Resolution Requesting Establishment of Law to Protect Biodiversity
Various livings have been adapting to air, water, land on the earth and forming ecosystems including forests, lakes and marshes. Biodiversity means diversity of ecosystems, species, and genes, and their interrelationship. Maintaining biodiversity is crucial to human survival, because we have been receiving many benefits from biodiversity, living close to scenery interwoven by biodiversity, and developing culture. However, expansion of human activities drastically have changed environment, made many species extinct, and caused danger of losing biodiversity.
At the 39th Convention on Protection of Human Rights held in 1996, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) made recommendations that wilderness areas should be effectively designed and measures to protect wild animals should be undertaken. However, there is delay in designating species and areas to be protected, while habitats are being destroyed or fragmented due to development and wild animals are in increasing danger of extinction.
The secondary nature of countryside and countryside forest is also being ruined due to changes of agricultural villages by modernization of agriculture and lack of maintenance. As a result, creatures which were once very close to us are also in danger of extinction. In addition, alien species are extensively invading not only urban areas but also mountainous areas and disordering healthy ecosystems. Furthermore, certain wild animals such as dears are expelled from their habitats due to changes of landscapes and climate. Their number has increased significantly and they damage diversity of vegetation in forest by feeding. These problems cannot be solved by only designating species and areas to be protected.
However, the current legal system on nature protection does not aim to protect biodiversity, and each law applies to only limited areas and subjects. Thus, this legal system is not sufficient to prevent various dangers of biodiversity and to maintain healthy ecosystems. The River Law and the Forest Law also do not provide adequate consideration for biodiversity and cannot stop the destruction of ecosystems by development. Furthermore, these laws are under jurisdictions of different authorities and are implemented in accordance with different measures prepared by each authority. This obstructs the protection of ecosystems consisting of forests, rivers, farms, etc. which are connected each other.
We should live symbiotically with wild animals and protect biodiversity. All people in present and future have the right to enjoy benefits from biodiversity, and the state has the firm responsibility for ensuring that future generations enjoy the benefits forever.
Therefore, the JFBA urges the government to establish a law to conserve biodiversity consisting of the following content.
- Protection of biodiversity should be one of the state policies to be given priority, and all measures should be undertaken with giving consideration to the conservation of biodiversity.
- A precautionary principle, mitigation, and adaptive management should be established as basis for ensuring the effectiveness of the conservation of biodiversity.
- In order to conserve biodiversity, a national plan including numerical targets and regional control plans should be developed.
- Coalition of related authorities should be ensured in planning and implementing the regional control plans and public participation should be promoted in drafting, establishing, implementing, and monitoring these plans.
Japan Federation of Bar Associations
October 6, 2006 at the JFBA Convention on Protection of Human Rights