Press releases

Future Policy Award 2010 Winners Announced

Standing ovations for Costa Rica’s biodiversity law: Setting priorities for generations to come /Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act wins Silver Award

Nagoya/Hamburg/Montreal, 25 October 2010. As proven by the Costa Rican Biodiversity Law, exemplary biodiversity legislation can be successfully put into practice. On 25 October, delegates, ministers, decision-makers, media and donors gathered at the Future Policy Award 2010 Ceremony in Nagoya, Japan, to witness the first prize be awarded to Costa Rica and to celebrate the Costa Rican Biodiversity Law as a milestone of excellence in meeting the goals of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. The effects of the law are outstanding: With 26% of its total territory designated as protected areas, Costa Rica is the first developing that succeeded in halting and reversing deforestation. Moreover, the country ranked first in the Happy Planet Index 2009, and is a recognised pioneer in ecotourism.

The Future Policy Award, established by the World Future Council, annually celebrates laws with particularly positive effects on the living conditions of current and future generations. The first award to honour exemplary policies rather than exceptional people on an international level, it highlights solutions, raises public awareness and speeds up policy action towards just, sustainable and peaceful societies. This year’s award gala was hosted by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), as an official part of the tenth Conference of the Parties (COP10).

The opening statements were held by Shoichi Kondo, Senior Vice Minister of Environment of Japan, and Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf, CBD Executive Secretary, who said: “By honouring exemplary laws and regulations, by disseminating best practices successful in stopping biodiversity loss and irreversible destruction of our eco-systems, the Future Policy Award 2010 encourages policy action fundamental to the post-2010 biodiversity strategy.” Succeeding Dr. Djoghlaf, Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the World Future Council and the Right Livelihood Awards, spoke up to the numerous delegates recalling “that the right rules and legal frameworks help millions of people to do the right thing”.

Prof. Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, Director, CISDL, and Chair of the WFC Future Justice Commission, presented the ceremony’s highlight when she spoke of the Costa Rican policy as “a brilliantly comprehensive policy for the respect for all forms of life and for cultural diversity, biodiversity protection and inter- and intragenerational equity”, before handing over the Future Policy Award 2010 to His Excellency Mr. Mario Fernandez Silva, Ambassador of the Republic of Costa Rica to Japan. H.E. Mr. Silva expressed deep gratitude and said, “I am most honoured to accept this prize from the World Future Council. This law integrates biodiversity protection and the sustainable use of biodiversity and it enables us to pass the beautiful natural wealth of Costa Rica on to our future generations.”Australia, the winner of the Future Policy Silver Award, was introduced by Prof. Motoyuki Suzuki, Chairman, Central Environmental Council of Japan, and WFC Councillor. He stated that “the Australian Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act jointly with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act aims to provide the highest level of protection to the marine ecosystems and should be a worldwide standard”. Prof. Suzuki presented the award to Peter Cochrane, Director of National Parks and Head of the CBD Delegation of Australia, who proudly accepted. The Australian law has elevated the region of the Great Barrier Reef to a matter of national environmental significance, while still allowing for sustainable use by such industries as commercial fisheries, recreational fishing and tourism, pioneering the idea of a ‘multiple-use’ park.

The awarded biodiversity policies from Costa Rica and Australia as well as four further exemplary policies are described in a World Future Council brochure titled “Celebrating the world’s best biodiversity policies”. It is available in print at the Award Ceremony and online at http://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/publications.html.

Information for the media: Press pictures of the awa rd ceremony will be available to download at http://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/image_downloads.html

The World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy making. Its up to 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision-makers with effective policy solutions. In-depth research underpins advocacy work for international agreements, regional policy frameworks and national lawmaking and thus produces practical and tangible results. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany. For more information visit www.worldfuturecouncil.org

Contact:

Alexandra Wandel, Executive Member Management Board (Nagoya, Japan) on  +81 (0) 80 360 21102, alexandra.wandel(at)worldfuturecouncil.org

Ingrid Heindorf, Media & Communications (Nagoya, Japan) on + 81 (0) 8036600236, ingrid.heindorf(at)worldfuturecouncil.org

Anne Reis, Media & Communications (Hamburg, Germany) on +49-40-30 70 914-16, anne.reis(at)worldfuturecouncil.org

The International Year of Biodiversity

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. It is a celebration of life on Earth and of the value of biodiversity for our lives. The world is urged to take action in 2010 to safeguard the variety of life on Earth: biodiversity. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity is the central organising body for this year. For more information see www.cbd.int/2010

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and entering into force in December 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources. With 193 Parties, the Convention has near universal participation among countries. The Convention seeks to address all threats to biodiversity and ecosystem services, including threats from climate change, through scientific assessments, the development of tools, incentives and processes, the transfer of technologies and good practices and the full and active involvement of relevant stakeholders including indigenous and local communities, youth, NGOs, women and the business community. The Secretariat of the Convention is located in Montreal.

For more information visit www.cbd.int  www.cbd.int/2010 

The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-10)

The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-10) takes place in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, in Japan from 18 to 29 October 2010. For more information visit www.cbd.int/cop10

Contacts:

David Ainsworth (Nagoya, Japan) on +81 (0) 80 699 04168 or at david.ainsworth(at)cbd.int

Johan Hedlund (Montreal, Canada) on + 1 514 287 7760 or at johan.hedlund(at)cbd.int

 

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