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【インターンシップレポート】「NPO法人つくば環境フォーラム」Aymen Halleb

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生命環境科学研究科 生物資源科学専攻 Aymen Halleb


My mid-term internship took place at the Non Profit Organization (NPO) Tsukuba Environment Forum (TEF) created in 2001 to conserve nature and to manage forests and satoyama ecosytems in Tsukuba area.

As an intern with the Tsukuba Environment Forum (TEF), I have the chance to learn, participate and contribute to different activities of biodiversity and ecosystem conservation and environmental education organized by the NPO.  It was a great opportunity for me to learn about forest management and the conservation of Satoyama. I experienced mowing Susuki in Katsuragi –Daikibo-Ryokuchi for biodiversity conservation especially of endangered grassland flora and fauna, cutting Bamboo and chestnut trees as part of Satoyama forest management and organization of nature schools for children and their families where kids experience and enjoy learning about nature. Through this internship, I become familiar with the NPO activities and commitments in nature conservation and Satoyama management in both rural and urban areas, involvement of local communities in forests management and the importance of environmental education through real practice and experiences to pass management approaches, importance of nature and linkage between nature and culture to future generation. 

Finally, during this internship I had the chance to enjoy the nature, meet many people, make new friends, and experience culture of local communities. TEF staff were very kind to me and despite my poor Japanese language everyone did many efforts to explain for me the activities. I hope I will apply what I experienced during this internship in my country Tunisia.

Job description:

1.Biodiversity and Ecosystem Conservation
Tsukuba Environment Forum and Tsukuba Urban Transportation Center made a coalition “Katsuragi Satoyama club. The objective of this club is to turn Katsuragi district large-scale green space to satoyama park in urban area. The Katsuragi is not yet open for public.

Bamboo tree is becoming abundant due to the reduction of use of the resource. 
I participated with the Tsukuba Forest Club in the removal of this tree which become a threat to other tree species in Katsuragi (Cedar)

Bamboo branches crushing (Satoyama maintenance work)
Despite the vibration and the noise, I helped other volunteers to keep the Katsuragi forest clean.

Collection and burning of recently cutted branches in susominomori


Susuki  (Japanese pampas grass) mowing in Katsuragi forest for biodiversity conservation as part of the rehabilitation project in Yasato in collaboration with the University of Tsukuba
This grass was used in the past for covering the roof of traditional Japanese houses.  As the use of this grass is decreasing, the biodiversity in grassland is affected.

Pine forest monitoring as part of the red pine restoration project in Katsuragi
TEF is working to preserve pine forest in the Katsuragi area. Pine trees in Japan are decreasing by the effect of nematodes. TEF is planting nematode resistant pine tree.

Soil working 
Kids will plant vegetables in this area during the next nature school activity

Fence maintenance.
The population of wild boar in the Susomi area is increasing. I joined TEF and other volunteers in the maintenance and renew of the fences to keep the wild boar away from the rice paddy field.

2.Environmental education and local exchange:
In addition to environment conservation and satoyama maintenance, Tsukuba Environment Forum emphasizes on its activities on the importance of environment education and the involvement of the local communities. In this regard, I attended several nature school for kids and their parents in the Katsuragi area, Susomi and Furei no sato (Mt Tsukuba). I was invited to support TEF staffs in these activities and I enjoyed interacting with participants, playing with kids and learn about linkage between nature and culture in Japanese traditions. The following photos illustrate some of the activities related to environmental education and local exchange.

Narase mochi is a traditional cultural celebration of the new year as wishes for good harvest and safety in the houses. It was my first experience to attend such celebration and enjoyed talking with participants.

Use of bamboo trunks in rice cooking and crafts making as part of nature school activity.
This event aimed to teach kids and rise their awareness on the importance of nature and ecosystem service. The rice was very tasty and I enjoyed interacting with the kids and their parents.

After burning the removed branches from the forest I enjoyed the Gohei mochi with other patrticipants.

After finishing the requirement of the internship, I was kindly invited by Tanaka san and Nagatani san for the tree planting activity in Katsuragi..
I planted Yamazakura and I hope this tree will grow.

Finally, I am gratefull to all the staff of Tsukuba Environment Forum (Tanaka san, Nagatani san, Morita san , Nomura san, Fujiwara san,) for their kindness and their good guidance. 
I worried before starting my internship for my poor Japanese that I will not be able to communicate and understand required tasks, but I am thankfull for all the peoples that I worked with and met during the activities for making efforts to explain and talk to me.