First Asian Biocultural Diversity Conference Results in Ishikawa Declaration

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  • 2016•11•02     Nanao City

    Photo:UNU-IAS OUIK

    Photo:UNU-IAS OUIK

    The inaugural Asian Conference on Biocultural Diversity, held 7-29 October in Nanao City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, came to a successful close with the adoption of the Ishikawa Declaration. More than 500 attendees from 37 countries agreed to promote local platforms for dialogue, mutual learning, and partnerships in Asia.

    The conference, organized by UNESCO, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), UNU-IAS and Ishikawa Prefectural Government, acknowledged the importance of encouraging integrated approaches to conservation as well as sustainable and equitable use of local biological and cultural resources to further vitalize communities. In Asia, it is often the case that local communities inherit the traditional knowledge systems needed to maintain and utilize local natural resources in a sustainable manner. These knowledge systems and local ecosystems co-evolve over time, bridging nature and human culture.

    Through the declaration, conference participants committed to the promotion of mutual learning among communities, especially through effective implementation of the FAO’s Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) programme, UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme, Global Geoparks, and World Heritage sites, among others. The need to support platforms to foster dialogues and collaboration among citizens, local and traditional communities, municipalities, and private enterprises was also highlighted.

    In his keynote speech, Prof. Kazuhiko Takeuchi (Senior Visiting Professor, UNU-IAS) introduced the rich satoyamasatoumi landscapes of Ishikawa Prefecture, including those of Noto and Mount Hakusan, as a GIAHS site and MAB Biosphere Reserve, calling for the further implementation of their conservation and the wise use of local biocultural diversity.

    Dr. Blaurio de Ferreira de Souza Dias (Executive Secretary, CBD Secretariat), emphasized cultural and biological diversity as a shared global heritage; while Dr. Flavia Schlegel (Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO), called for a holistic approach to address the global erosion of diversity and emphasized the role of local authorities in promoting integrated strategies.

    The outputs of the conference, including the Ishikawa Declaration, will be shared at COP 13 in Cancun, Mexico.

    Conference Agenda

    27 October:Thematic Meeting including 45 Oral Presentations and 43 Poster Presentations
    28 October:International Symposium, Youth Session, and Closing Session
    29 October:Field Excursions to Experience Local Community Initiatives to Maintain and Explore Local Biological and Cultural Resources

    For further details please visit the conference website.

    An abstract of the thematic meeting is also available.

  • Ishikawa Declaration on Biocultural Diversity

    (405.8 KB PDF)