White Paper

Quality of the Environment in Japan 1994

11-7 Improvement of River, Port and Harbor, Fishing Harbor, and Coastal Environments

11-7-1 Improvement of River Environments

  (1) Improvement of River Environments

  Under the National Census of the River Environment, various surveys are conducted to collect basic information on the state of the riparian environment. These include surveys on wildlife living in river front habitats and surveys on the purposes for which river front areas are utilized. Drawing on the detailed knowledge of people who are familiar with riparian environments in various regions, the River Environment Monitoring System has been formulated to provide a basic framework for the administration of riparian environments.
  The Ministry of Construction is implementing measures set out under its Master Plan for River Environment Management to promote the use of the river front areas for purposes compatible with the conservation of the natural environment in these areas. The aim of these measures is to provide the public with pleasantly landscaped river front recreational areas, against a background of rivers with a clean appearance. As of fiscal 1992, this program covered 232 river systems. Projects conducted during the year included the following.
  * River Environment Improvement Projects (River Channel Improvement Projects), which take account of the environment and develop pleasant river front areas, were conducted for 195 rivers at a cost of ¥5,711.9 billion (¥11,575.0 billion in the supple mentary budget).
  * River Environment Improvement Projects (Projects for Promotion of the Use of Rivers) for the development of recreation areas were conducted at locations on 16 rivers, with a budget of ¥1,866.0 million (¥787 million in the supplementary budget). These projects included the construction of floodgates, boat mooring, and other facilities.
  * Various projects were carried out to preserve and promote the development of aesthetically pleasant river front areas. These included river front landscape and facility maintenance projects that have been merged with river revitalization programs, such as the Traditional Riverside Scenery Model Projects, and river revitalization projects run in conjunction with urban area facility development programs such as the My Town, My River Improvement Projects ;
  * Projects to promote the growth of trees and other plants in river front areas and at the same time strengthen river banks, such as the Cherry Tree Embankment Model Projects, were carried out.
  * Brook and Stream Model Projects were implemented aimed at encouraging interaction with nature through the creation of pleasant brook and stream environments.
  * Creation of Rivers Richly Endowed with Nature aimed at creating an excellent living habitat for creatures living in river environments as well as preserving the natural landscape of river environments were also conducted.
  * Projects for Promotion of the Creation of Rivers Friendly to Anadromous Fish, including the construction of swimming ways for fish, and other projects aimed at improving the river environment for fish.
  Some objections have been raised to the Nagara River Dam Construction project. In fiscal 1991, under the guidance of well-informed persons with academic and other credentials, the Ministry of Construction and the Water Resources Development Corporation conducted additional studies of the environmental impact of this dam construction project, conferring with the Environment Agency. The results of these surveys, which were announced in April 1992, were that construction of the dam would not have a detrimental effect on the water quality of the Nagara river or impact on the species of fish that migrate to the river mouth. Further studies were conducted in fiscal 1994 by the Ministry of Construction and the Water Resources Development Corporation in efforts to develop solutions that will be satisfactory for all parties.

  (2) Improvement of Environments Surrounding Dams

  Various projects are conducted to maintain a harmonious balance between dams and reservoirs and the surrounding natural environment. These include readjusting the land, measures to prevent soil erosion on slopes, and planting of vegetation. Work is being carried out at 32 dam sites, including new projects at the Omachi dam and six other dams, with a budget of ¥1,519.60 million (¥1,138.25 million in the supplementary budget).
  Projects for the Promotion of the Use of Dam Reservoirs are also being undertaken to promote the recreational use of dam sites with open space, water and greenery. Projects were undertaken at six dams, including Hikihara dam, to improve the hydrophilic characteristics of dam water reservoirs. The budget for these projects is ¥1,823.98 million (¥1,080.79 million in the supplementary budget).
  Dam Water Environment Improvement Projects were conducted to improve the quality of water in dam reservoirs and downstream from these reservoirs. These projects are part of efforts to preserve and maintain ecological systems and improve river habitats for fish. A total of ¥348 million (¥75 million in the supplementary budget) was provided for projects under way at Mana dam and three other dams.
  To create usable reservoir areas where water levels are constant and to deal with sediment, Dam Projects for Development of Recreation on Dam Reservoirs was undertaken on one dam site at a cost of ¥822. 8 million (¥193.6 million in the supplementary budget). Also, working with regional government in projects in which they have taken the lead, ¥4,287.8 million (¥698.6 million in the supplementary budget) was provided for Multi-purpose Dam Projects for Development of Recreation involving the construction of recreational areas and dams on 3 dam sites.

  (3) Improvement of Environments Around Sand Erosion Control Facilities

  Various projects are conducted along rivers which flood regularly to prevent the destruction of river banks and vegetation along these rivers as well as the adjacent urban environments. In fiscal 1993, ¥1,374. 0 billion (¥441.0 million in the supplementary budget) was allocated for projects along 22 rivers, including the Mizunashi river in Kanagawa Prefecture, to minimize the damage caused when river water levels rise to exceedingly high levels. These activities included Sabo Study Zone Model Projects that preserved historically significant embankment and soil erosion control facilities.
  Other activities included Riverside Environmental Improvement Erosion Control Projects to prevent erosion and maintain the scenery and ecosystem in the area.

11-7-2 Improvement of Port and Harbor Environments

  (1) Improvement of Green Space in Harbors

  The Ministry of Transport promotes projects in ports and harbors with the aim of providing a clean and pleasant environment for residents as well as visitors to these places. In fiscal 1993, improvements of green space were conducted in Nagoya harbor and other ports and harbors throughout Japan.
  The Ministry also coordinated Historic Port and Harbor Environmnent Creation Projects, in efforts to preserve the historic port facilities and improve the environment in and around historic ports and harbors.

  (2) Improvement of Marina Facilities

  The construction' of marinas is needed to meet the increasing demand for facilities for ocean sports. The Ministry of Transport is not only focusing on the development of facilities that will satisfy this demand, but on creating aesthetically pleasant and comfortable landscapes with designs that are in harmony with, and take into consideration the impact on the surrounding natural environment.
  In fiscal 1993, public works construction projects were conducted in the port of Hiroshima and in other ports and harbors for marina improvement and were conducted in the port of Shiogama and other ports and harbors to provide pleasure boat support facilities, such as those for yachts, motor boats, and other small pleasure craft. In addition, since fiscal 1986, centering on marina development projects, Coastal Resort Projects have been undertaken at 49 sites to develop pleasant seaside recreational areas in harmony with the surrounding environment.

11-7-3 Improvement of Fishing Port Environments

  The Fisheries Agency executes a number of Fishing Port Environment Improvement Projects to contribute to the creation of pleasant, bright environments in fishing ports, as well as advance the safety and operational effectiveness of these locations. Examples include promoting planting of vegetation, constructing rest houses, and measures to improve the quality of water in ports, such as dredging of sludge ; ¥ 4, 834.0 billion has been allocated for these projects.
  Additionally, the Agency is working to adequately accommodate private and commercial fishing boats in fishing ports and to avoid any friction between private and commercial fishing groups, while at the same time ensuring the smooth operation of commercial fishing activity. To this end, the Agency has established Fishing Port Division Usage Projects at 16 fishing ports throughout Japan aimed at providing space and facilities in fishing ports for recreational fishermen.

11-7-4 Improvement of Coastal Environments

  In response to the increased popularity of a diverse range of marine sports and the accompanying development along coastal regions, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Fisheries Agency, the Ministry of Transport, and the Ministry of Construction are promoting Seacoast Environment Improvement Projects aimed at preserving and creating pleasant coastal recreational areas. These include reinforcing areas of loose shoreline through construction of gentle-gradient revetments, detached breakwaters, groins, artificial reefs, artificial beaches, and beach footpaths.
  In fiscal 1993, projects were carried out at 350 locations throughout Japan including Natsui, Yaizu fishing port, and the ports of Hakata and Katazoegahama. ¥46,809.55 million was allocated for these projects (¥17,667.80 million in the supplementary budget).

11-8 Greening Promotion Campaigns

  Under the leadership of the Greening Promotion Council, made up of nine ministries and related agencies/administrative bodies, and chaired by the Chief Cabinet Secretary, comprehensive and efficient measures have been formulated to promote nationwide greening campaigns.
  Under the guidelines of these measures, a number of greening events were held every year, the majority of events being centered on Greenery Day and Greenery Week. Other efforts include educational activities on the importance of maintaining a green environment, the promotion of communication with nature, and the promotion of community participation in afforestation projects and urban greening projects.
  As part of the broader policy of global environmental conservation, the following measures and campaigns were implemented in fiscal 1993.

