The History of the Japan Bear & Forest Society (JBFS)
*For more detail, please read Bears, Forests, and People –English Edition – (*No commercial use is permitted. For personal use, feel free to download. If you are interested in applying any parts of Bears, Forest and People into your work or making hard copies (free distribution) to promote wildlife conservation activities, please consult with the Japan Bear & Forest Society headquarter first. Thank you.)
It All Began When Junior High School Students Took Action
The founding of the JBFS can be traced back to 1992 when Mrs. Mariko Moriyama, a former science teacher and now the chairperson of the JBFS, and her students at Muko-Higashi Junior High School in Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, stood up to save wild Japanese black bears. After an extensive study, they realized that it was not only the bears, but also other wild animals and plants were facing the danger of extinction due to the disappearance of their natural environment. Students were deeply concerned because that would eventually affect their own lives for no one could survive without the support of nature and its rich resources, especially spring water.
The JBFS was formally established in 1997 and is now the largest non-profit, non-governmental practice-oriented wildlife conservation society in Japan. The JBFS holds bears as its symbol because they are a very special umbrella species in Japanese forests under which all other wild animals and plants thrive. "Protecting wild animals and preserving their habitats is vital to the survival of our civilization," says Ms. Moriyama, the chairperson of the JBFS.
Our activities cover a wide range of interests: fieldwork (thinning, wild animal rescue, and natural farming), Okuyama (remote mountains) National Trust, lobbying, educational projects (natural science curricula for schools and public lectures), as well as many other projects and causes. We believe it is our responsibility to sustain and pass on to future generations the ample forest and its biodiversity that supports so many lives every day.
Please refer to the booklet, Bear, Forests, and People - English Edition- , to learn more about the birth story of the JBFS.