JAPAN-NEW ZEALAND WORKSHOP ON ENVIRONMENT
TOKYO, 25 MARCH 2008
- The Japan-New Zealand Environment Workshop was held at Mita Kaigisho in Tokyo on 25 March 2008. The Workshop was attended by government officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries from the Japanese side, and of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry for the Environment, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Transport from the New Zealand side. (Businesspersons and researchers also participated.)
- The Workshop was co-chaired by Ambassador for Global Environmental Affairs Kyoji Komachi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and Climate Change Ambassador Adrian Macey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand.
- In his opening keynote speech, Ambassador Komachi stated that Japan has played a leading role in the international community in the area of the environment and outlined Japan's external policies. Aside from climate change, he noted Japan's wide-ranging efforts that encompass forest management and illegal logging, biodiversity, the 3Rs initiative (reduce, reuse and recycle), and ESD (Education for Sustainable Development).
- Ambassador Macey responded that environmental issues were a high priority for New Zealand, and noted that the Government's policies in this area were being addressed under the overall concept of sustainability. New Zealand attached high importance to international environmental diplomacy including climate change, biodiversity and deforestation. New Zealand valued its close working relationship with Japan in these areas.
- The Workshop then had an extensive exchange of views on climate change in terms of both external and domestic policy. Bearing in mind the necessity to halt the increase of global greenhouse gas emissions over the next 10 to 20 years, both countries reiterated their common resolve to conclude international climate change negotiations under the Bali Road Map on future action by the end of 2009 and stressed the importance of Japan's leadership role as G8 chair of this year.
- Japan and New Zealand share a common approach to many aspects of the negotiations including the importance of mitigation action by all major emitters, the need to reach agreement on deforestation, and the utility of exploring the potential of sectoral approaches to contribute to post-2012 arrangements.
- Japan and New Zealand have both sought to lead by example in the climate change area and they support each other's respective initiatives: Japan with its "Cool Earth Promotion Programme" that sets forth measures to achieve the goal of halving global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; and New Zealand through its sustainability and carbon neutral programmes, and its LEARN initiative aimed at creating an international science network to tackle greenhouse gas emissions from animal livestock.
- Through such exchanges, consensus emerged that both countries should deepen their relationship in the environment area through more regular dialogue, on both external and domestic policies and practical cooperation. They also assess that the workshop has provided a good basis for further discussion of possibilities in the three areas discussed (renewable energy, electric vehicles, agricultural/forestry emissions).
- Both delegations noted possible synergies in the research field and hoped that further contact between researchers after the workshop would also provide a good opportunity to explore the possibilities for cooperation. They noted that these activities would contribute to the overall expansion of bilateral S&T linkages. Both delegations shared the view that a possible Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology between Japan and New Zealand could further encourage such activities.
- Both sides expressed interest in exchanging information about their adaptation assistance toward Pacific Island countries such as Tuvalu.
- It was agreed to hold a follow-up meeting of the principals of lead agencies to consider a programme for closer cooperation on environment issues at a mutually agreed time.
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