Energy / Climate Change

March 21, 2009


'CO2 Diet' Timber Dam Made of Japanese Cedars Recognized

Keywords: Climate Change Government Local government NGO / Citizen 

JFS/timber dam
Copyright Akita Center for Climate Change Actions

Innovative ideas were recently selected from each prefecture in Japan to compete in the national competition "Stop Global Warming - One Project from One Village for CO2 Reduction," which was organized by the Ministry of the Environment and held on February 14 and 15, 2009. In Akita Prefecture, northern Japan, 12 short-listed projects were considered for the final selection on November 30, 2008, with a grand prize awarded to a "timber dam project using Japanese cedar trees from Akita" by a Noshiro-based study group on wood civil-engineering structures.

The group's project takes advantage of the abundant local supply of cedar wood, and aims to build timber check-dams, instead of concrete or steel dams, thereby reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Check-dams are built across the river flow to minimize mountain disasters like landslides or mud-rock flows. Timber is widely known to sequester carbon for long periods and is able to ease the load of transportation and fabrication due to its manageable weight. Such ease of construction is expected to substantially reduce CO2 emissions relative to conventional concrete dam construction.

Akita has the seventh largest forest land area in Japan, a large portion of which is covered by the nation's largest area of man-made Japanese cedar forests. The group built 16 timber dams between FY2001 and FY2007, using cedar timber and traditional woodcraft techniques developed in the region. The project plans to construct eight timber dams each year across the prefecture, while continuing work on the development of a timber-steel hybrid that can utilize smaller diameter wood from forest-thinning activities.

- Hot Spring Resort Uses Geothermal Heat to Reduce CO2 Emissions (Related JFS article)
- The Ministry of the Environment
- Japan Center for Climate Change Actions

Posted: 2009/03/21 06:00:15 AM