  (1) Promotion of Campaign for Warbling Bird Woods

  The object of the Campaign for Warbling Bird Woods is to promote the creation of an environment suitable for habitats of wild birds and the development of places for communication with wild birds. Awards were presented to those local governments that had created excellent woods.
  In activities to raise private funds for greening campaigns, the Environment Agency obtained the cooperation of the Greenery by Golfers Group, a nonprofit organization, in collecting donations from golfers for greening campaigns.

  (2) Project for Promotion of the Greening of the School Environment

  Projects to promote the greening of school grounds at a number of public schools in areas where there are high levels of air pollution were conducted. One example of the projects was the Special Project for the Better Health of Pupils and Students, which was conducted in fiscal 1993 with a budget from the national government of ¥895.2 million.

  (3) Promotion of National Land Greening Campaign

  A number of projects, including the National Tree Planting Festival, to promote the greening of national land were subsidized. Additionally, the formulation of programs for the multiple-use of forests and the formation of community groups to participate in afforestation projects were promoted, and educational programs to increase the awareness among young people of the importance of maintaining a green environment were carried out.
  We also assist such projects as model forest development and improvement to promote technology development, health and recreation, culture, and education ; to activities to develop and gain a better understanding among the general public of tree planting activities over a broad area; to establish and gain a better understanding of the need to train specialists to maintain the health of trees and forests and of especially big and ancient trees; and to conduct surveys to register and tag trees was provided.
  In addition to these activities, the greening campaigns which evolved around Greenery Day and Greenery Week and Green Feather fund-raising and other campaigns were carried out across the nation.

  (4) Promotion of Greening of Factory Sites

  Efforts for greening around factories were made under the Factory Location Law, and activities including the provision of factory greening consulting services, holding seminars, and distributing educational brochures were implemented in cooperation with prefectural governments. The Minister of International Trade and Industry issued awards to companies to recognize outstanding achievements in the improvement of natural environments in and around their factories. The Japan Development Bank and the Small Business Finance Corporation help arrange finance for factory greening programs.
  To conserve forest resources, efforts are being made to promote paper recycling projects and the use of recycled paper. To this end, the Recycled Paper Promotion Center promotes a green mark system whereby kindergartens, schools, government offices, and other businesses acquire credit for using recycled paper and receive rewards such as tree saplings and flower bulbs or recycled paper once they have obtained a certain level of credit.
  (5) Promotion of Greening Campaigns in Cities

  The following nationwide campaigns were conducted to promote greening in cities.
  (a) A number of urban greening events are held throughout the year, in particular at the following times: The Campaign for the Promotion of Greening in Cities, between April and June ; "Greenery Day," on April 29 ; "Greenery Week," from April 23 to April 29; and the Month for Greening in Cities, in October.
  (b) The fourth national gathering for the Protection of Green
  (c) The 10th national Fair for Greening in Cities and the National Festival for Greening in Cities
  (d) The "Green Design Prize" and the "Flower Town" awards
  (e) The development of Consultation Centers on green space
  (f) Providing guidance for the conclusion of greening agreements
  (g) Provision of financial assistance to the Planting Fund for Greening in Cities and the Fund for Greening in Local Cities
  Projects were also undertaken to plant trees and other vegetation on hillsides and other slopes in urban areas to strengthen the soil of these surfaces and prevent erosion or more serious landslides.

Chapter 12. International Cooperation on Global Environmental Conservation

12-1 Addressing the Global Environmental Issues

  (1) Development of International Efforts

  In recent years, global environmental issues have drawn increasing attention due to a further rise in the economic living standards, primarily in developed nations, the acute increase in poverty and population and its concentration in cities in developing nations, and growing international interdependence. In June 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, UNCED or the Earth Summit, was held. Along with the end of the cold war, a change in international attitudes toward environmental issues has led to adoption of the specific measures.
  At the Earth Summit, international agreements for sustainable growth such as the Rio Declaration on the Environment and Development and Agenda 21 were adopted. In 1993, many programs were implemented to realize the concepts of the Earth Summit. In June 1993, the first conference of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), was established within the United Nations Economic and Social Council to conduct follow up on the Earth Summit. In the first meeting, fundamental procedures for the committee and other issues were discussed and agreed upon. The Convention on Biological Diversity and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) were released for signature, and both have collected the required number of signatory parties. The Convention on Biological Diversity entered into force as of December 1993, and the FCCC entered into force as of March 1994. Furthermore, to complete the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa, by June 1994, procedures led by the intergovernmental negotiation committee were implemented.
  In November 1993, the 16th conference of the parties for the London Convention and the 5th conference of the parties for the Montreal Protocol were held. In January 1994, the International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA), adopted in 1983, was revised and the new ITTA was adopted.

  (2) Japan's Initiatives

  In Japan, the Ad Hoc Group on Global Environmental Problems, chaired by Jiro Kondo, chairman of the Japan Academic Association and a council consisting of academics and experienced businessmen, was held under the sponsorship of the Director-General of the Environment Agency. The Council has produced five reports to date, and the second report released in April 1982, entitled On the International Efforts in Solving Global Environmental Problems, led to the establishment of the World Committee on Environment and Development (WCED). In March 1992, with the objective of contributing to the formulation of the Earth Charter as well as to development of new environmental policies, the Council announced its fifth report, Basic Stance on the Earth Charter.
  Also, to promote the effective and comprehensive implementation of policies concerning global environmental issues, the Cabinet orally approved the opening of the Council of Ministers for Global Environment Conservation, chaired by the Prime Minister and consisting of Ministers from 19 ministries and agencies. At the first meeting held in June, the Council agreed on a statement entitled Regarding Policies for Global Environment Conservation, and confirmed the following:
  (1) Active participation in the formulation of international frameworks
  (2) Promoting observation, surveillance, studies, and research
  (3) Promotion of development and dissemination of technology
  (4) Expanding applicable environmental assistance to developing countries
  (5) Reinforcing consideration of environmental issues on implementation of official development assistance
  (6) Promoting increased awareness and disseminating information on environmental issues to industries and individual citizens to make socio-economic activity less burdensome on the environment
  In July 1989, the position of the Minister in Charge of Global Environment Problems was created, and the successive DirectorsGeneral of the Environment Agency have been appointed to the post.
  Furthermore, in the second meeting of the Council of Ministers for Global Environment Conservation held in October 1989, an agreement was concluded on the Comprehensive Promotion of Surveys, Observations and Inspections, and the Development of Technology for Global Environment Conservation, and based on this agreement, the decision to draw up a Comprehensive Plan to Promote Surveys on Global Environment Conservation annually was made. In October 1990, the fourth meeting of the Council was held and the Action Plan to Arrest Global Warming was approved, which sets the goal for stabilizing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions and so on.

Table 12-1-1 Government Budget for Fiscal 1993 and 1994 for Global Environmental Conservation Projects

Table 12-1-1 Government Budget for Fiscal 1993 and 1994 for Global Environmental Conservation Projects

 1. The total budget for global environmental conservation issues earmarked by the ministries and agencies concerned in fiscal 1992 and 1993 are as follows:
  Fiscal 1993 budget  534.4 billion
  Fiscal 1994 budget  548.1 billion
  The fiscal l993budget represents an increase of 2.6% from the previous fiscal year.
 2. Budget breakdown by function is as follows:

Notes :1. The Science and Technology Promotion and Adjustment Expenses of the Science and Technology Agency are not included in the table, as the amount allocated for global environmental conservation projects could not be specified.
  2. Grant aid by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, technical aid by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and soft loans by the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund (OECF) are not included in the table, as the amount allocated for global environmental conservation projects could not be specified.
  3. The tocioeconomic activities embracing globa environmental conservation and dissemination activities in Category 1 includes programs and projects to promote carrying out socioeconomic activities with less burden on the environment, including the conservation of resources and energy.
  4. General expenditure for global environmental conservation in Category 3 consists of contributions to international institutions, surveys and research, environmental ODA and other policy related costs.

