Celebrations around International Biodiversity Day in Tokyo started early in the morning on Friday 22 May with a ceremony to plant trees at Shinjuku Gyoen park organized by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan.
A small group of school children heard about the value of nature conservation from Mr. Masayoshi Yoshino, Senior Vice-Minister of the Environment, Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Jeff McNeely, IUCN’s Chief Scientist, then helped plant some trees and made their own commitments to protect and respect Japan’s natural resources.
In preparation for the 10th Conference of the Parties of the CBD that will be held in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010, IUCN and Nippon Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation signed later in the morning the agreement that officially launches the IUCN Japan Project Office in Tokyo to support the preparations towards next year’s meeting. IUCN’s Chief Scientist, Jeff McNeely, signed the agreement on behalf of Julia Marton-Lefevre, the Union’s Director General.
The agreement with Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation constitutes an important step in the process of preparation to COP10 and represents a commitment from the Japanese private sector to support biodiversity conservation at large.
Just recently, Nippon Keidanren companies signed a Declaration of Biodiversity which consists of seven action points to support their declaration and commitment to conserve biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits derived from genetic resources, in other words, the three objectives of the convention. The seven action points are a commitment from the signatory companies to illustrate the content of the Declaration in a concrete way:
- Appreciate nature’s gifts and aim for corporate activities in harmony with the natural environment;
- Act against the biodiversity crisis with global perspectives;
- Act voluntarily and steadily for the benefit of biodiversity;
- Promote corporate management for sustainable resource use;
- Create an industry, lifestyle and culture that will learn from biodiversity;
- Collaborate with relevant international and national organizations; and
- Spearhead activities to build a society that will nurture biodiversity.
The IUCN COP10 Project Office in Tokyo will work with the government of Japan and various stakeholders to consult and analyze the various views from governments and NGOs on issues in the agenda of the COP and will support it with products resulting from IUCN’s global network of experts and members. These products will include policy advice, media / communications support and outreach to stakeholders.