lunes, diciembre 19, 2011

2011-2020 United Nations Biodiversity Decade Launched in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan

Convention on Biological Diversity - PRESS RELEASE

Montreal, 19 December 2011 - A future of life in harmony with nature is possible, if the world takes action now. The United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (UNDB) was launched in Kanazawa, Japan, on 17 December 2011, in a ceremony organized by the United Nations University, in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment of Japan, Ishikawa Prefecture and Kanazawa City, and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The global launch of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity counted on the participation of United Nations agencies, Parties to the CBD, and representatives of all levels of government in Japan. The three-day event included a workshop on national biodiversity strategies and action plans.
The very idea of declaring 2011-2020 the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity was initiated by Japan
and endorsed at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, held in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010. It was formally proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly at its sixty-fifth session. The United Nations Decade on Biodiversity builds on the achievements of the successful celebration of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity. It aims at implementing the first Aichi Biodiversity Target of the Strategic Plan on Biodiversity 2011-2020, namely to ensure that by 2020 all the people of the world will be aware of biodiversity and its value.
In his message addressed to participants, delivered by Mr. Kiyotaka Akasaka, Under-Secretary-General, United Nations Department of Public Information, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, called "on all the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and to all the biodiversity-related conventions, as well as all members of the United Nations system, the private sector, civil-society groups and individual citizens and consumers worldwide, to rally to the call of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity." In conclusion, he stated, "Let us work together to live in harmony with nature, let us preserve and wisely manage nature's riches for prosperity today and for the future we want."
Mr. Katsuhiko Yokomitsu, Senior Vice-Minister of the Environment in the Government of Japan, speaking on behalf of Mr. Goshi Hosono, Minister of Environment of Japan and current President of the
Conference of the Parties to the Convention, said: "The intensive
efforts of all participants enabled the
Conference of the Parties to achieve substantial results at its tenth
meeting, including the adoption of new
global targets for biodiversity. Given the current status of
biodiversity, it is incumbent upon us to
endeavor continually and unfailingly to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity
Targets. To pass on to our children
the abundant natural blessings of this planet, we must harness the
collective wisdom of humanity and
begin and extend concerted efforts across the globe to create societies
that exist in harmony with nature."
Mr. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, Vice-Rector of the United Nations University,
stated: "It is not too late to prevent
the further loss of biodiversity. The presence of the representatives
gathered here today from national
governments, United Nations organizations, NGOs, the private sector and
the public demonstrates the
resolve of the international community to find inclusive global
solutions to address this complex
Mr. Masanori Tanimoto, Governor of Ishikawa Prefecture, said:
"Biodiversity is a global issue but it is
also very close to people living in each local area, so it is important
for a local government to tackle this
issue with the understanding of and in collaboration with local
communities. For this reason, we have
been making efforts to conserve biodiversity through conservation and
sustainable use of satoyama and
satoumi in collaboration with the UNU-IAS Operating Unit of
Ishikawa/Kanazawa and Kanazawa
University. We will enhance our efforts on this occasion, the starting
year of the United Nations Decade
on Biodiversity. I'm expecting a strong message will be conveyed to the
world today from here,
In December 2010, Ishikawa Prefecture also hosted the closing ceremony
of the International Year of
Biodiversity, which saw the launch of the 2011 International Year of
Mr. Masaru Onishi, President of Japan Airlines (JAL), said: "The Aichi
Biodiversity Targets to be
achieved over the Decade require participation of all stakeholders.
Companies can contribute to this issue
in various ways according to their type of business. As an airline
company we can, for example, work
toward target 9 by preventing unintentional introduction of invasive
alien species, target 1 by promoting
public awareness, target 5 by monitoring and reporting forest fires and
target 10 by sampling and
monitoring air quality, and preventing global warming."
While presenting the Japan Airlines ECO-Jet with the logo of the United
Nations Decade, Mr. Onishi
reiterated the commitment of JAL and its staff to make a distinct
contribution in raising public awareness
in support of the Decade's objectives. On 13 October 2011, JAL hosted a
ceremony to launch its ECO jet
featuring the logo of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (see
JAL was the first airline in the world to include the COP 10 logo on two
of its Boing 777s.
"The next decade will be crucial for the future of our planet. Only with
action at all levels will we be able
to secure a future of life in harmony with nature," said Ahmed Djoghlaf,
Executive Secretary of the
Convention on Biological Diversity, "Japan, as the motor force behind
the declaration of this United
Nations Decade, has demonstrated leadership and vision in support of
sustainable development and,
indeed, life on Earth."
At the welcome reception, "Rio+20 and Biodiversity Japan", newly
established by Japanese civil society,
introduced the "Ishikawa Declaration" to promote "living in harmony with
nature", the concept of the
Aichi Targets, and concrete actions to achieve these targets in the
international community on the
occasion of Rio+20 in collaboration with other stakeholders.
The Ishikawa Declaration calls on the participants to the Rio+20 Summit,
scheduled for June 2012, to give
high priority to the biodiversity agenda and fully integrate the Aichi
Biodiversity Targets as an integral
part the Summit's expected outcomes. The Ishikawa Declaration follows
the official submission last
month by the President of the Conference of the Parties of the Strategic
Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020
and its Aichi Biodiversity Targets to the head of the secretariat of
Rio+20 for inclusion as part of the
expected outcomes of the Summit.
The international launch of the Decade was preceded by regional launches
in the Republic of Korea, India,
the Philippines, Cuba, Ethiopia, Ecuador and Costa Rica.

Notes to editors

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and
entering into force in
December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an
international treaty for the conservation of
biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and
the equitable sharing of the
benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 193 Parties,
the Convention has near universal
participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all
threats to biodiversity and ecosystem
services, including threats from climate change, through scientific
assessments, the development of tools,
incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good
practices and the full and active
involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local
communities, youth, NGOs, women
and the business community. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is a
subsidiary agreement to the
Convention. It seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential
risks posed by living modified
organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 161 countries
and the European Union are
Parties to the Protocol. The Secretariat of the Convention and its
Cartagena Protocol is located in
Montreal. For more information visit

For additional information, please contact: David Ainsworth on +1 514
287 7025 or at; or Johan Hedlund on +1 514 287 6670 or at

2011-2020 United Nations Decade on Biodiversity

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