  In May 1992, the sixth meeting of the Council was held, and Japan's Initiative for the Earth Summit was approved.
  In December 1993, another three ministers joined the Council, and National Action Plan for Agenda 21 was approved.
  From the viewpoint of effectively promoting coordinated policies concerning global environmental conservation within the government, budgets allocated for global environmental conservation and related projects in each ministry and agency have been combined for consideration. The total for fiscal 1993 was ¥534.4 billion. The total for fiscal 1994 is ¥548.1 billion, an increase of 2.6% from the previous year. (Table 12-1-1)

12-1-1 Countermeasures for Global Warming

  (1) Outline of the Issues

  The greenhouse gases in the atmosphere such as C02, CH4, and N20 intercept radiation emitted from the surface of the earth, and through this process the earth has been kept at certain levels of temperature.
  Global warming is the change in climate caused by the increase in man-induced CO2 and other greenhouse gases that enhances th&greenhouse effect by causing the temperature of the earth's surface to increase. The predicted global warming effect has never been observed over the past 10,000 years, and its rate is uncharacteristically high in geological terms.
  According to the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it is projected under the business-as-usual scenario that the global mean temperature would rise by about 1 degree C by 2025 and about 3 degree C by the end of the 21st century above the present value, and that global mean sea level would rise by about 20 cm by 2030 and 65 cm (with a maximum rise of 1 meter) by the end of the 21st century.
  Before damage from earth warming appears and becomes irreversible, it will be essential to steadily implement those policies that are feasible as quickly as possible and work to increase scientific knowledge and understanding about the earth warming phenomenon.

  (2) Measures

  A. Promotion of the Action Program to Arrest Global Warming

  The Council of Ministers for Global Environment Conservation established the Action Program, which set out principles and basic policies to address global warming, on October 1990. At present, all sorts of measures are being implemented according to the Action Program.
  The main measures which have been taken in fiscal year 1993 are shown as follows.
 (a) In addition to the existing system for providing support for preparing plans and policies for promoting projects in designated areas to prevent earth warming, support was expanded to include assistance for the preparation of master plans for this purpose. In addition, guidelines were provided for supporting the preparation of such plans.
 (b) To step-up conservation activities such as energy conservation by businesses, the revised Law on Temporary Measures to Promote Business Activities for the Rational Use of Energy and the Utilization of Recycled Resources and the Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy were implemented.
 (c) In waste management, new technologies such as reduction and resource recovery, utilization of incineration heat, and recovery of GHG (methane) were positively promoted. And public awareness activities related to new technology for waste disposal were promoted.
 (d) In order to form transport systems with low CO2 emissions, promotion of modal shift in the areas of medium or long distance transport between major terminals, improvement of transport efficiency, and developed/improved roads such as bypasses were implemented.
  To promote use of low-emission vehicles, surveys and tests were conducted on the feasibility and possible improvements in such vehicles. In addition, subsidies were provided to introduce such low-emission vehicles as environmental pollution patrol cars.
 (e) In order to form an energy supply structure with low GHG emissions, the development and utilization of nuclear power-assuming the assurance of safety-the utilization of hydraulic and geothermal power, the introduction of combined cycle power generation and photovoltaic power generation, and so on were promoted.
 (f) To reduce the uncertainty concerning global warming and to develop countermeasures based on scientific knowledge, research projects were implemented on analysis of the phenomenon and its impact on the environment, on monitoring of gases, and on development of monitoring technology making use of satellites. For this purpose, the Center for Global Environment Research of National Institute for Environmental Studies was expanded and the Global Environment Research Program Budget was expanded.
 (g) In order to develop technologies to mitigate GHG emissions, such as advances in technology for new energy and energy conservation, and innovative technologies for CO2 fixation and utilization, research was positively promoted under the Sunshine Project.
 (h) To disseminate and promote the Action Program to Arrest Global Warming, pamphlets were distributed and explanatory sessions were held during conferences with local public entities and on other occasions. In June 1993, the measures which were implemented by the related ministries and agencies under the Action Program to Arrest Global Warming in fiscal 1992 were compiled.
 (i) In the area of international cooperation, support for the institutions concerned continued, and in March 1994, the Third Asia-Pacific Seminar on Climate Change was held in Osaka to promote support for developing nations and regions through global warming countermeasures.
  Resolving the problem of global warming is considered impossible without innovative technological advances in addition to implementation of political measures. Hence, under Japan's initiative, and with the cooperation of the OECD/IEA secretariat and the G7 countries, a conference on international co-development strategies for environmental energy technology was held in Tokyo in October 1993. Based on the results of these activities, the OECD/IEA is now conducting research on the scope of strategies as a first step.

  B. Response to the Framework Convention on Climate Change

  The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted in May 1992 just before the Earth Summit. Japan signed the convention in May 1993, and became the 21st signatory party. The primary objective of this convention is to stabilize the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent human activities from having a dangerous effect on the climate. The convention requires all signatory parties to record the emission and absorption of greenhouse gases, develop a national plan for global warming countermeasures, and perform other obligations. Particularly for developed nations including Japan, an important issue is the requirement to reduce the emission volume of CO2 to levels equivalent to that as of 1990 by the end of the century. Hence, policies and measures must be implemented based on that requirement, and the contents of the actual measures implemented must be recorded and reported to the Conference of the Parties.
  Following the adoption of the Convention, the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee has been held to promote actual implementation of measures. In August 1993 at the eighth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, discussions were held on the actual recording methods and on specific issues such as co-implementation. Japan submitted a report to the Committee on the state of actions implemented in Japan in accordance with the United Nations resolution on encouragement of early submission of information concerning the requirements of conventions prior to effectuation. At the ninth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee held in February 1994, discussions were held to review the feasibility of the commitments of the eonvention, guidelines for the first release of information, and standards for co-implementation.
  By the end of 1993, the number of signatory parties exceeded the necessary 50 for its effectuation, and as of March 21, 1994, the eonvention came into effect. The first session of the Conference of the Parties is scheduled to be held in March 1995.

  C. Contributing to Evaluations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

  The IPCC was founded in November 1988 by the UNEP and the WMO to evaluate scientific knowledge, socioenvironmental impacts, and countermeasure strategies for global warming. In August 1990, the IPCC submitted its first evaluation report and in February 1992, a supplementary report was submitted. Furthermore, the IPCC was restructured, and is now in the process of compilation and analysis to complete its second evaluation report on the latest scientific information.
  Japan has been actively participating in many related conferences as well as in the general meeting, and in January 1994, sponsored a workshop of Working Group III in Tsukuba. In the restructured IPCC, Japan is the vice chair of Working Group II and is continuing to provide active support for the activities of IPCC.

12-1-2 Ozone Layer Protection Measures

  (1) Outline of the Problems

  The majority of the earth's ozone is found in the stratosphere, and this is known as the ozone layer. The ozone layer absorbs most of the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun and protects living things on earth. In recent years, it has been revealed that artificial substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons emitted into the atmosphere are damaging the ozone layer. The depletion of the ozone layer and the resulting increase of the amount of ultraviolet rays reaching the earth's surface not only increases the occurrence of diseases in humans such as skin cancer and cataracts, but is being feared for having adverse effects on the growth of plants and plankton.
  CFCs consist of carbon, fluorine, and chlorine and are used as solvents, refrigerants, foaming agents, and aerosols. Halons containing bromine are used primarily as fire extinguishing agents. These substances are chemically stable, and do not dissolve when emitted into the troposphere, and rise to the stratosphere. In the stratosphere, they are decomposed by direct ultraviolet rays from the sun and release chloride and bromine atoms, which serve as catalysts, setting off a chain reaction that decomposes ozone.
  Ozone depletion caused by CFCs will require a considerable amount of time to remedy, and the damage has occurred worldwide, which means it is an environmental issue of global proportions.

  (2) Ozone Layer Protection Measures

  To prevent the depletion of the ozone layer, the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was adopted in March 1985 and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was adopted in September 1987. To implement these international agreements appropriately and smoothly in Japan, the Law Concerning the Protection of the Ozone Layer through the Control of Specified Substances and Other Measures (The Ozone Layer Protection Law) was promulgated in May 1988 (Figure 12-1-1) and Japan became a Party to the Convention and the Protocol in September 1988.
  In accordance with the Amendment to the Montreal Protocol in June 1990, the Ozone Layer Protection Law was partially amnended. The amended law was promulgated in March 1991 and enforced in August 1992. Japan acceded to the Amendment to the Montreal Protocol in September 1991.
  Furthermore, at the fourth meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol in November 1992, phase-out schedules for CFCs and other substances were brought forward, and HCFC, HBFC, and methyl bromide were additionally designated as controlled substances (Table12-1-2).

