Sea Shepherd Urges the Boycott of the Nagoya Biodiversity Summit

In October, Japan will host the Biodiversity Summit to be held in Nagoya, Japan.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is urging non-governmental organizations to boycott this meeting if they truly are concerned about the protection of biodiversity.

“We cannot allow Japan to do in Nagoya what they have just done in Qatar at the CITES meetings,” said Captain Paul Watson, Founder and President of Sea Shepherd. “Japan succeeded in side-lining science in favor of economics and destroyed the credibility of CITES when they strong armed the vote to stop the listing of all marine species proposed for the endangered species list. We must not give credibility to the Nagoya Conference that will allow them to control the agenda. Japan is not interested in protecting diversity. Japan is interested in profiting off diminishment.”

This week, after weeks of intensive discussions and six weeks of preparation, a draft international agreement on access to the Earth’s genetic resources and the fair and equitable share in benefits from their use has been finalized at a United Nations meeting in Cali, Colombia. This is the draft agreement for formatting the agenda at the up-coming Nagoya conference.

What this means is that the conference will focus on equitable use and not on protecting species from diminishment and extinction.

The draft protocol, which has yet not been publicly released, addresses the issue of “access and benefit-sharing” (ABS), which has historically been a source of tension between developing countries and companies in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, horticulture, and biotechnology.

ABS refers to the way genetic resources – whether plant, animal or microorganism – are accessed, and how the benefits that result from their use by various research institutes, universities, or private companies are shared with the people or countries that provide them.

This so-called summit will focus on exploitation of species and not their protection or conservation.

International meetings addressing environmental concerns have consistently failed to achieve anything from the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Environment to the present day. Rio in ‘92 was a failure. Copenhagen was a failure. CITES has failed and Nagoya will achieve absolutely nothing positive for halting diminishment of bio-diversity.

“What this meeting will do is lend legitimacy to Japan, arguably one of the most irresponsible nations on Earth for the practice of over-exploitation of species, failure to abide by international agreements, and for deliberately conspiring to manipulate the votes of bodies like CITES and the IWC,” said Captain Watson.  

Any non-governmental organization that attends this meeting will simply be giving aid, comfort, and endorsement to Japan’s efforts to control the regulatory bodies responsible for the protection of endangered species.

“I appeal to the large NGO’s like Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, Friends of the Earth, etc to NOT attend this meeting and to not lend legitimacy to this charade in Nagoya,” said Captain Paul Watson. “It is time to stop participating in conferences that achieve nothing positive for the planet and for endangered species.”

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