2018•06•07 TokyoOn 24 May, UNU-IAS, MOEJ, the University of Okayama, GEOC and SDSN Japan jointly organized a symposium on biodiversity and the SDGs to celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity. This year’s IDB theme was “Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity.” Along with the theme, the symposium shared best practices for the local communities to protect biodiversity and discussed ways to accelerate such actions locally and globally.
Taikan Oki, Senior Vice-Rector of UNU, gave opening remarks that introduced the UNU-IAS commitment to protecting biodiversity including by hosting of the IPSI Secretariat, contribution to IPBES, and organization of the First Asian Conference on Biocultural Diversity. He stressed UNU continuous commitment to mainstream and localize biodiversity through multi-stakeholder partnerships.
In the first keynote speech, Hirofumi Makino, President of Okayama University, presented research activities focused on solving local issues. A second keynote speech was given by Kazuhiko Takeuchi, Senior Visiting Professor at UNU-IAS and President of IGES. Takeuchi explained the linkages between the Aichi Targets and the SDGs and stressed the importance of local actions in contributing to SDG realization. Lastly, Ryuji Nomura of Kirin Beverage Co. Ltd, presented the company’s commitment to creating shared value, including through sustainable procurement of tea leaves.
During the panel discussion that followed, the panelists stressed the significance of the local companies in making local activities sustainable as well as the importance of education and capacity building. The panelists also shared the view that the roles of GEOC and local EPOs (Environmental Partnership Offices) as information centers and partnership facilitators are key to accelerate and sustain local activities to achieve the SDGs.
The symposium closed with the remarks by Naohisa Okuda, head of the MOEJ Biodiversity Policy Division, stressing the importance of linking biodiversity actions with the SDGs.