November 29, 2004
Mr. Morishima, chair of the Central Environment Council submitted to the Minister of the Environment a report on the review results of the progress of policies under the Basic Environment Plan (Cabinet decision in December 2000) today. The report was finalized on November 24, 2004.
In order to secure the steady implementation of the Plan, the Central Environment Council reviews the progress of policies in the Plan, taking into account of the opinion collected from every circle of society. Based on the review, the Council reports to the Government the result of the review and presents future policy direction. The First Basic Environment Plan was reviewed three times and two reviews were conducted for the Second Basic Environment Plan in the past.
This review was the third one since December 2000 when the Second Basic Environment Plan was adopted by the Cabinet. In this Second Plan, 11 subject areas are selectively designated as strategic programs. For this review, three subject areas are chosen for intensive deliberation; (i) promotion of environmental investment, (ii) promoting efforts for community improvement, and (iii) promoting international contribution and participation.
Besides review on the progress of national policy measures, survey was conducted on what approaches have been taken by various groups in society in accordance with the Plan, through questionnaires answered by adults, children, business entities, and local municipalities. Also, public hearings were conducted to various stakeholders of society.
The Government will submit this Report to the Cabinet and reflect it on a policy for drafting the budget related to environmental conservation. Thus, Basic Environment Plan shall be further promoted toward the realization of a sustainable society.
<Outline of the Review Report>
1. General observation
|(1)||Ministries and agencies of central government
Two agencies have not yet formulated their policy for environmental consideration. They are urged to formulate their policy as soon as possible.
General public and business entities take relation between environment and economy more positively. In this sense, realization of "a virtuous circle for environment and economy" is critical.
2. Three areas subjected to the intensive review
|(1)||Promoting environmental investment|
|-||Preparation of statistical data is necessary in order to analyze environmental investment in private sector.|
|-||Specifically, environmental consideration by small and medium enterprises should further be promoted.|
|-||Environmental consideration of private financial institutions should be deepened by providing information and enhancing better understanding by investors.|
|(2)||Promoting efforts for community improvement|
|-||Compared to prefectures and ordinance designated cities, efforts by local governments (cities, towns, villages, etc.) are lagging behind. Positive efforts and approaches in relatively small scale local governments should be promoted.|
|-||It is essential to foster human resources who can voluntarily take actions in local communities. Ministries concerned should collaborate each other to promote environmental education in local communities.|
|(3)||Promoting international contribution and participation|
|-||With close communication with other countries, construction of mutual partnership and network should be promoted. Japan should actively participate in discussion of international frameworks based on related treaties and protocols.|
|-||Cooperation with Asian countries should be enhanced by constructing a network to promote appropriate resource recycling, while promoting concept of 3Rs* in Asian region.
|(1)||Insufficient comprehension of achievement status of policy targets and appropriate data preparation for accurate analysis are major problems.|
|(2)||In revising the Basic Environment Plan, the results of reviewing the current Plan should be reflected to enhance efficacy of the Plan.|