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Japan Environment Quarterly (JEQ)
Volume 5 | March 2014

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Voice of MOE Family in the World

Packed Lunch Diversity at the Biodiversity Secretariat


Kyoko NODA

Associate Programme Officer, Japan Biodiversity Fund and NBSAP team, Secretariat of Convention on Biological Diversity

Contributing to Packed Lunch Diversity with my Japanese-style one!

At the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity held in Japan in 2010, historical decisions such as an international strategic plan for 2011-20 were adopted. Japan has contributed via the Japan Biodiversity Fund to support the implementation of those decisions in developing countries. I have been engaged in the implementation management of the Fund at the CBD Secretariat in Montreal.

In the meantime, the biggest culture shock I have ever experienced here is about my colleagues' packed lunches. The other day, Washoku, Japanese cuisine, was added to the UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list. When it comes to Japan's packed lunch, it is one of Japan's beautiful traditions developed as meals associated with cherry-blossom and Kabuki viewings, and so there seems to be an atmosphere in which a poorly packed lunch would make one feel embarrassed. However, packed lunch ideas of my colleagues from different parts of the world are quite flexible and practical. For example, while some have lunches packed in a container with a heap of boiled pierogis or with only raw vegetables, or a sandwich filled with a ready-made hamburger only, others eat a variety of food on a dish. While it is true that I miss Japan's delicately packed lunch, it is also fun to have lunchtime of such an unconventional and diverse atmosphere.

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