In Focus

Japan is to host the COP 10 to the Convention on Biological Diversity

July 14, 2008

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Mr. Ichiro Kamoshita, Minister of the Environment (COP 9)

The year 2010 is designated as the International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations. It was decided at the COP9 held in Germany in May 2008 that the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will be held in the City of Nagoya, Aichi prefecture, Japan, in this milestone year.

What is Biodiversity?

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A variety of life exists on earth. They are all interconnected with each other to form a "Web of Life". We humans are also a part of it, and our life is supported by various blessings of biodiversity.

However, many species are now threatened with extinction, in other words, the global biodiversity is facing a crisis. The Convention on Biological Diversity is a framework to tackle this issue at global level. The Ministry of the Environment of Japan will strengthen efforts for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity towards the COP10.

Kick-off to the COP10

The Ministry of the Environment and the COP 10 Promotion Committee organized the "Kick-Off Symposium for Biodiversity" in Nagoya city, Aichi Prefecture on 14 June 2008. This symposium was held to make a fresh resolve to work together for successful hosting of theCOP10. About 1,100 people participated in this symposium.

<Part 1> Commemorative Ceremony

Following the opening address by Mr. Masayoshi Namiki, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Environment, Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the CBD, gave the opening speech.The messages from the COP 10 Promotion Committee members: Mr. Kunihiko Okada, President of the Nagoya Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Fumio Kawaguchi, Chairman of the Chubu Economic Federation, Mr. Masaaki Kanda, Governor of Aichi Prefecture, and Mr. Takehisa Matsubara, mayor of Nagoya City was presented, and over 120 children performed a song and dance specially prepared for the COP10 titled "AICHI NAGOYA COP 10". At the end, a banner that reads "Let's make a success of the COP10" was raised.

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Mr. Masayoshi Namiki, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Environment

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Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the CBD

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The COP 10 Promotion Committee

<Part2> Panel Discussion

Panelists invited from various fields expressed their opinions on biodiversity in easy-to-understand language from their diverse standpoints. A broad range of topics were discussed, from everyday topics such as food and agriculture to worldwide and conceptual issues such as our perspectives on nature and culture. At the end, each panelist summarized the discussion using keywords.

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Dr. Keiko Nakamura, Director General of the JT Biohistory Research Hall

"Watch closely the world of diverse life"

Watch closely living things around you.
Not only people involved in fishery and agriculture, but all people, including those live in urban areas, need to deal with this issue.

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Mr. Manabu Akaike, President of Universal Design Intelligence

"Industrial conference for biodiversity"

It is needed to convene a conference with participants from a variety of industries, and disseminate proposals to the world in 2010.

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Mr. Tsunenobu Yano, Chairman of the Shin-Minato Fishery Cooperative

"Sound material-cycle society"

It is important to create a sound material cycle society.
We replenish the fishery environment by planting trees in upstream mountains and cultivating kelp in the ocean at the same time.

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Ms. Miyoko Oomomo, actress

"Choose 'not to do' even when you can"

I believe that a lifestyle emphasizing more on one's responsibility rather than on personal desire will lead to healthy biodiversity.

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Mr. Daizaburo Kuroda, Deputy Director General, Nature Conservation Bureau, Ministry of the Environment

"Link to life"

We humans are interconnected with other living things not only through ecosystems but also through time. We cannot throw away our planet even when it is ruined. When damaged, the earth will remain deteriorated into the future.
We need to recognize our responsibility.

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Mr. Tetsuya Muroyama, Executive Commentator of NHK (Japan Broadcasting Cooperation)

"Glocal"

Think globally, act locally as a citizen.
We need to tackle the issues together with other people by better communication andnetworking.

In the neighboring square, "Chubu (Central Japan) Eco Life Fair 2008" took place from 14 to 15 June. Various parties, such as NGOs, private sectors and government, exhibited their efforts in environmental conservation.

The Kick-Off Symposium was over, but we are just at the starting line for COP 10. The Ministry of the Environment continues to make various efforts to host a fruitful COP10.

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