Japan National Committee of IUCN Members

01 August 2012 | Article

The story of the activity of Japan Committee for IUCN (IUCN-J) 2008 to 2012 began with preparation of CBD COP10 which was historical biodiversity meeting for all IUCN components and story of initial steps to archive the outcome of CBD COP10, Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Before WCC 4th, the 9th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD-COP9) was held in Germany, Bonn city and decided the date and venue of the next CBD-COP10, Aichi Nagoya 2010 October.

To be honest, almost all Members of IUCN-J did not know the agenda process and mechanism. We also could not imagine the COP and neither knew how to prepare for it. CBD-COP9 and the IUCN Congress in Barcelona were very important opportunities to learn about them. We held a Knowledge café event, entitled “From Barcelona to Nagoya” and discussed with IUCN Members and staff to develop the strategy for preparations. The IUCN families encouraged and advised us to go the right direction.

IUCN-J facilitated the establishment of the Japan Civil Network for CBD(JCN-CBD), as the civil society platform and “one window” for preparing and coordinating with CBD secretary, international community and local and national governments. Members of IUCN-J are the group of nature conservation NGOs but the range of CBD activities is more broad including justice, poverty eradication and so on. The chair of IUCN-J, Mr. Masahito Yoshida took the position of co-representative of JCN-CBD. But IUCN-J and its Members always played the leadership role for the road to COP10. IUCN’s supports enabled us to go in the right direction. We held a pre-conference to CBD-COP10 “one year before COP”, inviting Dr. Jeffrey McNeely, senior scientific advisor of IUCN. Through our conference, the ideas of the “United Nations Decade on Biodiversity” came through and it became common proposal for Japanese civil society to consider the goals for and after the COP10 and its implementation. IUCN-J discussed this idea with the Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, both of which were also Members of IUCN.

2010 was the year of CBD-COP10. IUCN-J launched “Let’s Origami COP10 Project”. Origami was the symbol of COP10 logo and unique Japanese culture. We gathered 20,000 message for 2020 from all over the world and showed them to participants of COP10. We also planned with IUCN on the IUCN Constituency Event, a common exhibition booth and side events. IUCN and its Member activities were supported by an IUCN-J Youth collaboration project. You can see origami messages from youtube movies here.

2011-2012 and for 2020
After the CBD-COP10, we held 2 days of workshops in January 2011 to examine the implementation of COP10 outcomes, especially Aichi Biodiversity Targets. It was a very good initial step but… in March 11, the biggest earthquake in modern history, and a huge tsunami, devastated the Tohoku region and the nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima happened; they have changed our daily life and common sense regarding risks.

Thanks to the messages, condolences and letters from IUCN staff, other National and Regional Committees and IUCN Members, we in Japan were encouraged and started new initiatives for implementation of Aichi Biodiversity Targets in Japan in October, one year after COP10. The project is called “Nijyu-maru Project (Double 20 Campaign, meaning 2020, the target year). It is a participatory campaign and not only involving NGOs, but also institutions, business and local government can join by declaring specific actions to achieve the Aichi Targets with related target numbers.

This campaign will make the effort of the Aichi targets visible, by making information available regarding who is working on this and how they approach the Aichi targets, that is the “translation of Target into Actions for achieving target on the ground” which will provide opportunities to collaborate with the other members of the Nijyu-maru Project. IUCN-J signed a memorandum of understanding with the secretariat of CBD to promote “Nijyu-maru project”.

For more information, please see the article about the Nijyu-maru project in the CBD official NGO newsletter [Sqaure brackets], Issue 6, May 2012. You can also view the following website (Japanese only): http://bd20.jp/

Members of IUCN-J decided to continue contributing to the outcomes of the Aichi Targets and support its implementation mechanism by declaring the “United Nations Decade of Biodiversity 2011-2020”, which was adoped by the General Assembly of the United Nations. It emanated from the proposal of Japanese civil society through CBD-COP10 related activities.

The Japan Committee for IUCN consists of 25 IUCN Members: 1 State, 1 Government agency, 1 international NGO and 22 national NGOs(including 2 Japan branch offices of IUCN INGO Members).

Teppei Dohke
Secretary General of IUCN-J