Fukushima: Nuclear Radiation and Biodiversity

A unique press conference “After the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster: Introducing the issues of nuclear radiation and biodiversity”, December 12, 2016

Yohsuke Amano, Programme Associate, Institute for Advanced Study of Sustainability, United Nations University

Masako Sakata, Board chair, Japan Civil Network for the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (JCN-UNDB)
Takafumi Tamita, Japan Civil Network for the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (JCN-UNDB) and Ikimono Café

Summary of two presentation starts at 34:35. Questions and Answers session (starts at 36:30) also had some questions comparing the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters.

Ministers from around the world committed to working together to save biodiversity in the “Cancun Declaration,” agreed on 3 December 2016 as part of the UN Biodiversity Conference. The Conference of the Parties is the governing body of the Convention, and advances implementation of the Convention through the decisions it takes at its periodic meetings.

To date, the Conference of the Parties has held 12 ordinary meetings, and one extraordinary meeting (the latter, to adopt the Biosafety Protocol, was held in two parts). From 1994 to 1996, the Conference of the Parties held its ordinary meetings annually. Since then these meetings have been held somewhat less frequently and, following a change in the rules of procedure in 2000, will now be held every two years.

The Thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) was organized in Cancun, Mexico, in December 2016.

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 196 Parties so far, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community.

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing are supplementary agreements to the Convention. The Cartagena Protocol, which entered into force on 11 September 2003, seeks to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. To date, 170 Parties have ratified the Cartagena Protocol. The Nagoya Protocol aims at sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies. It entered into force on 12 October 2014 and to date has been ratified by 91 Parties.