Exchange of Notes between the Government of Japan and International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) on Grant Aid to the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Kingdom of Thailand on the “Project for Transboundary Biodiversity Conservation of Mekong Protected Forest Area” - Press Release from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Signing ceremony of the Thailand/Cambodia TBCA project under CBD/ITTO collaborative initiative. (L to R) H.E. Dr.Y.Kimsean, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Environment of Cambodia, H.E.Mr.S.Khunkitti, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand, Mr.E.ZeMeka, Executive Director of ITTO, H.E.Mr.Y.Banno, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, H.E.Mr.S.Kondo, Senior Vice-Minister of the Environment of Japan, and Mr.A.Djoglaf, CBD Executive Secretary.
1. The exchange of notes for grant-aid Project for Transboundary Biodiversity Conservation of Mekong Protected Forest Area for the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Kingdom of Thailand, with the maximum of 174million yen was conducted between Mr Yutaka Banno, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Mr Emmanuel Ze Meka, Executive Director of ITTO, on Thursday, 28th
October in Nagoya.
2. This cooperation is based on the following background:
(1)Protected Forest Area in the border area of Cambodia and Thailand is rich in biodiversity. On the other hand, due to illegal logging and conversion to farmland, the habitat of trans-boundary wildlife species has been divided into pieces. It is also estimated that the two-thirds of primeval forest had been lost in this area by the year 2000.
(2)The loss of ecosystem and deforestation are caused by activities by local residents, whose livelihoods are dependent on benefit from forests. For this reason, it is indispensable not only to reinforce management of the area but also to alleviate poverty in surrounding region, in order to conserve biodiversity in protected forest area.
3. This project is conducted in cooperation with ITTO, which has experiences on activities in protected forest area in Cambodia and Thailand. The detail of assistance is as follows:
(1) Improving management plan in consideration of wild species habitat
(2) Establishing managing headquarters for biodiversity and capacity building of various stakeholders including border patrol police
(3) Activities for the improvement of livelihoods of local residents, including upgrading facilities to cultivate plants for sale, in order to control taking of native ornamental plants
4. This project is intended to contribute to the achievement of the New Strategic Plan, as one of the important agendas of COP10, being hosted by Japan in Nagoya from 18th
October. Japan, as the COP 10 presidency, provides assistance to important ecosystem conservation conducted as a part of the collaborative initiative between ITTO and CBD Secretariat.
5. This project will also contribute to “A Decade toward the Green Mekong” Initiative, which was announced at the First Meeting between the Heads of the Governments of Japan and the Mekong region countries held in November 2009. This project is also a part of the assistance for developing countries by 2012 to deal with climate change. Japan will continue to work with Cambodia and Thailand in the area of climate change, toward the establishment of a fair and effective international framework among all major economies and an agreement on their own ambitious targets.
6. With this project, (1)Conservation of ecosystem in the protected forest area ranging 360,000ha, including trans-boundary wild species such as Corbett’s Tiger, will be encouraged. (2)Livelihoods of local residents (population:3-4 thousands) will be improved, by providing them with new source of income through effective utilization of natural resources.
The funding provided to this project by the Government of Japan will flow to ITTO through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), with whom ITTO recently signed an MOU to pursue common objectives. The arrangement to facilitate the funds through JICA was formalized by an exchange of notes on November 2.
ITTO has been funding work in the Emerald Triangle for several years through a series of earlier projects jointly funded by the governments of Switzerland and Japan.
ITTO was established in 1986 based on “International Tropical Timber Agreement of 1983”(Headquarters is in Yokohama). Currently, 60 countries including 33 producer countries and 27 consumer countries, and EU, are the members. ITTO members represent about 80% of the world tropical forests and 90% of the global tropical timber trade.
Please see attached material for further information.
Hwan Ok Ma (ITTO)
Reforestation and Forest Management
Takuo Sato (ext. 5614)
Global Environment Division, International Cooperation Bureau
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Link to Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs website coverage (English and Japanese): http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/2010/10/1028_02.html