Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2005

Main Text > Part II ODA DISBURSEMENTS IN FISCAL YEAR 2004 > Chapter 2 Details and New Policies about Japan's ODA: Striving for Further ODA Reforms > Section 2. Measures for Each of the Priority Issues > 3. Addressing Global Issues > (1) Environmental Problems

(1) Environmental Problems

Regarding global warming and other global environmental issues, international deliberations have been taking place since the 1970s. Through discussions that were held at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development ( UNCED , also called the Earth Summit) in 1992, and for ten years thereafter until the World Summit on Sustainable Development ( WSSD ) of 2002, the importance has been reconfirmed for the entire international community to tackle such issues. Japan has been focusing on environmental problems, acknowledging their potential to affect the entire human race. Under the Environmental Conservation Initiative for Sustainable Development ( EcoISD ) *1 , which was formulated in 2002 on the occasion of the WSSD, Japan has been providing assistance to address the issue of environmental pollution resulting from economic development, to eliminate poverty that lies at the root of environmental problems, and to deal with environmental problems occurring on a global scale. The New Medium-Term Policy on ODA formulated in February 2005 gives priority on addressing global issues, under which environmental problems are addressed in particular.

Regarding assistance disbursements in the environmental field in FY2004, Japan offered approximately ¥444.2 billion in amount of grant aid, yen loans, technical cooperation and contributions to international organizations, etc., accounting for approximately 39.2% of Japan's ODA in FY2004. In addition, Grant Aid for Water Security and Global Environment newly established in FY2003 was utilized to provide cooperation to 43 projects, including "The Project for Improvement of Research Facilities for Biodiversity Conservation and Utilization" in Indonesia and "The Project for Afforestation for Conservation of Middle Stream of Huang He (Phase II)" in China. These projects were implemented in FY2004 and were worth an approximate total of ¥20 billion (E/N basis).

Concerning the global-scale environmental problems, furthermore, the Global Environment Facility ( GEF ), which is an international funding mechanism, has been tackling these problems. Through GEF, Japan, which is its second largest contributor to date, has been supporting the projects that address various environmental issues, including the loss of biodiversity and the climate change. (See (2) of Part I, Chapter 2, Section 4 for information on the G8 Gleneagles Summit.) In addition, for ozone-layer protection, Multilateral Fund ( MLF ) has been set up and run based on the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. It supports the implementation of projects in developing countries for reducing substances that could cause ozone depletion.

A. Actions against Global Warming

Under the "Kyoto Initiative," *2 which was launched in 1997, Japan has been working to transfer and disseminate technologies that contribute to actions against global warming in developing countries. In addition, Japan has been striving to enhance the capacity of these countries as a means to address the problem from scientific, social, and institutional stand points.

Column 6 Promoting Production Activities Useful for the Preservation of the Panama Canal Basin in Harmony with the Environment

The detailed rules on the implementation of Kyoto Protocol were stipulated at the Seventh and Ninth Sessions of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP7 and COP9), held in November 2001 and December 2003 respectively. The Clean Development Mechanism ( CDM ) *3 contributes to reducing greenhouse gas and promotes sustainable development of developing countries. It is also an important mechanism for Japan to achieve the reduction target for emission. In FY2004, Japan took active part in the ongoing discussions held by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development — Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) on the question of ODA eligibility regarding the funds used for CDM. While the participating countries had divided opinions over this issue, Japan strongly asserted that ODA should be used to finance CDM projects. As a result, the DAC High Level Meeting held in April 2004 reached a consensus that the DAC participants can count a CDM project financed by funds from their ODA budget as ODA with the deduction of the value of any Certified Emission Reductions ( CERs ) received by donors. The Meeting continues to discuss the details on how to calculate the funds used for CDM as ODA. Furthermore, as the Kyoto Protocol was put into effect on February 16, 2005, Japan formulated the Kyoto Protocol Target Achievement Plan and established a policy to implement CDM projects using ODA on the premise of the agreement of recipient countries, in accordance to the international rules.

B. Pollution Control

Tackling its own pollution problems, Japan has accumulated a great amount of experience and technology to cooperate with developing countries in addressing their pollution issues. Particularly, higher priority has been given to supporting pollution control and improving the living environment (air pollution, water contamination, waste management, etc.) in urban areas, mainly in the Asian countries achieving rapid economic growth.

In this field, Japan has been specifically making efforts including the promotion of cooperation between countries through information exchange and common understanding fostered on the acid rain issue by the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia, and the capacity building in order to respond to environmental pollution in developing countries through technical cooperation for the "Environmental Center," which acts as the core of environmental administration in six countries such as China and Mexico. Japan has been providing support for the building of a pollution control manager system through the "Green Aid Plan ( GAP )" inaugurated in 1992 and now targeted for seven Asian countries, support for creating manuals for environmental protection, support for research and development tailored to the unique technical and development issues of developing countries, and so on. Particularly regarding dust and sandstorms, which have been posing a major issue in East Asia in recent years, Japan, China, South Korea, Mongolia, and relevant international organizations joined in the Prevention and Control of Dust and Sandstorms in Northeast Asia implemented through co-funding by the Asian Development Bank and GEF. A master plan regarding a sand storm monitoring network and other cooperations in Northeast Asia was formulated and announced in March 2005.

C. Fresh Water Issues

In relation to the environmental protection, Japan has been implementing support for water supply and sewage systems that take into account the characteristics of urban and rural areas, and water resource management and water quality control. (See 1 (3) of this Section.)

D. Conservation of Natural Environment

Japan has been providing support to developing countries for nature reserves management, forest-related issues, prevention of desertification, and natural resources management, while taking into account the poverty reduction of the residents. The National Strategy on Biological Diversity of Japan, approved by the Council of Ministries for Global Environment Conservation in March 2002, states that Japan needs to contribute actively to the conservation of biodiversity in the Asian region in light of Japan's deep relationship with the wider world, particularly with the Asian region, both in terms of the natural environment and socio-economics.

In this field, Japan has been specifically making efforts including cooperation to establish management methods for the purpose of promoting the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity in national parks under the Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park Management Project, which is a technical cooperation in Indonesia; cooperation for research and education, park management, wildlife habitat management, and dissemination of awareness on environmental issues under the Program for Bornean Biodiversity and Ecosystems Conservation, which is a technical cooperation project in Malaysia; cooperation for awareness-raising and educational activities related to the research and preservation of coral reef ecological systems under the technical cooperation of the Palau International Coral Reef Center Strengthening Project. Japan also held meetings for the implementation and promotion of the Asia Forest Partnership ( AFP ), *1 which was established to promote sustainable forest management in Asia. In relation to the issue of desertification, technologies for preventing desertification, which were developed in countries including Niger in West Africa, are continuously being disseminated to the neighboring countries.

Furthermore, in Ethiopia, Japan has been making efforts to develop technologies to circulate water, undergrowth in forests, excrement, and other materials. In western China, research is being conducted to reduce the occurrence of dust and sandstorms by reducing overgrazing through the promotion of the settling down of nomads, and also by reducing the burden on grasslands through adoption of irrigated agriculture.

Chart 17. Implementation Status of the Environmental Conservation Initiative for Sustainable Development (EcolSD) for FY2004

Chart 17. Implementation Status of the Environmental Conservation Initiative for Sustainable Development (EcolSD) for FY2004