Japanese conservation delegation visits

An 18-member delegation from Japan’s Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund (K.N.C.F.) yesterday visited the environmental awareness site they are funding through Conservation International in Manono uta. 

K.N.C.F. was set up by the Keidanren Committee on Nature Conservation (K.C.N.C.), which is Japan’s largest business federation, to support conservation work done by non-government and civil society organisations mainly in the Asia Pacific region. 

The organisation rolled out its funding programme in six countries, which included Bhutan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, and New Caledonia, with Samoa being the only country the delegation is visiting this year. 

Keidanren works in partnership with Conservation International (C.I.) Samoa and it is going onto its second year now. 

Country Director Conservation International Japan, Yasu Hibi, told the Samoa Observer that they were in Samoa to get an update on the project and see how Samoans live in harmony with nature. 

“The delegation is here to see the progress of the project they are funding, and also in general to learn more about Samoa, the life and culture, especially how people are living with nature,” he said. 

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This is the first time for a delegation from the Keidanren to visit Samoa, according to Mr. Hibi.  

“We are interested in learning how Samoans are coping and living in harmony with nature, which is a concept that really resonates with traditional Japanese way of living, not really anymore, but we still have that in our hearts, and I think Japanese people, including the Keidanren, really want to see where we can share with the Samoan people on how we can live in harmony with nature. 

“The delegation also wishes to learn more about some of the emerging environmental issues like plastic waste issues, which is a global problem, in Samoa as well, and also how Samoa is coping with emerging environmental issues including climate change, seeing first-hand the impact of climate change here and how Samoa is coping with it,” he added. 

Mr. Hibi said their project involves both terrestrial and marine, but in Samoa it focuses more on conserving marine resources.

“Samoa has a lot more impact on the marine environment than terrestrial, although terrestrial is still important. But it is small compared to the vast size of the marine you have under Samoa’s control, so it’s important to take care of the marine environment. 

“There’s also a growing recognition, interest from the international society on how to manage the marine environment, resources sustainably and again Samoa and the entire Pacific region has a great potential to take global leadership in managing the marine resources, which not just helps Samoa and the Pacific. But really helps the entire planet, climate change wise, food security,” he said.  

Mr. Hibi said Samoa needs to maintain its lush green landscape because it benefits the people, community, marine environment and the economy, especially the next generation. 

“It has a lot of benefits that we don’t normally recognise, like absorbing water, keeping the soil strong, and controlling climate.” 

Mr. Hibi indicated that the partnership between Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund and C.I. Samoa would be extended. 

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