The Winners' Forum of The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity held

The Winners’ Forum of The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity was held by the AEON Environmental Foundation on 22 October 2012 at the U Thant Hall of the United Nations University in Tokyo, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

At the Forum, lectures by the three winners of the MIDORI Prize 2012 and the panel discussion moderated by Prof. Shiro Wakui of Tokyo City University took place.


07_RCC_4170.JPGDr. Juan Carlos Castilla, who scientifically proved that biodiversity in the small scale Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are richer than that of the open access areas, gave a lecture entitled “Integrating People’s Livelihood into Marine Conservation Efforts”, and talked about his efforts which has contributed to improving the livelihood of 700 small-scale communities and 25,000 fishermen by organizing local fisher communities.  He successfully integrated environmental management into marine conservation based on the idea that the environment is integral with human life.


09_RCO_8306.JPGDr. Rodrigo Gamez-Lobo, who has a belief that “promoting a greater awareness of the value of biodiversity as a means to ensure its conservation and improving the quality of life of human beings”, gave a lecture, entitled “Our Quest for an Alliance with Nature.”  In his lecture, he talked about his efforts which have greatly contributed to improving the bioliteracy (knowledge to accurately identify diverse organisms, know about their characteristics and make the best use of them) of local residents through various types of environmental education such as making specimens of 30,000 species and provision of information in plain words.


11_RCO_8419.JPGDr. Vo Quy, who has conducted the activities with an aim to restore the land and to improve the people’s livelihood, gave a lecture entitled “Preserving Biodiversity – Plant the Trees and Regreen the Land.”  He introduced his successful mangrove planting activities.  The devastated land due to serious adverse effects by defoliants was restored in cooperation with the local residents.  The devastated forests were recovered to mangrove forests of 70,000 ha, and the woods came to be used by the residents as fuels and building materials.  The ecosystem of the areas was also recovered through regreening.  More than 1000 eastern sarus cranes were returning in 40 years, and the local landscape was changed drastically. 


20121106.jpgAt the panel discussion, Dr. Castilla said that the organization of fisher communities and co-management of the small scale MPAs could be effectively utilized as an earthquake disaster countermeasure also in Japan, by introducing an experience in Chile.  Even after the massive earthquake in 2010, the Chilean fisher communities could quickly recover as the communities were organized before the disaster.

Dr. Gamez, who has made diverse efforts for environmental education, said about the great changes in awareness of the residents.  Some of them said “When I imagine what I can find tomorrow, I am too excited to sleep”, or “I would like to learn about new things and share them with other communities.”

Dr. Vo Quy talked about his experience in Viet Nam.  Amid conflicting reports about adverse effects of defoliants, he conducted field investigations in order to confirm what happened.  He confirmed harmful effects of defoliants on ecosystem and humans, provided places for discussions with overseas experts, and asked the USA for cooperation.  The war devastated forests in Viet Nam was successfully re-greened through these activities.



Lecture titles:


Integrating People’s Livelihood into Marine Conservation Efforts

Dr. Juan Carlos Castilla

Professor, Marine Ecology, Department of Ecology, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile


Our Quest for an Alliance with Nature

Dr. Rodrigo Gamez-Lobo

President, Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio)


Preserving Biodiversity – Plant the Trees and Regreen the Land

Dr. Vo Quy

Honorary President, Center for Natural Resources Management and Environmental Studies (CRES), Vietnam National University, Hanoi