Dr. Gamez and Ambassador of Costa Rica visited the Biodiversity Centre of Japan
On 24 October, 2012, Dr. Rodrigo Gamez-Lobo (President, Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio), Costa Rica) and Mr. Alvaro Cedeno Molinari (Ambassador of Costa Rica) visited the Biodiversity Center of Japan, Nature Conservation Bureau of the Ministry of the Environment.
In line with the national biodiversity strategy of Japan, the Biodiversity Center of Japan was established in 1998 in Fujiyoshida City, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. Since its establishment, the center has played a leading role in order to encourage the conservation of biodiversity in Japan and also to contribute to international efforts toward conserving biodiversity.
The center carries out integrated activities in four areas: (1) implementation of the National Survey on the Natural Environment (“Green Census”), (2) collection, management and public service of information on biodiversity, (3) collection and storage of biological specimens and documents, and (4) publicity on the importance of biodiversity conservation.
Dr. Gamez founded and initiated the INBio, the world representative biodiversity center, and provided a successful model for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in a unique and concrete way. In 2012, he was selected as an awardee of The MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity for his distinguished achievements. In addition, he has also made great efforts for national environmental policies in strong cooperation with the Government of Costa Rica. Based on such backgrounds, Dr. Gamez and Mr. Cedeno were invited to the Biodiversity Center of Japan in order to warm the relationship between Costa Rica and Japan, and deepen mutual understanding between two biodiversity centers.
On this occasion, Dr. Gamez expressed interests in their unique publicity activities such as acrylic resin coated specimens for visitors, exhibition method to study about Japanese endemic species and biodiversity related issues through playing with dolls or answering quiz questions, and posting of photos of organisms through the website (“Ikimono mekke”). He also took an interest in the Integrated Pest Management*, which is adopted by the Biodiversity Center in Japan.
Also, mutual understanding about both biodiversity centers was deepened through their common activities such as barcoding of specimens, and management and provision of information through the websites. At the end of this visit, the biodiversity related books were donated by Dr. Gamez to the library of the Biodiversity Center in Japan with a view to promoting future cooperation between two centers.
Regarding this visit, Dr. Gamez said, "The visit to the Biodiversity Center of Japan was most interesting and educational to me. It is very important to those of us who work on biodiversity, to learn how other institutions in other countries like Japan in this case, approach most relevant topics like biodiversity surveys, information management or education and public awareness."
*The Integrated Pest Management” is a managerial approach focusing on prevention of pests or fungus by integrating various methods that have less adverse effects on humans and the environment. This comprehensive approach is their own management measure making the most use of cool environments around the Center.
Photo 1: Biodiversity Center of Japan
Photo 2: Mr. Cedeno, the Ambassador of Costa Rica (left) and Dr. Rodrigo Gamez-Lobo, President of INBio (right), in front of the Center
Photo 3: Dr. Gamez (left) donated the books to Dr. Masaki Okuyama, Director of the Biodiversity Center of Japan (right)