Expectations for the Japan Awards for Biodiversity 2013

The deadline for the Japan Awards for Biodiversity 2013 has passed and the Awards are now at the stage of selection.  The Japan Awards for Biodiversity are to honor model projects out of several projects on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity carried out in Japan.  I have cooperated with these Awards since their establishment as I agree with the principle.  Regarding the first Awards, I joined the discussions about award design and implementation guidelines as part of the secretariat.  I joined the second Awards as a nominator.  And this time, I accepted the big role of selecting projects as a member of the working group of specialists.



As I have worked on site in cooperation with various stakeholders in order to conserve biodiversity, I respect all the applications and would ideally like all of them to be awarded, if possible.  In each application, I can see tremendous efforts earnestly carried out by the applicants over a long period of time.  I think that all applicants are proud of their projects and take pride in the fact that “our project is the best one at this point among other projects.”  The results of biodiversity-related activities are not easily understood, and long period of time and tremendous efforts are necessary in order to achieve substantial results.  I think each applicant thinks that “it is high time for us to win a prize.”  As working group members realize these circumstances, we think that we should not decide too easily which is better than the others. 


More than 30 years have passed since I decided to make contributions to the field of biodiversity.  When I was an adolescent boy, I was very much interested in strong animals like tigers or sharks, and knew the fact that many animals were in danger of extinction due to overhunting and habitat destruction around the world.  I was seriously worried about this fact and it motivated me to vow to be an adult who could understand the words of wildlife and convey their thoughts to others.  I sometimes think that “it is high time for me to achieve general recognition as a specialist in this field,” but at the same time, I also think “does wildlife recognize my activities so far?”  So I realize that there is still half of the way to go.


I would be grateful if the applicants could also think this way.  We have colleagues who are earnestly making efforts for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity throughout Japan.  Therefore, Japan’s biodiversity is maintained and nurtured soundly.  I hope all applicants can have discussions among themselves and develop next projects using good examples from other applications.  These might establish good relationships.  I have such expectations.


Ritsu Endo,(Deputy Director,Grand Design Center for National Land Use,Ecosystem Conservation Society-Japan)