Global Environment

National Action Plan for Agenda 21 -Chap. 10

[Agenda 21] National Action Plan for Agenda 21


A) Management Related Activities

As parts of a comprehensive and basic national plan for the planning and management of land resources, Japan has been successively establishing the Comprehensive National Development Plan, which determines the use of land, water and other natural resources and the proper locations for industry, and the National Land Use Plan, which determines the basic concepts for national land use and scale targets of categories corresponding to the purpose of national land use. Japan will enhance the optional use and sustainable management of land resources through formulation of these plans as well as through use and management based on these plans.

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

The purpose of the Comprehensive National Development Plan is the comprehensive use, development and conservation of the national land, from a wide perspective of economic, social and cultural facilities, while giving due consideration to the natural conditions of the national land. Japan has been establishing four comprehensive National Development Plans thus far. One of the basic issues of the current Comprehensive National Development Plan is the realization of safe and high-quality national land environment, and the main measures of this plan have to do with the management of forests and water systems. Japan will continue in its activities towards the realization of this plan.
The National Land Use Plan exists for the purpose of ensuring the well-balanced use of the national land over a long period of time, while conserving the natural environment, giving precedence to public welfare. Intending to secure policy guidance regarding national land use, Japan has established two National Land Use Plans so far. In addition to the regulations for preventing pollution, conserving the natural environment, protecting the historic environment, assessing environmental impact of development activities, and the proper use of land through the relocation of industries, and necessary measures to achieve the scale targets of categories, the purpose of the current National Land Use Plan (National Plan) includes uses for the prevention of traffic pollution, land use to contribute to water quality conservation of lakes and marshes, the systematic conservation of nature, and the creation of comfortable and pleasant urban environments. Japan will continue to promote such measures.
The Land Use Master Plans, which are based upon the National Land Use Plan, are established by prefectural governors, and cover matters dealing with the designation of five areas (city areas, agricultural areas, forest areas, natural park areas and nature conservation areas), and the coordination of competitive land uses. These plans function as a comprehensive intra-administration coordination means, which take precedence over other plans and are drawn up in accordance with such laws as the Urban Planning Law, the Forest Law, and the Natural Park Law. They also function as standards of direct regulation for land transactions, and of indirect regulation through individual laws, for developmental action. Japan will continue to promote proper and rational land use in accordance with these plans.
Besides these Plans, Japan has been establishing a variety of plans concerning each of its individual resources, including the Basic Plan for Forest Resources and the National Forest Plan, both of which have to do with forest resources, the National Integrated Water Resource Plan and the Basic Plan for Water Resource Development, both of which have to do with water resources, the Conservation Plan Regarding Nature Conservation Areas and the Park Plan Regarding Natural Parks, both of which have to do with natural resources.These efforts are being made in order to appropriately use and manage limited environmental resources to assure rich lives for people today and in the future. Japan has also established the Pollution Control Plan for areas where there is actually a remarkable level of pollution, as well as for areas where there is concern that the level of pollution might become remarkable. Many of Japan's local authorities take a comprehensive approach to the planning and management of land resources, establishing plans for environmental management suitable for the natural and social conditions of the regions. Japan will continue to actively implement these plans.

10-B) Data and Information

In order to obtain the maximum sustainable profit through the use of land, predictions should be made as to future changes in the use and management of land, and the information system necessary in decision-making should be strengthened.

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

About every five years, Japan conducts basic surveys on the conservation of the natural environment in order to get an overall understanding of the state of and changes in the natural environment, and as a part of these surveys, it has been collecting and accumulating information on the state of and changes in vegetation throughout Japan as well as the state of natural scenery resources. Japan will continue to carry out these activities and promote the collection, accumulation and updating of information, while making further improvements in the survey methods and quality of information, e.g. through further application of satellite pictures in renewing vegetation-related data.
Through continuously carrying out surveys, such as monitoring surveys on endangered species of wild fauna and flora as well as the movements of migratory birds, Japan will promote the collection, accumulation and updating of basic information regarding wild fauna and flora.
Japan will make improvements in remote sensing data from satellites, and numerically evaluate these data as information on the national land.
In order to grasp the state of actual land use, Japan will develop a system of processing satellite pictures, and make improvements on the collection of data and information on the national land.
As part of a Project to Construct National Land Information System, Japan will maintain and update basic geographical and geological information, color aerial photographs on the national land, environmental, economic and social data, and information regarding land resources, including land use.
In order to achieve smooth use and analysis of information on the national land, Japan will continue to employ and improve "ISLAND," which is a geographical information system for the utilization and management of numerical information from among the data and information on the national land.
Drawing upon original data focusing on global socioeconomic data, the United Nations Environment Programme/Global Resource Information Data Base (UNEP/GRID) Tsukuba will promote the accumulation and provision of data for solving global environmental problems, including those of the effects of global warming, and evaluating how to deal with these problems.
In accordance with the Man and the Biosphere Programme, UNESCO, Japan is conducting research on the impact of human activities and land use on the environment, and it will continue to use the findings of this research for the continuous management of and development planning for land resources.
In order to appropriately promote local environmental management, local authorities conduct systematic improvements on the systems of collection, analysis and evaluation of a wide range of environment-related information, including that concerning environmental conditions, the sources of environmental load, the distribution of fauna and flora, climate and geographical conditions, and socioeconomic conditions.

Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan

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