UNU-IAS, in partnership with the Ministry of the Environment Japan (MOEJ) and the Global Environmental Outreach Centre (GEOC), co-organised a symposium to commemorate International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) on 20 May 2021. In addition to this, GEOC had an online poster gallery celebrating ‘Life and Biodiversity’ and UNU-IAS’s Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa (OUIK) held a virtual tour of the Kanazawa area on 21 May 2021.
The theme for this year was “We’re part of the solution #ForNature” and the symposium shared the latest developments on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and initiatives undertaken in Japan. It also addressed the importance of a one-health approach, partnerships, localisations, and evidence-based decision-making. The opening remarks were given by Hiroyosi Sasagawa (State Minister of the Environment, Japan), followed by Akio Takemoto (Programme Head, UNU-IAS), and Elizabeth Maruma Mrema (Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity).
Hiroyosi Sasagawa expressed Japan’s continued commitment in contributing to the discussion of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework based on its experiences as the host country that adopted the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and that has been leading the International Satoyama Initiative. Akio Takemoto highlighted the importance of strengthening synergies between biodiversity and climate to achieve multiple international goals as the world faces challenges posed by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic starting with projects within UNU-IAS. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema (Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity) expressed gratitude to the organisers for conducting the event and expressed her hope to continue working with Japan for the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
During the keynote presentation, Kazuhiko Takeuchi (Visiting Professor, UNU-IAS) introduced the latest developments on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework emphasising that we are the key to the solution to restore biodiversity and that we need to rethink some of our lifestyle choices. He also introduced the idea of the “One Health” approach, which recognises the interconnectedness of human, animal and ecosystem health. Reo Kawamura (Director, Office for Mainstreaming Biodiversity, MOEJ) presented the current status of biodiversity in Japan and highlighted the result of Japan Biodiversity Outlook 3 focusing on the need for transformative change to restore biodiversity. He stated that private sector participation in biodiversity has expanded and expressed willingness to achieve transformative change through multi-stakeholder partnerships.
A panel discussion was held around the topic of ways to be a part of the solution #ForNature. Panelists included Scott Newman (Senior Animal Health & Production Officer, FAO Focal Point for GFTADs, AMR & the Tripartite in Asia and the Pacific), Maiko Nishi (Research Fellow, UNU-IAS), Juan Pastor-Ivars (Research Associate, UNU-IAS), Reo Kawamura (Director, Office for Mainstreaming Biodiversity, MOEJ), and Tomomi Kudo (EnVision Conservation Office, RCE Hokkaido Central).
During the discussion session, moderated by Tomoko Hoshino (GEOC), panelists shared view on generating political support for policy integrations, the importance of localising international goals, and accelerating biodiversity actions through partnerships. In closing, Tsunao Watanabe (Senior Programme Coordinator, UNU-IAS) addressed that 2021 is the first year of the U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and reiterated UNU-IAS’ continued commitment to realising a resilient and sustainable society through partnerships while also focusing on ecosystem restoration.