I’m actually in the UK right now and have very limited internet access but the following press release seemed important enough to make an extra special effort to get on a computer and post. I’ll be back in Japan on March 11th and regular Deep Kyoto postings will continue then… Here’s that press release:
Kyoto, Japan – Feb 17, 2010: COP10.org, an ad hoc network of Japan-based journalists, scholars and activists, proudly announces the launch of their COP10 focused website to draw urgent public and NGO attention to the UN’s global biodiversity treaty conference in Nagoya this October.
The Nagoya COP10 conference is tasked with reinventing the 1993 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as a binding global agreement affecting every major ecosystem on the planet, the rights of many indigenous peoples, the future of bioengineering, and the primary driver of species extinction, our climate policies.
Given the critical need for NGO involvement in this process, the site is designed as an information clearinghouse, support center, and strategy forum for the international activist community.
Website host and content partner, Kyoto Journal is also producing a special biodiversity issue to be made available to all seven thousand COP10 delegates. This autumn issue will introduce civil society’s concerns, inspirations from Asian traditions, and thoughtful suggestions on how participants could achieve something truly meaningful.
W. David Kubiak, KJ contributing editor and web coordinator of the group, predicts, “While few have even heard of it yet, COP10 is so important for the future of this planet and cuts across so many life & death issue areas that the activist community will eventually be all over it. We cannot let 7,000 technocrats, bureaucrats and corporate flacks decide the fate of the biosphere uncontested. Concerted corporate lobbying has already excised all firm commitments to “protected zones” from Japan’s official 2020 CBD targets without any apparent input from civil society at all. Climate, environmental and indigenous rights NGOs will now all have to cooperate to keep big corporations from crippling the final treaty, and we hope COP10.org will be of service when that organizing begins.”
Early endorsers of the effort include the Oceanic Preservation Society, the Environmental Investigation Agency, Pro Wildlife, OceanCare, Campaign Whale, Japan’s ELSA Nature Conservancy, and the campaign for a Universal Declaration of Planetary Rights.
Besides COP10 related news and information, the Kyoto-based website presents Asian ecological perspectives drawn from Eastern traditions, faiths and philosophies that offer models and insights for saner eco-social policies. It will also feature inter-NGO discussion forums to develop common strategies and plan coordinated actions, including a special brainstorming arena on downsizing, decentralizing and democratizing the biggest corporate bodies now threatening the earth.
Kubiak explains, “This last conversation is not just about COP10 or even the incessant corporate assaults on our international health, climate and environmental agreements the same assaults that have kept the USA from ever ratifying the first CBD or the Kyoto Protocol. It is more about the increasingly pathological role of huge corporate bodies everywhere in our biosphere. How big and destructive can we let them get before we ourselves are an endangered species? The sooner we address that, the sooner we may see laws and treaties that reflect real human values, not merely corporate demands.”
Indeed Big Pharma, giant energy and resource extraction firms, and Japan’s premier corporate groups have invested heavily in COP10 preparations. Keidanren, Japan’s all-powerful Federation of Economic Organizations, has sponsored or co-sponsored all the conference’s kickoff events with help from allies like Sumitomo, Mitsubishi and Royal Dutch Shell.
Wary of this power and taking lessons from Copenhagen, the COP10.org group is also trying to secure an independent NGO meeting complex and press center adjacent to the conference, and is currently seeking progressive sponsors and support.
More information on this initiative and other related campaigns will be posted on the COP10.org website in the coming weeks.
Website inquiries – W. David Kubiak Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kyoto Journal inquiries – John Einarsen – Email: email@example.com