Biodiversity Band in action

24 October 2010 | News story

Iruka, Japan's renowned singer and songwriter and IUCN’s Goodwill Ambassador, performed today in Nagoya, Japan, as delegates to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) conference are preparing for the second week of negotiations, critical for the future of our planet’s biodiversity.

Through her inspiring performance and messages calling for action to save the natural world, Iruka has brought a new dimension to the ongoing talks: while delegates are working on a plan to stem the loss of biodiversity through policy negotiations, Iruka was speaking directly to people’s hearts. Her concert was greeted with enthusiasm by thousands of fans gathered at the event, passionate about music and nature.

Speaking on behalf of IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Jane Smart, Director of IUCN’s Biodiversity Conservation Group, thanked Iruka for her support and for the support of her fans for IUCN’s mission to achieve “a just world which values and conserves nature.”

“In Nagoya, IUCN is discussing a ‘big plan’ to save nature,” said Jane Smart. “But people rarely understand how much their lives depend on it and how much it is in trouble. Governments need to know that people are behind them; we can only succeed if people understand.”

Iruka became IUCN’s Goodwill Ambassador in 2004 and she has since been helping IUCN increase its visibility in Japan and generate both public and financial support for its work. Throughout her career she has been focusing on raising public awareness about biodiversity and conservation issues.

“I’ve been singing about nature since the very beginning of my career” she told IUCN after the concert. “Through my music, I’d like to be a bridge between people and all living creatures on the planet. I’ve noticed that thanks to the CBD meeting being held in Japan, people’s awareness of biodiversity has been rapidly increasing and many of them have become interested in nature conservation. I hope this trend will continue after the conference.”

Kondo Shoichi, Japan’s Senior Vice Minister of the Environment, who was present at the concert, also stressed the importance of the CBD meeting for the country and for the entire world. He said: “If the conference succeeds, Japan will certainly benefit from it as we will be able to conserve our rich biodiversity more actively. I believe that if we put a lot of effort in the remaining days of the negotiations, we can make this conference a success.”

This week in Nagoya, thousands of decision makers will continue to discuss plans for the next ten years to halt the loss of biodiversity, which is threatening the existence of all life on earth.

For more information, please contact:

Kaori Yasuda, IUCN Bilateral Relations Officer, e-mail: kaori.yasuda@iucn.org