2018 Volume 17
Since 2012, the town of Komono in Mie Prefecture, Japan, has been planning to build an energy circulation system for a sustainable society utilizing forest products or woody biomass. Today, it is necessary to evaluate the current forest conditions in the town of Komono and determine a utilization method for its forest resources. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the current forest conditions in the town of Komono through the lens of forest functions, in other words, services provided by the forests that are highly valued by the public; and to review a forest zoning system method for an effective and sustainable use of the local forest resources. The evaluation standards use data, such as forest structure and management records, as a factor in the evaluation. The result showed that southern areas of the town of Komono had lower evaluation scores compared to the northern and central areas, when the comparison is based on functions of water conservation and mountainous disaster prevention. These results also reveal that the southern areas should be administered preferentially when carrying out forest management activities. Based on the evaluation results and forest zoning system in Mie Prefecture, the forests in the town of Komono were categorized into four new specialized categories which correspond to the forest functions. The study concludes that although there are issues associated with the use of the new approach developed for this study, the methodology is sound, as it can easily be used to produce the desired results.