million fast-growing poplar trees had been planted, and by 2001, three million had been planted, his greening activities were successful, and the United Nations awarded him the “Citizen’s Award for Compassion for Humanity.”

A bronze statue of Seiei Toyama built in China. Wearing boots, wearing work clothes, and holding a shovel = Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in China (provided by the Japan Desert Greening Practice Association)

“Desert greening is closely related to world peace. One-third of the land is dry, and global warming, population growth and unlimited clearing accelerate desertification,” Toyama said. This has exacerbated problems such as food shortages, so greening the desert and stopping desertification is the best choice to solve these problems. ” “Sand greening is also a tribute to China. In the olden days, Japan learned a lot from China and put it to good use in each field,” he said.

Mr. Toyama’s achievements in desert greening also provide lessons for curbing the violence of “Extremists” and improving Japan-China relations.

Seiei Toyama, who gives guidance on tree planting = Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in China








Mr. Seiei Toyama meeting with President Jiang Zemin = in China (1996, provided by Japan Desert Greening Practice Association)

Featured image:

Eight years after planting the tree in 1991, Seiei Toyama embraces the poplar that has grown up. I cried when I saw the poplar that grew up, and said “Thank you” = Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in China (provided by the Japan Desert Greening Practice Association)

from https://www.sannichi.co.jp/article/2018/06/13/00277238

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