Fig. 12-1-1 Outline of the Law Concerning the Protection of the Ozone Layer through the Control of Specified Substances and Other Measures

Fig. 12-1-1 Outline of the Law Concerning the Protection of the Ozone Layer through the Control of Specified Substances and Other Measures

Table 12-1-2 Phase-out Schedule in Accordance with the Montreal Protocol (Revised November 1992)

Table 12-1-2 Phase-out Schedule in Accordance with the Montreal Protocol (Revised November 1992)

(1) CFC-11,12,113,114,115
(2) Halon-1211,1301,2402
(3) CFC-J3,111,112,211,212,213,214,215,216,217
(4) Standard level=calculated level of consumption of HCFC in 1989 + calculated leve of consumption of CFCs in Appendix A Group I × 0.031
(5) HCFC-21,22,31,121,122,123,124, 131,132,133,141,142,151,221,222,223,224,225,226,231,232,233,234,235,241,242,243,244,251,252,253,261,262,271

  The following measures, most of which are based on the Ozone Layer Protection Law, have been implemented for Japan to resolve the global environmental problem.

  a. Production Restriction of CFCs and Other Substances

  The Ozone Layer Protection Law designates CFCs, Halon, carbon tetrachloride, and 1, 1, 1-trichloroethane as "specified substances" and has scheduled reductions in the production and consumption and eventual phase-out of them in accordance with the Montreal Protocol. Implementation of production and consumption restrictions for specified CFCs (CFC-1J, 12, JJ3, 114, 115) began in July 1989, that for halon in January 1992, and that for other CFCs and 1, 1, J-trichloroethane in January 1993.
  Production and consumption volume in Japan in 1993 were 51,212 tons and 47,435 tons of specified CFCs, respectively, representing reductions to 43% and 40% of the level in the standard year of 1986. Other CFCs were 808 tons and 788 tons, reductions to 35% and 34% of the level in the standard year of 1989. (Figures were calculated by multiplying the figures for production and consumption volume by the Ozone Depleting Potential of each substance).

  b. Emission Control and Rational Use of CFCs and Other Substances

  Guidelines for Emission Control and Rational Use of Specified Substances, which were established to promote efforts of emission control and rational use of specified substances by industrial users, were announced in January 1989 and efforts for dissemination and implementation have continued since. Also, to accurately and smoothly implement ozone layer protection measures such as reducing the use of ozone depleting substances, July of each year has been designated as the Month for the Promotion of Ozone Layer Protection, and joint efforts of the government and non-government parties are being implemented to promote and inform the public concerning the protection of the ozone layer. To promote the use of substitutes of specified CFCs and 1, 1, 1-trichloroethane at washing facilities and freezing and air conditioning facilities, and the installation of emission control and recovery facilities of specified CFCs and 1,1, 1-trichloroethane, such facilities are eligible for special depreciation write-offs in computing the corporate and enterprise taxes, special classification for computing the property tax, and other measures concerning taxation. In addition, special funding is made available from the Japan Development Bank, the Japan Environment Corporation, and other financial institutions.
  c. Promoting Observation, Monitoring, and Research on Ozone Layer Depletion

  Observation and monitoring of the ozone layer is carried out to facilitate the accurate implementation of protection measures for the ozone layer. Detailed research is also being conducted on the mechanism of ozone layer depletion by CFCs and other substances, and the effects of ozone depletion. Other activities include measurement of the vertical profiles of ozone concentrations by ozone radar, development of other new observation technologies, and development of a model to simulate future changes in the ozone layer.

12-1-3 Acid Deposition Prevention Measures

  (1) Outline of the Problem

  Rain may be slightly on the acid side of the pH scale under normal circumstances due to the carbon dioxide in the air. However, when sulfur and nitrogen oxides generated by the combustion of fossil fuels are converted into sulfuric and nitric acid and are absorbed in the rain as it falls, the rain becomes harmful acid deposition.
  Acid deposition is viewed as a global problem because it poses a threat to the eco-systems of lakes and forests and has inflicted irreversible damage on ancient ruins and buildings in North America, Europe, and elsewhere.

  (2) Measures to Prevent Acid Deposition

  In Japan, the first survey on acid deposition was conducted from 1983 to 1987, and the second survey on acid deposition was conducted from 1988 to 1992.
  The outline of the results of the second survey are as follows:
 (a) pH levels and sulfuric ion precipitation volume were at approximately the same levels as those in the United States and Europe, and there were no signs of significant change during the length of the survey.
 (b) Acid deposition has only marginal effects on rivers as the buffering effect of the soil neutralizes the low pH observed temnporarily in melted snow before the water reaches rivers.
 (c) Vegetation surveys indicated that there is evidence of tree decline in some locations, but whether acid deposition was the cause of tree decline has yet to be determined as further research must be conducted from various perspectives.
  The effect of acid deposition on the ecosystems and plant life in Japan have yet to be determined at this point, and there are many issues still to be studied concerning the long-term effects of acid deposition on inland bodies of water, soil, and plant life. If acid deposition with current levels of acid concentration continues to precipitate, there is a possibility that damaging effects of acid deposition may materialize in the future.
  From fiscal 1993, the third survey on acid deposition will begin as a five-year project. It will consist of continuous monitoring of inland bodies of water, soil, and plant life, and development of a forecast model to simulate and study the different effects. From the perspective of preventative measures, the acceptable emission volume of sulfuric oxides, nitrogen oxides, and other substances will be calculated to develop a schedule for reducing these emissions. Furthermore, acid deposition observatories are being built nationwide to observe the present status of precipitation, resolve the structure of long-distance transportation, and to monitor the effects on the ecosystems. In fiscal 1993, 14 acid deposition observatories were constructed.
  As the first step towards global cooperation and coordination of efforts, 10 East Asian Nations and related international institutions participated in the founding of the Conference of Specialists for the East Asia Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in October 1993. The results of the conference were summarized as the chairperson's summary; the basic issues are as follows
 (a) It has been made clear that acid deposition is observed in many East Asian countries.
 (b) A consensus was reached on the seriousness of the adverse effects of acid deposition in the future considering economic development and energy problems.
 (c) A consensus was reached on the necessity of monitoring acid deposition, developing a model on the diffusion of the substances that cause acid deposition, and investing the pattern of emissions over the affected areas.
 (d) All participating countries expressed agreement on the need to construct a monitoring network.

12-1-4 Conservation of Tropical Forests and Other Wooded Areas

  (1) Outline of the Problem

  Each region has its own kind of forests, suited to the characteristics of the climate. Forests cover 4 billion hectares, or 30.7% of all land on earth. Forests provide humanity with indispensable resources such as industrial wood and fuel, as well as other non-wood products that are the ingredients of pharmaceuticals and other materials. Forests are a natural resource with multiple functions such as providing homes to many wild animals, contributing to the conservation of soil and water resources, and acting as an environmental stabilizer through absorption and fixation of carbon dioxide.
  However, in recent years, the forest area of developed countries has not changed significantly, but wooded areas in developing countries located in the tropical rain forest regions have been decreasing drastically. The latest report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Forest Resources Assessment Project Final Report, estimates that approximately 15.4 million hectares-or the equivalent of approximately 40% of the land area of Japan-of tropical forest have been lost annually during the ten-year period between 1981 and 1990. Roughly half of the world's natural flora and fauna are said to live in the tropical forests, and it has been described as a "treasury house of genetic information." The loss of such a vast amount of forest may lead to the extinction of many wild species. It is also pointed out that the decrease of such large wooded areas is leading to a drastic increase in the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to an acceleration of the global warming process. The causes for the decrease of tropical forests vary according to region. For example, nontraditional slash-and-burn agriculture, excessive collection of firewood, inappropriate commercial lumbering, and the allowing of too many animals to graze in the area are among the stated reasons, but behind these causes are excessive population growth, poverty, land policies, and other socioeconomic factors that combine to make up a very complicated picture.

  (2) Preventative Measures

  In fiscal 1993, many discussions at various international conferences were held on the theme of how to conserve the world's forests while continuing sustainable growth. These were based on the first global agreement on forests, the Forest Principles, adopted at the Earth Summit and the measures for combating deforestation stated in Agenda 21. The new International Tropical Timber Agreement (ITTA) is the first agreement adopted since the Earth Summit and consists of an article stating the enhancement of the ability for sustainable management of tropical timber producing countries by the year 2000. it has further enhanced the international effort towards conserving tropical forests.
  Japan is actively participating in these international discussions while upholding and promoting bilateral and multilateral cooperation activities.
  In the area of bilateral cooperation efforts, forestry related cooperation programs such as afforestation, training personnel, and forest-related research are being implemented in South East Asia, Oceania, Africa, and Central and South America. Of these, 17 projects in 13 countries were ongoing as project type technical assistance provided through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, as of March 31, 1994.
  In the area of multilateral cooperation efforts, Japan contributed the largest amount to provide continued support for the activities of the International Tropical Timber Organization, or the ITTO, headquartered in Yokohama.
  Japan also contributed to the FAQ project aimed at enhancing capabilities for forestry planning and policy formation among the countries of the Asia Pacific region. Japan is also increasing support for research on forest conservation through contributions to the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) established under the authorization of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in 1993.
  In the area of research and investigation into tropical forests, funds for research to study the ecosystems of the tropical forests are provided under the Global Environment Research Program Budgets. Such projects are currently undertaken by national experiment stations and research institutes, based in the rain forests of Malaysia. Observation and research on the changes in tropical forests and their effects are being conducted using funds from the Budget for Promoting Studies of Marine Development and Global Science and Technology. These research activities are based in the tropical forests of Thailand.
  Private institutions are also making contributions to support the experiments to plant seedlings of dipterocarps for reforestation in Sarawak, Malaysia, and to implement sustainable forest production making use of local tree types on a 15,000 hectare area in Papua New Guinea.

