Speeches by the Environment Minister

Statement by KOIZUMI Shinjiro, Minister of the Environment, Japan, at the United Nations Summit on Biodiversity (September 30, 2020)

I am honored to address this Summit which will play an important role toward the COP15. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to President Bozkir, and all the persons concerned for their efforts to realize this summit.

The COVID-19 crisis is a serious message from our ecosystems. It taught us that we need to redesign the whole society. Today I would like to share my thoughts with you about two key points that the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework will need to have: one is redesigning our socio-economic system, and the other the transition to a decentralized society.

First, redesign of our socio-economic system cannot be realized without sustainable supply chains. One important step towards that goal is to set measurable targets to visualize sustainability of the supply chains under the new global framework.

In Japan, ESG investment has grown at the fastest pace in the world over the past three years, increasing about six-fold by 2.5 trillion dollars. There is potential for further growth in ESG investment if numerical targets are set.

The private sector is already moving forward. For example, one of the biggest Japanese food companies, has set a target to procure 100% sustainable palm oil and sustainable paper by 2020. We have high expectations for the launch of business alliances committed to such measurable targets and goals.

Secondly, I would like to emphasize the importance of the transition to a decentralized society where local communities are revitalized by the nature around them. The sites for local food and timber production, such as places we call SATOYAMA, continue degrading globally. The Satoyama Initiative which Japan is promoting with many partners around the world has pushed forward the conservation and sustainable use of such environments through vibrant local communities.

I believe that this initiative, as CEO Carlos Manuel Rodriguez of the Global Environment Facility said, will be a form of"vaccine" to overcome the serious threats posed by COVID-19.

The Satoyama Initiative is now joined by various organizations from 73 countries. Japan would like to expand it to more than 100. We will make sure that the experiences gained through 450 projects under this initiative are shared by the world. By this, Japan is willing to help other countries to develop their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans and other relevant policies under the new global framework.

Now, let us work together in redesigning the whole society and to realize the 2050 Vision, "Living in Harmony with Nature".

Thank you.