Side event details
In 1980, Japan became a Contracting Party to the Ramsar Convention and there are currently 53 sites listed as wetlands of international importance. Ramsar sites in the country include various types of wetlands such as marshlands, lakes, rice paddies, seagrass/seaweed beds, tidal flats, mangrove forests, coral reefs, and groundwater systems, reflecting the diversity of Japan's wetland ecosystem. Most Ramsar sites function as important habitat for waterbirds, and various efforts have been made by local governments, private sectors, and local communities, in order to conserve and restore those wetlands, promote their wise use and raise awareness for the general public.
This event aims to introduce and celebrate Japan’s two newly accredited cities under the Wetland City Accreditation scheme – Niigata City and Izumi City, as well as Mr. Masayuki Kurechi, Board Member of Ramsar Network Japan and Chair of EAAFP Anatidae Working Group, who is awarded for the ‘Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award for Wise Use’ for his significant contributions to the long-term sustainable use of wetlands. Mayors and staff from the accredited cities and Mr. Kurechi are invited to make a presentation on their accomplishment, ongoing challenges and future aspirations for the wetland conservation and management. This event also seeks to remind participants about the significant roles that Ramsar sites and their stakeholders can play in implementing the Convention.
1. Share Japan’s experiences for managing different Ramsar sites with other Contracting Parties and relevant organizations.
2. Motivate site managers of the newly accredited cities to further promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
3. Encourage local and regional cooperation in the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
Relevance to COP14 Discussions:
The Wetland City Accreditation scheme is a framework based on Resolution XII.10 adopted at COP12 in 2015. It aims to promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands in the regions while providing positive branding opportunities for those cities. Both accredited cities have Ramsar sites – ‘Sakata’ in Niigata City is a small freshwater lake managed for water sources for irrigating rice paddies. ‘Izumi Wintering Habitat of Cranes’ of Izumi City, mainly covered with rice paddies, together with open water at the estuaries is home to almost all of the global population of hooded crane (Grus monacha) and about half of the global population of white-naped crane (Grus vipio). They are both greatly related to agriculture. In addition, Mr. Kurechi's long-standing efforts have also been carried out at Kabukuri-numa and the surrounding rice paddies. From the perspective of agriculture and wetlands, this event sets examples of initiatives relating to the theme of Ramsar COP14 ‘Wetland Action for People and Nature’.
Congratulatory Address - Dr. Musonda Mumba, Secretary General, Ramsar Convention
Message from the Newly Accredited Cities
・Niigata City’s Wetlands Conservation Efforts, including Sakata - Mr. Yaichi NAKAHARA, Mayer of Niigata
・Citizens’ Activities in Izumi Wintering Habitat of Cranes - Mr. Shinichi SHIINOKI, Mayor of Izumi (Deputy Mayor of Izumi Mr. Sadao YOSHIDA)
The Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award Commemorative Address
・Efforts to Reintroduce the Cackling Goose Population - Mr. Masayuki KURECHI, Director, Ramsar Network Japan
Case Reports - Ms. Kaoru SAKAI, Assistant Director, Ministry of the Environment, Japan