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Japan 1

Japan 1

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Published by AdamVaughan

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Published by: AdamVaughan on Oct 06, 2010
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10/07/2010

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 Dear Minister of Environment,I am writing on behalf of the Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom and our readersworldwide to ask you to consider a proposal for protecting Japan’s biodiversity.The action has been proposed by our online readers and developed by professional scientists. Itis based by scientific evidence.We believe it will both protect an important species and habitat and send a clear signal to thenegotiations at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity COP10 in Nagoya later this monththat the decisive, concrete actions can and must be taken to halt the alarming decline in globalbiodiversity.Our campaign, Biodiversity 100, has identified 26 achievable actions in a number of countriesand has the support of the international scientific community. We are sharing our proposals with journalists around the world, who will be able to measure the success of their national and localgovernments in implementing the actions we have put forward. For more details of thecampaign please go to guardian.co.uk/biodiversity100.The specific proposals we request that you consider are supporting global efforts to protectbluefin tuna, and implementing steps to preserve the biodiversity on Okinawa Island (moredetails below).We kindly request you to react publicly to our recommendation, both through national mediaand through your statements to the CBD COP10 plenary. We also urge you to considerincluding our proposed action when you revise your National Biodiversity Strategy and ActionPlan after COP10. As a major international media outlet with a global audience, the Guardian takes seriously itsresponsibility to report on the planet’s biodiversity crisis. We would be very keen to hear backfrom you about your country’s efforts to protect the natural environment and, especially, to hearof your reaction to our proposal.October 5, 2010
Kings Place, 90 York Way, London
N1 9GU
Telephone 020-3353 2000guardian.co.uk
Ryu MatsumotoMinister of EnvironmentMinistry of the Environment Government of JapanGodochosha No. 5,Kasumigaseki 1-2-2, Chiyoda-ku,Tokyo 100-8975,Japan
 
 Yours Sincerely,
 Alan RusbridgerEditor-in-Chief
 
The GuardianCC:
Mr. Masayoshi Mizuno, Director, Global Environment Division, International CooperationBureau Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive secretary, CBD
Bluefin Tuna Action:
Support global efforts to protect bluefin tuna
 Description:
Bluefish tuna (Thunnus thynnus) is an symbol of marine conversation. Thefish can reach more than four metres long and weigh over 600kg. The species is in danger of apopulation crash, but in March, efforts to place the species on the Convention on InternationalTrade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) most protected list - so-called Appendix 1 – were blocked by Japan and other countries. This would have made internationaltrade illegal. Most trade occurs between the Mediterranean where they are caught, and Japan,where one fish can sell for more than US $100,000. Japan should change its stance on bluefintuna conservation and support a ban on international trade.
 Evidence:
Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks have fallen below 15% of their historic levels. Thescientific consensus on the issue is described in a letter to Science in June. It states:“[TheInternational Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas] Scientific Committeeconcluded (1) that there was a 95% probability that BFT [bluefish tuna] had declined to theextent that it would qualify for an Appendix I listing. This conclusion was endorsed by themajority.”
Okinawa Island Action:
Preserve the biodiversity on Okinawa Island
 Description:
Okinawa Island is the largest island in the subtropical Ryukyu chain off thesouth-western coast of mainland Japan – and has been described as “with some stretch of theimagination, Japan’s equivalent of Hawaii”. A quarter of the Yanbaru forest on the northern tipof the island is occupied by a US army base. There are already 22 US military helipads in thetraining area in Yanbaru, but a further seven helipads are planned within two of the best-preserved areas of the base. Appropriate legislation for conserving this region should beestablished, and the Okinawa defense bureau, who are commissioned to build the helipads,should consider alternative sites that will not impact Okinawa’s unique biodiversity.
 Evidence:
Yanbaru’s forests are the final stand for a number of threatened endemic speciessuch as the critically endangered Okinawa spiny rat (Tokudaia muenninki), Noguchi’swoodpecker (Dendrocopos noguchii) and Namiye’s frog (Limnonectes namiyei). Yanbaru’snatural forests are critical habitat for many of Okinawa Island’s native mammal and birdpopulations, but they are being destroyed by clearcutting and the removal of undergrowth. A

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