~ China ~
Afforestation Activities in Inner Mongolia
Conducted by the Honda Group as a Whole
Afforestation Activities in China
~Bringing green back to the wasteland deserts of China!~
In China, there is rapid desertification due to factors such as rapid population growth and overgrazing. China’s government has set a target to cover 26% of the land with forests by 2050, and is putting full effort into afforestation.
With the desire to bring green back to this desert, which is the closest to Japan, Honda started afforestation activities in China in 2000. Honda cooperates with people from the local communities on desert greening so that greening activities will continue even after trees are planted.
Joyful Forest Project
The afforestation project which Honda has been carrying out at the Horqin desert in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region since 2000 is named the Joyful Forest Project. Volunteers who are Honda associates and ex-associates came from Japan to interact with local elementary and junior high school students while planting trees, and at the same time, think about the importance of greening together with the local people. The project lasted eight years, during which more than 80,000 trees were planted. The trees planted in the project’s first year have now grown into huge trees over eight meters in height. In 2007, China’s government subdivided and transferred ownership of the forest to 73 local households for them to manage the forest on their own.
Volunteers planting trees together with local elementary and junior high school students
Inner Mongolia Afforestation Project
In 2008, the Inner Mongolia Afforestation Project was started in the vicinity of Youyi Dam located in the Inner Mongolian city of Ulanqab led by Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd. This region, which is located approximately 300 kilometers to the northwest of Beijing, is seeing rapid desertification due to human factors such as rapid population growth and overgrazing. From tree species selection and planting methods to the greening process, Honda’s unique ideas were incorporated while receiving advice from professors of Beijing Forestry University. Activities in this region came to an end after five years, during which approximately 700,000 trees were planted over an area of approximately 467 hectares (about the size of 100 Tokyo Domes).
In 2013, a new five-year joint project for afforestation was started, involving 16 joint ventures affiliated with Honda. The project planned to plant trees along Inner Mongolia’s National Road 110 in an area covering approximately 467 hectares in the five years up to 2017.
Since 2018, which was the start of a new five-year plan, students who received support from the Honda Dream Fund—a project to provide support and assistance to young people in poor families who dare to dream and dare to fulfill their dreams launched by Honda China as a social contribution activity—have also participated in this project. It is also an opportunity to experience the Honda Philosophy.
Thoughts about the Activities
Managing Officer and Chief Officer, Regional Operations (China), Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
It has been more than 25 years since Honda started sales in China. We organize this afforestation project to give back to the government and people of China.
While they are small steps, we think there is meaning in getting our associates involved in these activities as much as possible, and continue to undertake such activities.
Zhu Lin Jie
General Manager, Corporate Communications Division, Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd.
This is the 12th year of this project, gathering about 200 associates in China each year. So far, we have succeeded in planting trees in an area of approximately 11.53 million square meters.
As the secretariat, it also brings joy to see associates go about the activity with smiles on their faces.
Going forward, we hope to examine its long-term vision so that it can continue to be a social contribution to China.
Comments from the Participants
Luo Zheng, Honda Dream Fund
In China, Alipay (a mobile payment platform) has a program known as Ant Forest, and people go about happily planting trees via the cloud using an app. This tree-planting event by Honda was a very wonderful opportunity to be able to actually plant trees in a desert by myself and contribute to China’s environment.
My dream is to be a teacher. In the future, if I have the opportunity, I want to go deep into the mountains to teach children there.
As a member of the Honda Dream Fund, I hope to do meaningful things that can contribute to society, such as bringing children to plant trees like the event which I participated in this time.
Lian Xu Liang, Honda Dream Fund
I think we have a responsibility toward the environment. In the not-so-far future, this place will become green. This is the reason why I participate.
Through this project, I felt that Honda is not just a leading company in the world, but also a company which is very passionate about the environment. I think it is rare for a company to put effort into both corporate growth and the environment at the same time. I hope to use my experience this time into my daily life. I will soon be graduating from university to enter the “school” known as society. Going forward, I hope to continue to pursue my dreams without making compromises.
Zhang Xiang He, GHAC (GAC Honda Automobile Co., Ltd.)
When I was a child, there were frequent sandstorms in my hometown of Shandong Province, and I felt the environment had turned bad. After joining GHAC, I got to know about this tree-planting event, and participated because I want the bad situation to go away in the future.
This is the second time I participated in the event. I will not forget the shock I had when I first came here. From the desert with nothing that I saw on the Web, it had turned into a magnificent landscape of green after a decade of continuous effort. I felt that going forward, we will continue to need the effort of each and every person so that we do not destroy the environment. I hope to convey what I felt today to the people around me.