Japan joins Countdown 2010

16 September 2008 | News story

Japan, which is due to host the 10th UN Biodiversity Conference in 2010, has signed the Countdown 2010 Declaration to halt or reduce the loss of biodiversity. The move came while ministers from Asia gathered at the Eco-Asia Summit in Japan.

The local, regional, and national governments of Japan, including the City of Nagoya, the Aichi Prefecture and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan, signed the Countdown 2010 Declaration on September 13, marking the country’s final spurt towards the 2010 biodiversity target and the 10th UN Biodiversity Conference to be held in Nagoya in 2010.

“Today, Japan charts its way to 2010. This joint signing ceremony speaks of the strong commitment of the country at all levels of government," says Jeff McNeely, IUCN’s Chief Scientist at the ceremony.

With their signatures, the Japanese Minister of the Environment, Mr. Saito, the Mayor of the City of Nagoya, Mr. Matsubara and the Aichi Governor, Mr. Kamda pledge extra efforts towards achieving the 2010 biodiversity target, an international commitment to significantly reduce biodiversity loss by 2010. They join a global alliance of 700 local, regional and national governments, businesses and civil society organizations.

Specifically, Japan commits to implement the “Kobe Call for Action for Biodiversity”, agreed at G8 Environment Ministers Meeting 2008 and, as host of the CBD CoP10 in 2010, will also undertake every possible effort to profile whenever possible the 2010 target through its activities, such as the “Satoyama Initiative” – to collect and disseminate information on traditional and local knowledge and practices for living in harmony with nature – and the “Kobe Biodiversity Dialogue” – a global forum, to be held before the CBD CoP10 in 2010, to promote information exchange, dialogue, discussion, and collaboration.

“What happens in Nagoya today is an important event reminding other countries that it is time to scale up their actions to 2010," says Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN Director General. "I encourage more countries in Asia and in the rest of the world to follow Japan’s example.”

In 2010, all 191 Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity will gather in Nagoya to review the international achievements to reduce biodiversity loss and agree on new targets. The city of Nagoya also contributes its achievements to the global cities network Local Action for Biodiversity.

“Biodiversity loss is a global issue that calls for local solutions,” says Sebastian Winkler, Head of Countdown 2010. “Today’s signing ceremony bridges the local to the global. We’re inviting others to follow suit.”