2019 “Green Volunteers 22nd Cohort” Report
Fujifilm’s Green Volunteers contributes to the healthy regeneration of mangrove forests and environmental conservation in Vietnam!
As part of its social contribution activities, the Fujifilm Workers’ Union carries out volunteer activities for reforestation through its “Green Volunteers.” In 2019, which is the 22nd year, mangrove-planting activities were carried out in Vietnam from July 27 to August 1. This was the third time this has been held in Vietnam. A total of 14 people participated from FUJIFILM Corporation, FUJIFILM Business Expert Corporation, FUJIFILM Medical Co., Ltd., FUJIFILM Techno Products Co., Ltd. and FUJIFILM Techno Service Co., Ltd.
The tree-planting activities took place at Can Gio National Park, which is about a two-hour drive south of Ho Chi Minh City. This was once an area rich in nature with an expanse of mangrove trees where various creatures lived, but due to the defoliant sprayed by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War, 40,000 hectares of land was damaged and the mangroves disappeared. After the war, the area was designated as a national park and about 75% of the land recovered due to the tree planting activities of local people and volunteers from overseas, but reforestation activities are still required to restore and preserve the ecosystem.
After visiting the War Remnants Museum to learn the history of the Vietnam War, participants traveled to Can Gio National Park. Four people from FUJIFILM VIETNAM Co., Ltd. (FFVN) also joined in and together the group planted 400 mangrove seedlings and 350 saplings, which have a higher rate of taking root. The work was done in temperatures of over 30℃, involving sweat and mud, but the participants chatted with each other while planting trees.
Optical Device & Electronic Imaging Products Development Center
Although it was hard to plant trees in the mud in the short amount of time, it was very satisfying to work together in such a meaningful way.
In addition to the tree planting activities, I was able to enjoy sightseeing in Ho Chi Minh City and around the mangrove forests. I was also able to get a feel for day-to-day life in Vietnam as well as its history and culture, which further stimulated my interest in Vietnam. It was very meaningful to me to interact with fellow employees of the Fujifilm Group with whom I normally have no contact. Thanks to the efforts of the staff, the atmosphere was very friendly the entire time.
Intellectual Property Technology Division (Kaisei)
Through tours of the city such as the War Remnants Museum and listening to the stories of the staff from the local NPO, we were able to naturally understand the historical background of Vietnam and the need to protect mangrove forests in the Can Gio district, which raised our morale regarding the tree planting work. Also, due to the fact that the saplings planted last year by the 21st cohort are growing steadily, I feel that we are contributing to the healthy regeneration of mangrove forests and to environmental conservation. It was really great to participate in this 22nd cohort as we were blessed with the team members we had as well as the weather! It would make me happy if as many people as possible were interested in the Green Volunteers.
The Green Volunteers was dispatched to Vietnam this year based on the same content as the previous year, partly because we received good feedback from the previous year’s participants.
On the day of our departure, there were concerns that the flight would be delayed due to the typhoon, but there was no particular impact from the typhoon, perhaps due to the participants’ prayers, and we were able to take off from Narita Airport in Japan as scheduled.
During the reforestation activities, all participants including FFVN members cooperated under the encouragement of Kondo, the Team Leader. Although we ended up covered in mud, we were able to plant the expected number of trees and it was a fulfilling activity that provided a sense of achievement. In addition to tree planting activities, we also went sightseeing in Ho Chi Minh City to broaden the participants’ knowledge so that they could feel the momentum that exists in Vietnam, which is one of the emerging countries experiencing rapid economic growth.
Although it was my first time to participate, I was able to experience things that I would not have experienced had this been a personal trip, including the reforestation activities, the exchanges between participants and FFVN members, and activities to learn about the history of Vietnam. It was an experience that I will never forget. I hope that as many people as possible can experience this activity, so if you have any interest, please come and join us next year! I look forward to your participation!