The 240 hectare Tokachi Millennium Forest is the brainchild of the entrepreneur Mitsushige Hayashi, who acquired the land with a view to offsetting the carbon footprint of his national newspaper business, Tokachi Mainichi. The masterplan, which I contributed to with the local Japanese landscape designer Fumiaki Takano, is marketed as having a sustainable vision of a thousand years, and this big thinking aims to not only to make the newspaper business carbon neutral, but also to preserve and prevent the further loss of natural habitats on the island to development. Hayashi believes that, in order for this vision to be viable, education is key. Helping it’s users to take ownership of the park is the best way to ensure it’s future. Continue reading Tokachi Millennium Forest | Shimizu Japan | Dan Pearson Studio
UNEP has just released the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Year Book 2012 and it highlights assessments indicating that some kinds of conventional and intensive agriculture are triggering soil erosion rates some 100 times greater than the rates at which nature can form soil in the first place.
There could also be profound implications for climate change. Soils contain huge quantities of carbon in the form of organic matter that in turn binds the nutrients needed for plant growth and allows rainfall to penetrate into underground aquifers. By 2030, without changes in the way land is managed, over 20 per cent of terrestrial habitats such as forests, peatlands and grasslands in developing countries alone could be converted to cropland aggravating losses of vital ecosystem services and biodiversity.