December 15, 2015
On December 4, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) (1) of the United Nations at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, France. In the memorandum, both parties agreed to cooperate toward implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 (Aichi Biodiversity Targets) (2), which will significantly contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals formally adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity was adopted under the leadership of Japan as the chair at the COP 10 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) held in Nagoya in 2010.
Building on experience in working in the field of biodiversity, JICA will, through this memorandum, cooperate with the SCBD which plays a driving role in biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, and strengthen support for developing countries pertaining to new international rules and mechanisms emerging from the CBD process, such as Payments for Ecosystem Services and Access and Benefit Sharing. JICA aims to contribute to the work of the SCBD on developing norms and tools for the implementation of CBD through JICA’s experience and expertise in international cooperation. In addition, JICA aims to develop projects with a higher level of effectiveness by combining those strengths and mutually sharing knowledge.
As an international environmental agreement, the CBD has three main objectives: the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. With financial support of the Japan Biodiversity Fund (3) established by the Government of Japan, the SCBD carries out capacity building so the national and local governments of developing countries can draft and implement strategies for development by promoting the benefits of ecosystems and biodiversity. In recent years, the SCBD has participated in the SDG formulation process at the United Nations, and promotes sustainable development that incorporates ecosystem services and natural capital.
1. Linked to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the SCBD plays an important role in coordinating the work carried out under the CBD with that of other relevant institutions and conventions. The SCBD supports implementation of the CBD through raising public awareness, disseminating information and providing training.
2. An overarching international framework on biodiversity for the entire United Nations system and all other partners engaged in biodiversity management and policy development. The plan consists of 20 time-bound and measureable targets referred to as the “Aichi Biodiversity Targets” after the prefecture in Japan where COP10 took place.
3. Established by the Government of Japan with a financial contribution of five billion yen with the purpose of supporting the implementation of COP10 outcomes in developing countries. The Fund makes it possible to hold various capacity-building projects and workshops in developing countries toward the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.