No to Military Base YES to Dugong Protection Area

On October 14th 2008, the 4th International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Congress in Barcelona, Spain overwhelmingly adopted a motion,  "Promotion of Dugong during the UN 2010 International Year for Biodiversity (the Japanese government abstained from voting on the motion). It has become an IUCN resolution (Res. 4.022).

The resolution, now dubbed as  "the 2010 international year of dugong" recommends that all range countries with Dugong habitats including Japan participate in the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and their Habitats throughout their Range (MoU on Dugong) under the auspice of Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).  It also requests the Japanese government to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (including "non-construction option") for the construction of the US Marine Corps facility at Henoko, Okinawa, Japan, and to establish and declare an action plan to avoid or minimize the adverse effects on the Okinawa dugong.

The Japanese government at the time of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi acknowledged that the Okinawa Dugong is a species that needs to be designated as a National Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.  This acknowledgment was made in a formal statement (July 13, 2004: No. 33) in response to a question put forward by Mrs Emi Iwasa, a member of the House of Councilors. However, for the last 5 years, the Japanese government has not taken any actions to move towards the designation of the Okinawa Dugong as a National Endangered Species.  It should be noted that, now more than ever, the Okinawa Dugong is in danger of extinction. 

Japan will host and the Japanese government will chair the 10th meeting of the conference of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 10) in 2010.  We believe the Japanese government has the responsibilities to lead the international conservation efforts.  We thus request the Japanese government:

1. To implement the IUCN Resolution (Res. ).

2. To designate immediately the Okinawa Dugong as a National Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

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