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MISIA message for 'International Conference on Biological and Cultural Diversity'

My name is MISIA, an Honorary Ambassador for COP10.

I truly wish that this ‘International Conference on Biological and Cultural Diversity: Diversity for Development – Development for Diversity’ will be very fruitful and productive for all of you who get together here.

Since I was appointed as an Honorary Ambassador in March, I have had many opportunities to meet various people such as experts and those who engage in environmental conservation activities related to biodiversity.

They consistently dedicate themselves into their activities and I have been so impressed with their commitment.

I also learnt that it is very important to conserve and use biodiversity, which is essential to our lives, in a way that suits the situation of each country and area since how to get along with the biodiversity can differ in the different areas.

For example in my country Japan, it is believed that numerous gods live in nature. Blessings of nature were thought to be gifts from gods and our ancestors were very thankful for that.
That attitude can be still found in our lives today.
It seems that these days the thankfulness we used to have is sometimes overlooked. However I feel that we need to regain that sense of gratitude and respect to nature which had taught us the method of biodiversity conservation.

When I visited Africa, I learnt that there are cases that environmental destruction caused by development destroys the traditional lifestyle in which human live in harmony with nature, and it drags people into poverty since it forces people to change their balanced lifestyles.

Challenges in this world such as poverty and environmental problems are often connected. A lot of things should be done in order to realize the world in which everyone can live happily.

It is necessary that people with various backgrounds have mutual understanding regardless of language and cultural background and get together to create sustainable future. For that purpose, the knowledge, awareness and experiences of you who gather here are much needed.

We have only 130 days until the COP10 in October. I wish that you will have very productive and lively discussion here in preparation of COP10.