On the “Japan-Russia Cooperation on the Conservation of Ecosystems”

Hiroyuki MATSUDA
Faculty of Environment and Information Sciences, Yokohama National University, 79-7, Tokiwadai, Hodogaya-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 240-8501, Japan


According to an international consensus, the global biodiversity is now being seriously lost and the rate of biodiversity loss is still accelerating. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) set the 2010 Target to halt or reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 significantly decrease rate of decline for the biodiversity at global, region and state level by 2010 Strategic plans. Unfortunately, it is known that this target is not satisfied. The 10th Conference of Parties for /CoP10) will be held in Nagoya, October 2010. At the CoP10, we will make the Post 2010 Target that is a more specific, measurable, ambitious, realistic and time-bound. Based on such a serious recognition, we seek a broader scope for biodiversity conservation.
As the Amur-Okhotsk Project called the forestry in the catchment of Amur river the “Giant Fish Breeding Forest”, the relationship between terrestrial and ocean ecosystems is important for fisheries resources . Japanese fishers have paid effort on forestation for several centuries. Such forest is called fish breeding forest. Therefore we usually need international cooperation for ecosystem conservation, despite the fact that catch quota of fisheries is usually defined by nation.
The Shiretoko Peninsula in Japan was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. Fishers in Shiretoko site exploit walleye pollock in Nemuro waters. Fishers in Shiretoko region paid efforts to maintain their sustainable fisheries. Because the Nemuro stock of walleye pollock is also utilized by Russian fisheries, Japanese fishers needs to cooperate with Russian fishers and scientists for sustainable fisheries in this region. The IUCN’s technical evaluation report for the nomination of Shiretoko World Heritage documented the clear and apparent similarities between the environment and ecology of the Shiretoko Peninsula and the Kunashiri and Itrup Islands. This report also addressed the possibility for the future development of these regions as a more broad-scale “World Heritage Peace Park.” Coastal fishers in the Shiretoko area are also concerned about the effects of Russian fisheries on the Nemuro stock of walleye pollock. Japan and Russia have been in conflict over the national boundary between the two countries. Despite these disagreements, UNESCO can register a world heritage site that is multi-national and includes a boundary under international dispute in accordance with the Convention on World Heritage. We know one Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Program that includes national boundary under international dispute, Seaflower at Columbia.