Statement by H. E. Shigeki Sumi,
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations
Ninth Session of United Nations Forum on Forests High Level Segment
Round table 4: Forests and Rio+20
3 February 2011-New York
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure and honor to deliver a statement at this high level segment of the ninth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests. At the outset, I would like to convey the message of Mr. Kenko Matsuki, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, who was intended to join this meeting, for not being able to join this meeting owing to the recent outbreak of avian influenza in Japan.
As you may be aware, Japan is one of the most forested countries in the world, where nearly 70% of its total land area is covered by forests. It is crucial in Japan, in this respect, to secure and upgrade the environmental services provided by forests. On that basis, the challenge ahead of us is to ensure the stable supply of timber with the maximum use of planted forests, to revitalize the local communities through the expansion of job opportunities, and subsequently to establish a wood-based low carbon society in order to bring the green economy. To this end, Japan has started to make every effort under the newly formulated ‘’Plan for Revitalizing Forests and Forestry’’ on this memorable occasion of the International Year of Forests.
Last year, Japan hosted CBD COP10 in Nagoya, where great progress was made, including the adoption of the Aichi Targets, the Nagoya Protocol on ABS and the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol. Here I would like to draw your attention to the fact that another decision was adopted for the promotion of ‘’Satoyama Initiative’’ in order to facilitate the sustainable management of landscapes created through the constant interaction between people and ecosystems such as forests. I would like to emphasize, in this connection, that it is vitally important to conserve and sustainably use secondary nature, including planted forests, paying due attention to the features of the ecosystem and associated biodiversity.
Additional great progress was achieved on REDD+, at the UNFCCC COP16 held in Cancun, Mexico. To implement REDD+ effectively, it is important to establish national strategies, to develop forest monitoring system and to promote safeguards including forest governance. In this regard, Japan hosted the “Ministerial Meeting of the REDD+ Partnership” under the co-chairmanship of Japan and Papua New Guinea last October, to give direction to the future activities on REDD+ and to provide strong momentum toward the success of COP16.
The International Year of Forests provides us with the opportunity to raise global awareness of the multiple values of forests and their significant contribution to livelihoods. Japan organized its National Committee and decided ‘’Walk in the Woods’’ as the national theme of the year. To protect and foster rich forests, the significance of the multiple benefits of forests needs to be recognized, and I believe that it is important for each citizen to join the campaign and take concrete action along with it.
For the promotion of sustainable forest management worldwide, Japan will continue to contribute to the efforts of developing countries with a variety of cooperation schemes, such as bilateral cooperation through JICA, facilitation of south-south cooperation and triangular cooperation carried out among countries with common social, linguistic, geographical and development backgrounds, and multi-lateral cooperation. For example, Japan conducted a Third Country Training program on Mitigating Climate Change for African countries through Social Forestry in collaboration with Kenya Forestry Research Institute. Japan is convinced, in this regard, that continuous efforts to vitalize forest-focused social and economic activities will lead us to ensure human security, the concept of which Japan has advocated in its development agenda.
Taking advantage of this opportunity, I would like to announce that this coming March, Japan, jointly with ITTO, will host an ‘’International Seminar on Sustainable Forest Management’’ in Tokyo. Japan intends to contribute actively to Rio+20 by providing the outcomes of the seminar.
Finally, I would like to make another announcement. Today, the government of Indonesia, Japan, ITTO, JICA and NALAPO will organize a side event during lunchtime in CR C on community-based approaches to sustainable forest management. I believe this is a valuable opportunity to share our experiences and we would appreciate the participation of the distinguished delegates and observers gathered here today.
Let us tackle the global issues we face, such as deforestation and illegal logging and share the wisdom and begin to take substantial actions for our future success.
Thank you for your attention.