Global Environment

National Action Plan for Agenda 21 -Chap. 27

[Agenda 21] National Action Plan for Agenda 21

Chapter 27 STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS: PARTNERS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

As represented by the cooperation in environment-related fields for developing countries, appropriate activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in environmental conservation are of a special nature, which enables them to flexibly, promptly and precisely respond to the needs of the local residents of developing countries, and are playing a unique role which is different from that of official development assistance. They are also expected to play an important role in promoting activities for environmental conservation by individuals, and in developing these activities on a nationwide level through spreading environmental awareness among a wide sector of the general public, as well as providing it with opportunities to be involved in a variety of activities. When formulating and implementing basic policies about environment and sustainable development, it is necessary to take into consideration opinions from the general public, including NGOs.

However, public participation in and social support systems for NGOs are not necessarily sufficient in Japan, meaning that the basis of the activities of NGOs, which consist of financial resources, human resources and information, is generally weak. Therefore it is a matter of great urgency that the comprehensive assistance measures provided for these activities be improved and strengthened, taking into consideration NGOs' various needs.

Taking the above into account, Japan will attach importance to the implementation of the following activities:

(1)
As regards assistance for activities of NGOs that are involved in environmental fields, Japan has been providing assistance for such activities in developing countries based on the Subsidy System for NGO projects, small-scale grants assistance, the Voluntary Deposit for International Aid System, and NGO's International Construction Development Assistance Program. Assistance is also being provided for environmental conservation activities on the grass-roots level in regions in Japan, based on regional environmental protection funds established by prefectural governments.
(2)
While the importance of global environmental conservation is increasing, there remain many fields that cannot be covered by existing measures alone and there are rapidly increasing needs for new assistance. For this reason, in 1993, the Japan Fund for Global Environment, based on contributions from the Government as well as private sectors has been established in the Japan Environment Corporation. Japan will extend assistance through this Fund to NGOs' activities for global environmental conservation in developing countries as well as in Japan, including their practical activities, training courses and international conferences. In order to promote such activities, Japan will make efforts to ensure effective assistance to NGOs, taking into consideration their needs in such fields as surveys and research, and the streamlining and provision of information.
(3)
Japan will make efforts to obtain the participation of relevant private organizations, NGOs, etc. in environment-related international conferences to be held in Japan, where possible depending on the characteristics of the conference.

Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan

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