Aichi Biodiversity Target

2014-10-04

Aichi Target 3 A study on the effects of stimulus measures on biodiversity

 The Aichi Biodiversity Target 3 “Incentives Reformed” is a difficult topic as it requires knowledge of both natural and social sciences, and the combined efforts of different branches of government.

 The JWCS Aichi Target 3 Committee was formed in 2012, linking researchers and NGOs, in order to study and advise on stimulus measures that affect biodiversity, both positively and negatively.

 The committee has issued interim reports, in 2012 and 2014, which are posted on the JWCS website. This current report details a selection of stimulus programs in order to demonstrate certain points that require attention for the realization of Target 3. The number of related topics is so huge that this report is not exhaustive but merely a preparatory report.

 As you read the details of this report you will see that the prevailing tendency for policies to center on development and industry is being driven in a new direction giving far more consideration to the environment. There are problems however in that the philosophy and general principles are often not reflected in action on the ground, and even when they are, those principles are not adopted generally or applied across the board. There are many such examples of the disadvantages of Japan’s horizontally segregated “vertical administrative system.” For example, there are numerous policies such as recycling, low-carbon and co-existence with nature, all aimed at creating a more sustainable society, but when we inspect individual cases we find that even under new policies for energy, public works or industrial stimulation, old systems are perpetuated, creating endless inconsistencies. The initiatives for the process of reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake are a prime example of the inconsistencies present in the current situation in Japan. While there are local programs in planning for environmental protection and conservation of biodiversity, the project to build a huge sea wall several hundred kilometers long is going ahead without proper assessment of the environmental impact. Even though there are numerous things to taken into consideration; regional land use and living conditions, the ecosystem (the interconnection of forests, the sea and human communities) and fisheries, etc.; even though there is an abundance of approaches that could be employed to further recovery from the disaster and prevent further such mishaps, these are ignored while the public construction juggernaut rumbles on. The fact that many barely relevant projects are being financed by this massive public investment has been pointed out and has even gained the attention of the media. There are examples of divergence between the intent of initiatives and the actual execution of policy.

 Among the many problems that have come to light with the nuclear accident in Fukushima, we must note the “it couldn’t happen here” mindset, the fact that the precautions against accidents did not work as planned, and that the nuclear power program has gone ahead without a complete solution to the problem of final repositories for radioactive wastes. Effectively, the economic aspect (short term cost-benefit), which may even be said to have led to the accident, has continually been given priority, while the “back-end” processes of clearing up after the accident and decontaminating the affected area, continue to be handled in a belated, ad hoc manner.

 Though these examples of problems and inconsistencies involve a variety of complex aspects, there are many more that can be mentioned, such as the Isahaya Bay Reclamation Project (Nagasaki prefecture) and the US Marine base relocation project, in dugong habitat, at Henoko in Okinawa. Nevertheless, not all the news is so gloomy. There are several developing bright spots. The rest of this document is devoted to real examples of field programs in the survey stage which may be instructive.
 We hope they will provide inspiration for future work around the country.

                                                      JWCS Aichi Target 3 Committee

Report 1: Attaining Aichi Biodiversity Target 3 and the Switch to a Green Economy
Report 2: Report : Attaining Aichi Biodiversity Target 3 and the Switch to a Green Economy. -A Study on Stimulus Measures that have an Effect on Biodiversity? Part 2- Summary

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