12-1-5 Wildlife Protection

  Various activities of human beings, including excessive hunting of wild animals and over-exploitation of their habitats, are causing the extinction of animal species today at a pace unprecedented in history. It is presently estimated that during the thirty years beginning in 1990, 5% to 15% of all species worldwide will become extinct.
  Wildlife is one of the fundamental elements making up the earth' s ecosystem and is an indispensable resource to human beings as it contributes to making the environment more livable, relaxing, and comfortable. Extinction of wildlife species is an urgent global issue.
  At present, Japan is contributing to efforts to protect wildlife and is a party to several multinational pacts, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the so-called Washington Convention, which was adopted in March 1973, became effective overseas in July 1975, and took effect in Japan in November 1980; and the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitats, or the Ramsar Convention, which was adopted in February 1971, took effect overseas in December 1975, and became effective in Japan in October 1980. Japan also has signed various bilateral agreements with the United States, Australia, China, and Russia to enforce wildlife protection especially for migratory birds and to protect biodiversity.
  The Fifth Conference of the Contracting Parties for the Ramsar Convention was held in Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan from June 9 to 16, 1993. Approximately 1,200 participants from 95 countries participated in a wide-ranging debate on protecting marshes and wetlands, resulting in 9 resolutions and 15 recommendations. The conference contributed to raising the awareness of the importance of wetlands protection in Japan. Also, as it was the first conference held in Asia, the event served to promote the participation of Asian countries which had not attended before. Asia is home to many of the Earth's important wetlands~
  The Eighth Conference of the Contracting Parties for the Washington Convention was held in Japan in March 1992. Efforts to develop new listing criteria for wildlife species based on the resolution adopted at the conference are presently in progress.
  The Seventh Japan-Australia Migratory Birds Protection Convention Managerial Conference, a working meeting for the JapanAustralia Convention for the Protection of Migratory Birds in Danger of Extinction and Their Environment, was held in November 1993 in Tokyo. Opinions were exchanged between the two governments on the present state of migratory birds protection measures, on research co-sponsored by the two countries, and other matters.
  The Convention on Biodiversity outlines the global framework to protect various types of wildlife and their habitats, while securing sustainable utilization of biological resources, and to dispense the benefits of genetic resources fairly and evenly. Japan became a party to the convention in May 1993 and it went into effect in December. To implement policies based on the convention, a liaison council of relevant ministries and agencies was established in January 1994.
  Other international efforts include cooperation projects to support wildlife protection efforts in developing countries and wildlife protection projects conducted by JICA.

12-1-6 Marine Environment Protection Measures

  (1) Outline

  The oceans constitute three quarters of the earth's surface area and hold 90% of the world's water resources. They are a very important habitat for wildlife and, together with the atmosphere, affect the climates and are an indispensable factor in sustaining all life on the earth.
  On the other hand, the various characteristics and resources of the oceans have been exploited and deve oped by humans since the dawn of history. Recently, however, the increasing dependence on the oceans and the extensive pollution caused by various human activities have drawn attention to the necessity for conserving the marine enviroament. The present state of oceanic pollution on a global scale cannot be accurately determined because studies thus far have been conducted mainly in the oceans surrounding developed countries. However, the occurrence and expansion of red tides and pollution caused by heavy metals and other substances in inland seas such as the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea are clear and visible signs of growing pollution. The movements of large tankers around the oceans, development of under water oil fields, and other developments present a serious threat of oceanic pollution, and once an accident occurs, the consequences are long-lasting and widespread. Such issues make marine environment protection an important issue. The frequency of large scale tanker accidents resulting in large oil spills and the consequences of oil spilling out into the ocean during the Gulf War in 1991 have had serious impacts on the environment. At the same time, these developments have greatly contributed to raising the awareness of the international community regarding the importance of marine environment protection.

  (2) Specific Measures

  Oceanic pollution is caused by various factors such as inflow of pollutants from land, oil discharged from ships in the seas, and waste disposal into the sea. The causes vary but the only means of preventing pollution and protecting the environment is through coordinated global efforts; and hence, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has played a central role in drawing up international conventions to prevent oceanic pollution. Various international cooperation efforts have been actively carried out and nations base their oceanic pollution policies on these conventions.
  Japan has reviewed and revised its domestic laws related to marine pollution, including the Law Relating to the Prevention of Marine Pollution and Maritime Disaster in 1980 and 1983. Japan became a signatory to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (the London Convention) in 1980 and the Protocol of 1978 Relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 (MARPOL 73/78 Convention) in 1989. These actions have led to the reinforcement of oceanic pollution prevention measures in Japan.
  The body and the regulations related to the prevention of pollution from oil (Appendix I) of MARPOL 73/78 came into effect globally in October 1983. Regulations on the control of pollution by noxious liquid substances in bulk (Appendix II) came into effect in April 1987. Regulations on the prevention of pollution by garbage from ships (Appendix V) came into effect at the end of December 1988. Regulations for the prevention of pollution by harmful substances shipped in containers via sea (Appendix III) came into effect in July 1992. The IMO is not pushing for the early implementation of the remaining section still to come into effect-regulations on the prevention of pollution by sewage from ships (Appendix IV). In Japan, revisions consisting of items such as the mandatory placement on ships of manuals for emergency measures to prevent oil spills have been made in laws such as the Law Relating to the Prevention of Marine Pollution as of April 1993.
  The London Convention was adopted in November 1972 and came into effect in August 1975. Japan became a party in October 1980 and it became effective in November of the same year. During the Sixteenth Consultative Meeting of Contracting Parties to the Convention held in November 1993, revisions were made in the Convention's Appendix concerning the prohibiting of dumping industrial waste into the ocean and incinerating industrial waste at sea. Japan revised relevant laws concerning the prohibiting of dumping industrial waste into the ocean and incinerating industrial wastes at sea in February 1994.
  Regional efforts to promote marine environment conservation are targeted at the northwest Pacific Ocean region, and Japan is working in cooperation with nations in the area to examine the UNEP regional sea projects aimed at protecting the environments of international closed sea areas. The first specialists meeting on this subject was held in November 1993 in Bangkok. In September 1993, the Second Liaison Meeting on the Conservation of the Environment of the Sea of Japan, attended by relevant autonomous bodies, was held. Furthermore, to promote research and information exchange related to the oceanics of the North Pacific, Japan, the United States, Canada, China, and the former Soviet Union adopted the convention to establish the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) in December 1993. The convention came into effect in March 1992. Studies of oceanics are now being carried out by four committees, including the Marine Environment Quality Committee, and the Second Annual Convention of this committee was held in Seattle in October 1993.
  On the other hand, the Exxon Valdez accident in March 1989, which resulted in a large oil spill off the coast of Alaska, had an immense impact on the marine environment. It also raised the awareness of the necessity to reinforce containment and cleaning systems to deal with large-scale oil spills and the need to establish a scheme for international cooperation. In response, the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness Responses and Co-operation (the OPRC Convention) was adopted in November 1990. The mega-scale oil spill caused by the Gulf War beginning in January 1991 further raised the awareness of the need for international cooperation to deal with the damage caused by incidents of such a large scale.
  The Ministry of Transportation is in the process of promoting the establishment of domestic institutions to implement the early signing of the Convention, while promoting the OSPAR Project, consisting of an international emergency containment scheme in the wake of a largescale oil accident in the ASEAN oceanic region, in response to the international community's reaction to such matters. At the end of November 1992, the Second OSPAR Cooperative Conference was held in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  The repeated occurrences of large tanker accidents in the recent years, including the tanker collision off the Northern shore of Sumatra in January 1993, has led the Ministry of Transportation to sponsor the Convention on Safety Measures for Tanker Transportation to prepare policies to reinforce and upgrade supervision of shipping operations, prepare emergency operation measures in the case of accidents, and take other related measures. The Transportation Ministry also cosponsored the Joint Convention on Tanker Transportation Issues with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry to review the measures to be taken to ensure stable transportation and shipment of oil in the ASEAN ocean region. In December, companies owning and operating ships established the ASEAN Ocean Region Oil Shipment Safety Measures Convention in response to the suggestions made by the Joint Convention.

