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MISIA: message in CBD SATOYAMA Newsletters

At the Aichi Nagoya world conference on biodiversity the 193 Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and their partners will discuss a new biodiversity strategic plan for the next decade which will include a new international legal instrument to promote access and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

Since I was appointed Honorary Ambassador for COP10 in March 2010 I have visited several sites in Japan and abroad to learn more about biodiversity and the issues affecting it. As a result, I realize that no life can exist alone and all life is interlinked, sometimes mutually dependant, sometimes competing.

Since the beginning of the modern era, humans have promoted developments beyond the capacity of ecosystems and we have forgotten that we depend on other lives. As a result, we have driven many species to extinction because of over exploitation and habitat loss. Many others are on the verge of extinction. Malfunction of the web of life can have serious impacts on human beings.

Threats to biodiversity are deeply interrelated to major challenges to society including poverty. Africa for example is home to some of the richest biodiversity in the world but in recent times has experienced serious loss of biodiversity due to unsustainable development. Through my visits to African countries, I have witnessed that soil degradation and extreme floods caused by such development have impacted the poorest people who have become even poorer. Accelerated poverty can lead to many social problems such as deterioration of security, poor maternal health care and lack of child education.

In 2008, I started to support children’s education in Africa. But we need to increase knowledge and awareness of people worldwide at all levels of society regardless of nationality, gender, specialty, and level of experience. The year 2010 – the International Year of Biodiversity – is an opportunity for us all to learn more about biodiversity and how we can act to sustain it.

In Japan there is a traditional saying spoken before meals, Itadaki-masu, which means to “humbly take the gift of life from nature”. It reflects an ancient belief that the gods rest on everything and that food is a gift of life from nature and the gods. I think we all need to remember that even in this modern time we are dependant on other life, that all life is connected, and the importance to respect nature.

It is my strong hope that in Aichi Nagoya Biodiversity Summit, a global and universal alliance to protect life on Earth will be established. It is my strong hope that this alliance includes also the artists of the world as we need more than ever to promote a culture of peace with nature and living in harmony with nature. This is why I have offered my latest song “Life in Harmony” as the official song of COP10, as biodiversity is life and biodiversity is our life and it is essential for our common future and the future of our children.

MISIA (Japanese singer)
Honorary Ambassador for COP10


* CBD SATOYAMA Newsletter is published in September 2010.
This newsletter is a special issue of CBD Gincana Newsletters