Iruka, Japan's renowned singer and songwriter, will continue to be IUCN's Goodwill Ambassador in Japan for an additional four years, until the next World Conservation Congress in October 2012.
The Goodwill Ambassador of IUCN in Japan serves as a primary catalyst for helping IUCN build public profile and partnerships within Japan that will enable the Union to increase its visibility and generate both public and financial support for its mission. Other Goodwill Ambassadors will be appointed in different parts of the world.
In 2004, IRUKA pledged her support to IUCN by becoming the Union's Goodwill Ambassador in Japan. During the past years, Iruka has hosted an annual concert for IUCN in Japan and has used her regular radio talk-shows to raise awareness about the work of the largest environmental network. She gave a concert during the 2008 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, where she performed for the Union's Members, partners and friends from all over the world.
"Environmental issues have been drawing attention in recent years in Japan. However, it is sad to say that some people only think about the commercial value of ecosystem services. I will do my best to deliver IUCN's mission and messages, without compromising principles and qualities of IUCN's work, through my music," says Iruka.
"We are proud to have one of Japan's leading singers as our Goodwill Ambassador. With the next CBD meeting in Japan in 2010, we believe that Iruka will have a major role to play in raising awareness about the urgent need to protect and conserve biodiversity and maintain ecosystem functions, at a time when the world is making critical decisions about priorities for the environment" says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General.
In the next couple of years Iruka will focus her work on the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, and the Tenth Conference of Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD COP 10) to be held in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010.