12-1-7 Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes

  (1) Outline of the Problem

  Transboundary movements of hazardous wastes has been common in regions such as in Europe, where many countries lie close together. Unfortunately, some of such shipments were conducted in a far from environmentally sound manner in the light of environmental correctness. One example involved shipment of soil from the site of an Italian pesticide plant, which had caused an explosion in 1976. The soil from the area, which was polluted by dioxin, was found missing in 1982 and later discovered in France. This incident-the Seveso Incident-as a turning point, led to the concern about the environmental pollution caused by transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and led to activities to establish systems to prevent such incidents in the EC and other OECD countries.
  In the late 1980s, many incidents causing environmental pollution occurred, such as the Coco incident in which transformer scraps containing PCB from Italy, Norway, and other countries were discarded in Nigeria in 1988. Such cases are the result of exporting hazardous wastes, which are difficult to be treated even in developed countries and tend to be exported to developing countries where regulations are relatively lax and the costs of treating or disposing of the substances are lower. Such practices made the issue of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes a global issue involving developing nations and have helped raise awareness of the need to control such movements.

  (2) Specific Measures

  In order to deal with this problem, under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program, the Basel Convention on the Control of the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal was adopted in March 1989 and came into effect on May 5,1992. This convention states requirements for acquiring permission for the export of hazardous wastes, providing prior notification to the area where the hazardous wastes are to be exported, and enforcing mandatory re-import of the wastes in the case of the waste being transported or treated inappropriately.
  The issue of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes was discussed at the Earth Summit in 1992 in Brazil as an important issue, and the importance of establishing effective measures to deal with this issue was emphasized in Agenda 21.
  Japan recognized the importance of becoming a party to the Basel Convention as quickly as possible, and the Law for the Control of Regulation of Export, Import and Others of Specified Hazardous Wastes and Other Wastes was implemented on December 16, 1992.
  The basic contents of this law are as follows: (1)making public announcements related to the basic issues, (2) requiring exporters and importers to obtain prior permission by the Minister of International Trade and Industry based on the Law for Export, Import and Foreign Exchange, (3) requiring the Director-General of the Environment Agency to examine the case before export-permission by the Minister of International Trade and Industry, (4) requiring mandatory carrying of movement documents with the shipment, and (5) issuing a corrective order for the recovery and proper disposal of wastes when they are transported or disposed of inappropriately.
  This law is aimed at ensuring domestic implementation of the Basel Convention. It is also aimed at restricting the import and export of specified hazardous wastes to a minimum while specifying basic issues related to the stricter standards imposed on the transportation and treatment of the specified hazardous wastes outside of Japan. An Enforcement Order was implemented on September 3, 1993, and the basic issues were announced on October 7 of the same year. By implementing this law, domestic preparations for becoming a party of the Basel Convention were completed, and on September 17, 1993, Japan became a party of the Basel Convention. The convention came into effect on December 16 of the same year, and the above mentioned law came into effect the same day as the implementation law for the convention.
  To specify processing procedures in transboundary movements of wastes for the purpose of recycling among OECD nations, the OECD adopted the Council Decision Concerning the Control of Transfrontier Movements of Wastes Destined for Recovery Operations in March 1992. Japan assented to the Decision prior to the implementation of the Basel Convention in Japan. Consequently, transboundary movements of wastes, which are the subject of the Decision, are required necessary procedures by the Law for the Control of Export, Import and Others of Specified Hazardous Wastes and Other Wastes since December 16,1995.
  On December 16, 1992, the Law to Amend a Portion of the Waste Disposal and Public Cleaning Law was announced and went into effect on December 15, 1993. This law requires examination by the Minister of Health and Welfare prior to exporting wastes and approval from the Minister of Health and Welfare prior to importing wastes. Thus, necessary restrictions on the export and import of wastes were implemented.

12-1-8 Prevention of Desertification

  (1) Outline of the Issues

  According to the definition in the Agenda 21 adopted at the Earth Summit in June 1992, "desertification is land degradation in arid, semiarid, and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities." In this definition, "laud" applies to a broad conception of soil, water resources, land surface and vegetation. "Degradation" implies the reduction of resource potential of the soil due to one or a combination of the processes acting on the land, such as water and wind erosion, sedimentation, long-term reduction in the amount or diversity of natural vegetation, land salinization, and other phenomena. According to the survey conducted by the UNEP on the present state of desertification in 1991, the areas affected by desertification account for about one quarter of the total land area, and approximately 70% of the total drylands, measuring about 3.6 billion hectares, and desertification affects approximately one sixth of the world's population.
  Presumably, the main causes of such desertification consist of the decline of soil fertility due to grazing beyond the capacity of grass to reproduce, the shortening of periods when the land is allowed to lie fallow, the excessive collection of fuelwood, and increases in the salt concentration of land due to inappropriate irrigation. In the background, there are social and economic factors, such as poverty of rural residents and population increases in developing countries, making the issue of desertification all the more complex.

  (2) Specific Measures

  International efforts to combat desertification were triggered by the drought in the Sahel area at the southern end of the Sahara that began in 1968. In 1977, the United Nations Conference on Desertification (UNCOD) was organized under the initiative of the UNEP. Furthermore, based on the Agenda 21, establishment of an intergovernmental negotiating committee to draft a convention to combat desertification (INCD) was resolved during the 47th United Nations General Assembly. Debate on a convention began in May 1993, and discussions on specific clauses for the convention began in January 1994.
  Japan is now surveying comprehensive approaches, including from a socioeconomic perspective, to combat desertification and to further contribute to the negotiations for the convention. In addition, the Japanese government is taking measures against desertification, such as research on the evaluation of interaction between desertification and human activities in India and China, research on development of agriculture to cope with desertification in the basin of the Niger River of West Africa, joint international studies at the Takia Makan Desert in China, surveys on forest rehabilitation technology in areas affected by desertification, and joint Japanese-Chinese studies on the interaction of the atmosphere and the land surface in the basin of the Heihe River. Also, in Egypt, water retaining materials for land improvement is being developed.
  On the nongovernmental level, various NGOs such as the Sahel Society have been implementing cooperative afforestation activities.

12-1-9 Efforts Against Environmental Pollution in Developing Countries

  In developing countries, deforestation and desertification are occurring as a result of poverty and population pressures, while urbanization and industrialization are causing air, water, and other pollution problems. In the East European countries and in the former Soviet Union region, the end of the Cold War has brought to light serious pollution problems as a result of planned economic activities that fail to take account of environmental conservation. Pollution is observed all over the world, and from a global perspective, pollution problems in developing countries are no longer regional.
  However, many of the developing countries do not have the economic, technological, or human resources, nor the infrastructure to implement adequate measures to fight pollution. For them to effectively tackle pollution, cooperation of developed countries is indispensable in addition to their own efforts.
  For these reasons, Japan has continued its efforts through Official Development Assistance based on a clear statement of the importance of environmental conservation in its Official Development Assistance Charter while promoting cooperation with developing nations in their environmental conservation efforts as specified in the Basic Environment Law. (Ref. 12-4 Cooperation with Developing Nations on Environmental Conservation.)

