Update on Ramsar issues in Japan -- discussions on further Ramsar sites
Parliamentarian Hiroyuki Tani presses for Ramsar values in Japan
The Honorable Hiroyuki Tani, a member of the Japanese Diet (Parliament), who paid a visit to the Ramsar Secretariat in December 2003, has recently met with Ms. Yuriko Koike, Minister of the Environment in Japan, on the 3rd of August 2004 in order to discuss Ramsar issues in Japan.
The followings topics were stressed during the meeting:
The Ministry of the Environment should;
1. Designate more Ramsar sites in the country by COP9, which will be held in Uganda in November 2005.
2. Provide relevant full information and opportunity for NPO (Non Profit Organization) and local communities in the process of screening the Ramsar candidate sites, thereby realizing the participatory principle as recommended by the Ramsar Convention.
3. Formulate a mid/long-term policy related to wetlands at which conflicts between conservation and development occur, and to rice paddies and drainage basins.
The Ministry of the Environment established a Committee on Ramsar Convention which has a mandate to develop a criterion for Ramsar sites selection in Japan. Mr.Tani highly appreciated the Committee's activity and pointed out that the Committee has to focus more on the exchange of information and views among various stakeholders both at local communities and NPO levels.
The Committee is due to select Ramsar candidate sites from among the "Japanese Important Wetlands 500" with their own criterion that is to meet the international standard.
The Honorable Hiroyuki Tani (2nd from left) with the Minister of Environment, Ms. Yuriko Koike (2nd from right), August 2004.
Mr Tani with Ramsar's Peter Bridgewater, Gland, Switzerland, December 2003
Parliamentarian Tani is Secretary-General of the Japanese Lawmakers' League for Increasing Ramsar Sites.
-- reported by SUZUKI Kazunobu