MISIA message for International Day for Biological Diversity / UN Decade on Biodiversity
The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10) came to a successful conclusion in October 2010. It was a year of great achievement; significant agreements, such as the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol and the Aichi Targets, and the term “biodiversity” gaining a greater awareness among the Japanese people.
2011 marks the first year of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. During this decade, governments, organizations and experts from around the globe shall conduct various kinds of attempts to prevent further loss of biodiversity.
The vast majority of people, who are not experts, are to follow the same path, making efforts to prevent further biodiversity loss. Our lives and biodiversity are inseparable. Everything that we pick up at a store, or every item in our house, has something to do with biodiversity. Losing biodiversity means that we will lose something in our lives. Each and every one of us must learn what biodiversity is, consider what could be done for its conservation and sustainable use, and take action.
On 11 March 2011, the strongest earthquake and tsunami ever recorded in Japanese history hit the country. The Great East Japan Earthquake claimed many lives and caused mass destruction. Fishery, forestry and agriculture industries which have been flourishing in tandem with nature while receiving the blessings of biodiversity were greatly damaged.
Reconstruction and recovery from the disaster will likely take years. During that time-consuming process, I would like to include my thoughts about biodiversity in my messages as the COP 10 Honorary Ambassador. What is a life living in harmony with nature, appreciating the gifts from other living beings, like? When we overcome the threats imposed by the disaster, what does our “ideal situation coexisting with nature” look like? We must reflect on these questions.
People living in Asia, including Japan, have a traditional view of nature, which is to coexist with it. Since ancient times, we have developed a way of living to coexist with nature and to let our life style adapt to its changes. "Satoyama” (a village forest) emerged from this view of nature. In our view, nature is not something to conquer but to coexist with. To live together with nature. To coexist with nature, even though it might become a threat. Though the disaster has taken so much away from us, we are trying to stay close to nature and rebuild our new lives beside it. Realizing our own strength, I cannot help but think about the relationship between nature and human beings.
Though we are deprived of so many things, new lives are born and something new is happening toward the future in the midst of our grief-stricken situation. During the next decade, I would like to convey a message to the world about how precious it is to be alive, to be able to pass life on to another generation, and to be able to maintain a connection with other forms of life on Earth. This allows us to better appreciate the blessing that is the web of life.
MISIA, Honorary Ambassador for COP10
*This message was announced from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
* You can see other languages (Japanese, French, Spanish) from UN Decade on Biodiversity website.