12-2 Endeavors of International Organizations

12-2-1 Follow-Up on the Earth Summit

  (1) International Activities

  1. Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)

  In Agenda 21 agreed on at the Earth Summit of 1992, it was stated that "a high level Commission on Sustainable Development should be established in accordance with Article 68 of the Charter of the United Nations." In response, at the 47th General Assembly of the United Nations held the same year, a request for the founding of the commission was approved during discussions on establishing systems concerning the follow-up on the Earth Summit. In February 1993, the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was formed under the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
  CSD has 53 nations as members, including Japan, and its main objectives are (1)Monitoring of the status of the activities of the United Nations concerning Agenda 21 and the integration of the environment and development,(2)Examining reports submitted by member nations on the activities undertaken to implement Agenda 21, (3) Reviewing and inspection the implementation of commitments concerning financial issues and technology transfer stated in Agenda 21, (4) Promotion of the principles stated in the Rio de Janeiro Declaration and the Principles on the Forests Declaration, (5) Submission of appropriate recommendations to the United Nations General Assembly concerning the implementation of Agenda 21 through the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
  The first conference was held in June 1993 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York with the representatives of the 53 member nations, 31 nonmember nations, and 27 international institutions.
  During this conference, the Multi-Year Thematic Programme of Work was adopted to specify procedural preparations for the United Nations Special General Assembly on the Environment and Development scheduled to be held in 1997. Specifically, the 40 chapters of Agenda 21 were divided into 9 categories to be reviewed by 1996, and then evaluated comprehensively (Tables 12-2-1 and 12-2-2). A progress report on Agenda 21 must be submitted to the Special General Assembly in 1997.
  Also at the first conference, a High Level Meeting of the member nations was held. This Meeting is an essential part of the decisionmaking process of the CSD and includes free discussions which are intended to provide a political impetus for the implementation of the agreements reached at the Earth Summit. It was agreed that this Meeting will conduct comprehensive evaluations concerning the implementation of Agenda 21, and it will be the forum for discussion of emergency and fundamental problems concerning political measures and the discussion of results of secretarial level meetings

  2. The High Level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development

  Establishment of the High Level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development (HLAB) was recommended in Chapter 38, International Institutional Arrangements, of the Agenda 21 adopted at the Earth Summit. The HLAB will consist of knowledgeable specialists who have a deep understanding of the environment and development, including scientists in accordance with their personal qualifications. The HLAB is expected to play an important role in the follow-up process on the Earth Summit along with the CSD.

Table 12-2-1 Major Activities Undertaken by International Institutions and Other Organizations in Preparation for The United Nations Special General Assembly on the Environment and Development (Perspective)

Table 12-2-1 Major Activities Undertaken by International Institutions and Other Organizations in Preparation for The United Nations Special General Assembly on the Environment and Development (Perspective)

Table 12-2-2 Schedule of Topics by Year for the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development Concerning Implementation of Agenda 21

Table 12-2-2 Schedule of Topics by Year for the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development Concerning Implementation of Agenda 21

  In response to the above, United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali announced the establishment of the HLAB on Sustainable Development in July 1993. The first meeting was held in September, and the second meeting was held in March 1994.
  The main objectives of the HLAB are as follows:
 (a) To provide advice, suggestions and guidance to the issues presented to the Committee by the CSD.
 (b) To increase awareness of the United Nations Secretary-General and the relevant intergovernmental institutions of problems, their solutions, and measures related to sustainable development.
 (c) To provide opinions to the United Nations Secretary-General and the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) on the expectations and interests of the major social parties on the problems of sustainable development and on the form of contribution the United Nations system should make towards these problems.
 (d) To contribute to the establishment of partnerships between the United Nations, science, industry, academic institutions, and NGOs.

  (2) Activities in Asia and the Pacific

  1. Environment Congress for Asia and the Pacific (ECO ASIA '93)

  The Environment Agency of the Japanese Government organized the Environment Congress for Asia and the Pacific (ECO ASIA '91) in July 1991 with the attendance of high-level government officials including ministers in charge of environmental issues to discuss ways for Asia and the Pacific region to input ideas during the Earth Summit.
  Held one year after the Earth Summit, ECO ASIA '93 was co-organized with the Chiba Prefectural Government on June 30 and July 1, 1993, to discuss how to cooperate in the region toward the proper implementation of the agreements made at the Earth Summit. Participants in the conference included high-level officials of 17 countries, including 9 ministers, and representatives of 7 international organizations. During the conference, it was agreed that ECO ASIA will be continued as the forum for exchanging views at the high government official level in the region and the ECO ASIA Long-Term Project (A Long-Term Perspective on Environment and Development in the AsiaPacific Region) will be implemented under this regional cooperation.

  2. The Northeast Asian Conference on Environmental Cooperation

  The Environment Agency sponsored the First Northeast Asian Conference on Environmental Cooperation in Niigata City in October 1992. This conference was held to facilitate information exchange at the environmental policy makers level concerning the northeast Asia region while promoting regional cooperation emphasized in Agenda 21.
  The Second Conference was held in September 1993 in Seoul, sponsored by the Ministry of Environment of Korea. At this second conference, agreements were reached on the necessity of expanding the number of personnel, information, experience, and technology exchange in the environmental field to improve the environment of the northeast Asia region; the necessity of continuing and further developing the conference.

  (3) Domestic Efforts

  1. Acceptance of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity

  Japan signed both conventions at the Earth Summit, and adopted them and became parties to them in May 1993.

  2. Preparation of a National Action Plan for Agenda 21

  Preparation and planning procedures for action plans for individual nations in connection with Agenda 21 were agreed on at the Earth Summit. At the Munich Summit of 1992 and the Tokyo Summit of 1993, it was decided that the action plans will be completed and announced publicly by the end of 1993.
  In response, the Japanese Government ratified its National Action Plan for Agenda 21 during a meeting of government ministers having jurisdiction over environmental matters in December 1993, and the plan was submitted to the headquarters of the CSD.
  Japan's National Action Plan follows the same chapter order as Agenda 21, and states the specific action Japan will take to comply with the specified program areas of Agenda 21 (Table 12-2-3). Important issues are as follows:
 (a) Activities to create a heightened awareness among the general public to build a society capable of sustainable development with less burden on the global environment, and to alter the lifestyles of its citizens to adapt to. environmentally sound lifestyles.
 (b) Participation and contribution to efforts to create an effective international framework for global environmental conservation.
 (c) Active participation in international efforts to establish a fundraising mechanism such as the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to promote global environmental conservation.
 (d) Contributing to the improvement of the capabilities of developing nations to cope with environmental problems through the promotion of the transfer of environmentally sound technology and other measures.
 (e) Securing international coordination for and implementation of observation, monitoring, and inspection and research on global environment conservation.
 (f) Reinforcing the effective coordination of the Japanese Government, local governments, businesses, and NGOs.

Table 12-2-3 Agenda 21: Program of Action for Sustainable Development

1. Preamble
Section 1 : Social and Economic Dimensions
2. International cooperation to accelerate sustainable development in devel oping countries and related domestic policies
3. Combating poverty
4. Changing consumption patterns
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability
6. Protecting and promoting human health
7. Promoting sustainable human settlement development
8. Integrating environment and development in decision-making
Section 2: Conservation and Management of Resources for Development
9. Protection of the atmosphere
10. Integrated approach to the planning and management of land resources
11. Combating deforestation
12. Managing fragile ecosystems:
  Combating desertification and drought
13. Managing fragile ecosystems:
  Sustainable mountain development
14. Promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development
15. Conservation of biological diversity
16. Environmentally sound management of biotechnology
17. Conservation of the ocean, all kinds of seas, including enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, and coastal areas and the protection, rational use, and development of their living resources
18. Protection of the quality and supply of freshwater resources:
  Application of integrated approaches to the development, management, and use of water resources
19. Environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals, including preven tion of illegal international traffic in hazardous wastes
20. Environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, including the prevention of illegal international traffic in hazardous wastes
21. Environmentally sound management of solid wastes and sewage-related issues
22. Safe and environmentally sound management of radioactive wastes
Section 3: Strengthening the Roles of Major Groups
23. Preamble
24. Global action for women towards sustainable and equitable development
25. Children and youth in sustainable development
26. Recognizing and strengthening the role of indigenous people and their communities
27. Strengthening the role of non-governmental organizations;
  Partners for sustainable development
28. Local authorities' initiatives in support of Agenda 21
29. Strengthening the role of workers and their trade unions
30. Strengthening the role of business and industry
31. Scientific and technological community
32. Strengthening the role of farmers
Section 4 : Means of implementation
33. Financial resources and mechanisms
34. Transfer of environmentally sound technology, cooperation, and capacity-building
35. Science for sustainable development
36. Promoting education, public awareness, and training
37. National mechanisms and international cooperation for capacity-building in developing countries
38. International institutional arrangements
39. International legal instruments and mechanisms 40. Information for decision-making

12-2-2 Activities of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

  Following the UN Human Environment Conference held in Stockholm in 1972, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was established to comprehensively coordinate environmental activities within the UN system and broadly cooperate with other international organizations, governments, and non-governmental organizations.
  The programs carried out by the UNEP are roughly classified into three types-environmental management, environmental assessments, and support measures. In May 1993, the Governing Council held its seventeenth session to discuss the future activities of the UNEP in accordance with the agreements made at the Earth Summit.
  Japan has been taking part in the UNEP since its establishment as a member of its Governing Council. Japan has made significant contributions, such as the offer of $9 million in contributions to the Environment Fund in 1993 (the world's second biggest donor following the United States).
  The UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre (UNEP/IETC), an organization of the UNEP, was formally established in October 1992 in Osaka City and Shiga Prefecture as the first UN organization in Japan to deal with environmental issues.
  The Centre is dedicated to the transfer of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries and countries with economies in transition by means of providing training and consulting services, carrying out research, constructing a database of environmental information, and accumulating and disseminating related information with a special focus on environmentally sustainable management of big cities (Osaka Centre) and freshwater lakes/reservoir basins (Shiga Centre).
  The establishment of the Centre was proposed as Japan's contribution to global environmental conservation by then Prime Minister Kaifu at the Houston Summit in July 1990 , and it was approved by the Governing Council at its sixteenth session in May 1991.

12-2-3 Activities in the OECD

  The OECD is an international economic cooperation body consisting of industrialized countries. It presently has 24 members. The highest decision making body is the Council, and the Ministerial Council meetings are held annually.
  In response to the increasing worldwide interest in environmental issues in the late 1960s, the Environmental Committee was established in July 1970 to specialize in debate on environmental issues, previously under the jurisdiction of the Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy. Since its founding, the Environmental Committee has been actively promoting environmental conservation. In March 1992, a partial revision of its structure was conducted and the Environment Policy Committee was formed.
  The Environment Policy Committee (EPOC) examines issues that are considered critical for member states in formulating environmental policies. The results are adopted accordingly at the Council as OECD Decisions or OECD Recommendations and are published as reports and distributed widely. The establishment and dissemination of the Polluter Pays Principle (PPP) is one example of its successful activities.
  In recent years, other committees of the OECD are dealing with environmental issues from their respective perspectives in a crosssectoral approach. Joint activities between the Environmental Policy Committee (EPOC) and other Committees have been increasing, such as the Joint Session on Trade and Environment Experts, established together with the Trade Committee. The joint session is also underway with the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) on development and the environment. The EPOC also conducts discussions with the Committee on Fiscal Affairs on the environment and taxation. The EPOC conducts a ministerial meeting approximately once every five years. At the Fourth Environment Ministers Meeting in January 1991, an environmental strategy for the 1990s was adopted. The strategy adopted consisted of the following three pillars: (1) integrating economic and environmental policies, especially the promotion of the use of economic instruments while developing environmental indicators and promoting their implementation, (2) improving environmental performance of OECD nations while monitoring the implementation of environmental policies of member states, and (3) strengthening international cooperation with developing nations while actively tackling global environmental issues. Also, to launch a systematic evaluation of each member nation's accomplishments of environmental conservation, the environmental performance review was agreed upon. Between 1992 to 1993, a pilot review was conducted in 5 nations, including Japan. In the case of Japan, the review was conducted in 1993 and the results were subsequently disclosed.

12-2-4 Actions on Environmental Issues at the Summit Conference

  Economic issues have been addressed in the communiquZs issued at the Summit Conference since the Ottawa Summit in 1981. Especially after the Arche Summit of 1989, global environmental issues have become one of the major items on the communiqus.
  At the Tokyo Summit in July 1993, environmental issues continued to hold high priority in political issues, despite the economic difficulties. The major developed nations celebrated the success of the First Conference of the Commission on Sustainable Development, and welcomed the progress of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity, which moved toward implementation and ratification by the end of 1993 and progress toward conclusion of the Convention to Combat Desertification. Participants expressed their determination to achieve environmentally sound sustainable development, based on thorough and effective evaluation and follow-up regarding the results of the Earth Summit, including commitments by each member nation to publicly announce action plans by the end of 1993.
  Also, announcements were made regarding steps to be taken to make necessary improvements to consolidate the position of the Global Environment Facility as a permanent mechanism to supply funds to pay for the additional costs of implementing signed conventions related to the global environment At the same time, encouragement to international development funding institutions to concentrate on sustainable development and to conduct thorough environmental assessments as part of preparations for project implementation, and to make these assessments available for public use.

12-3 International Cooperation Based on Other Treaties and Agreements

  (1) The Antarctic Treaty

  Japan promoted domestic efforts in preparation for the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting held in Japan in April 1994.

  (2) The World Heritage Convention

  Japan accepted the Convention for the Protection of World Culture and Nature Heritage (the Heritage Convention) in June 1992, and it went into effect in Japan in September the same year. Based on the World Heritage Convention, the Environment Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Forestry Agency, and other related agencies coordinated efforts in October to recommend the Shirokami Mountain District and Yakushima as natural heritages to the World Heritage Committee. The two regions were approved for registration on the world heritage list in December 1993.

  (3) Activities Based on the Japan-U. S. Environmental Protection Cooperation Agreement

  The Japan-U. S. Environmental Protection Cooperation Agreement was signed in August 1975. Since its signing, 9 ministerial level Joint Planning and Coordination Committee meetings have been held to discuss a wide range of environmental issues based on this agreement.
  Also based on this agreement, 15 projects have been established to promote information exchange, sponsor conferences, and facilitate communication between specialists.

  (4) Activities Based on the U. S.-Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources (UJNR)

  The Japan-U. S. Cooperative Program in Natural Resources (UJNR) was established in 1964. The 14th plenary session of the Program was held in July 1993 in the United States. The 16th General Assembly of the Conservation, Recreation, and Parks Specialists Group, under the jurisdiction of the U. S.-Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources, was held in July 1993 in the United States and information exchange and other activities were carried out.

  (5) Activities Based on the Japan-U. S. Science and Technology Agreement

  The new Japan-U. S. Science and Technology Agreement was signed in June 1988 as a replacement to the old Agreement concluded in 1980. There have been four ministerial level Joint High-Level Committee Conferences since the signing of this new agreement to date. In Appendix I of this agreement, seven major fields of cooperation are specified, of which 45 projects have been approved and joint research and other activities are presently conducted in the Global Science and the Global Environment field.

  (6) The Japan-EC High-Level Consultations on the Environment

  A Joint Declaration on relations between the member states of Japan and the European Community announced in July 1991, emphasized the need for cooperation between Japan and the EC concerning environmental issues. In response to this declaration, two conferences were held in 1992. In November 1993, a third conference was scheduled since the cooperation between Japan and the EC is making positive progress.

  (7) Activities Based on the Japan-Soviet Environmental Protection Cooperation Agreement

  In April 1991, the Japan-Soviet Environmental Protection Cooperation Agreement was signed, but due to complications on Russia's side and other issues, Joint Committee Meetings were not held. However, in January 1994, a Joint Committee Meeting was held to discuss global environmental issues and environmental policies of both parties, and heated debate was conducted.

  (8) Activities Based on the Japan-Germany Science and Technology Agreement

  The Japan-Germany Science and Technology Agreement was signed in June 1988, leading to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Technology Panel, and cooperative efforts have been implemented since 1976. Information exchange and other activities are currently under way are in 5 specific areas and on 20 topics, including studies on eutrophication and related problems in closed bodies.
  The 15th Panel Conference was held in Bonn in February 1994. Discussions were conducted on the general trends in the two countries on research and development concerning environmental conservation technology and the present state and implementation levels of R&D in the established research topics.

  (9) Activities Based on the Japan-China Environmental Conservation Cooperation Agreement

  The Japan-China Environmental Conservation Cooperation Agreement was concluded in March 1994 to reinforce and expand cooperation between Japan and China related to environmental conservation issues previously implemented under the Japan-China Science and Technological Cooperation Agreement. In the future, discussions will be held on specific cooperation activities at the Japan-China Environmental Conservation Joint Committee.

  (10) Activities Based on the Japan-China Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement

  The Japan-China Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement was concluded in 1980. Since then, the Japan-China Scientific and Technological Cooperation Committee has met 6 times. In the environmental area, joint projects have been implemented, such as Research Concerning Prevention of Air and Other Types of Pollution and Joint Research on Acid Rain in East Asia.

  (11) Activities Based on the Japan-Republic of Korea Environmental Conservation Cooperation Agreement

  The Japan-Republic of Korea Environmental Conservation Cooperation Agreement was concluded in June 1993 to reinforce and expand cooperation between Japan and the Republic of Korea related to environmental conservation issues previously implemented under the JapanRepublic of Korea Science and Technological Cooperation Agreement. In response, the First Japan-Republic of Korea Environmental Conservation Joint Committee was held in Tokyo in January 1994, and the present state of environmental policies and the follow-up measures for the Earth Summit in Japan and in the Republic of Korea were discussed. In March 1994, the Seventh Japan-Republic of Korea Scientific and Technological Cooperation Committee agreed to officially transfer 11 programs including The Environmental Pollution Prevention Technology Exchange to the Environmental Conservation Cooperation Agree-ment.

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