神戸大学大学院国際協力研究科 復旦大学国際関係・公共事務学院 高麗大学校国際大学院

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Risk Management Seminar - “Managing Environmental Risks through Precautionary Approach: Strengthening Resilience to address Externalities, Time Horizon and Indirect Impacts”


  On December 04, CAMPUS-Asia Program in conjunction with Japanese Society for International Development (JASID) organized a Risk Management Seminar on “Managing Environmental Risks through Precautionary Approach: Strengthening Resilience to address Externalities, Time Horizon, and Indirect Impacts” delivered by Mr. Yasu Hibi, Managing Director, Conservation International (CI), Japan. His presentation highlighted the issues related to the state of the global environment and environmental risks as well as managing the environmental risks.

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  With regard to the state of the global environment, the guest speaker indicated that, there is diminishing ‘natural capital’ as an integral component of the healthy sustainable economy, below the threshold or the tipping point. For instance, the biodiversity loss, nitrogen (biogeochemical flow) and climate change have exceeded planetary boundaries. On the climate change, the atmospheric concentration of carbon-dioxide has currently exceeded the highest historical level of 300 and there has been significant melt of arctic sea ice area causing rise in sea water level and other big environmental risks such as global warming. Other natural catastrophes are such as geophysical events (earthquake, tsunami and volcano), meteorological events (storms), hydrological events (floods and mass movements) and climatologically events (extreme temperature, draught and fire) all have been on the rise for the past three decades.
  He defined biodiversity as the “sum total of all life on Earth, that wealth of species, ecosystems, and ecological processes that makes our living planet what it is. It is our living natural resource base, our biological capital in the global “Bank”, and most importantly, its loss is an irreversible process.” On global diversity loss, the speaker discussed that, there is endangered species (i.e. mammals, birds and amphibians) where 1 extinction occurs in every 20 minutes; one third of the world’s coral reefs are at risk where 14 million hectares of forest are lost each year, and mainly in developing nations. Forest loss contributes 15-18% of global GHG emissions.
  He discussed that, the environmental risks have been characterized in various forms to include: common but differentiated impacts that affect the global economy; uncertainties in the time horizon and often complicated linkages; externalities where costs /benefits of action and/or consequences are not factored into decision making; and accumulated impacts on consumption, production and livelihoods. He pointed out that managing the environmental risks of today and tomorrow may require multifaceted approach that include: Precautionary approach/principle (i.e. where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation); Leveraging “resilience” (i.e. build up ecosystem resilience, minimize impact by mitigation, system of self-recovery / self-regeneration); Adaptive Management (i.e. through expecting the unexpected, progressive reaction to risks and learning process / system change; and common but differentiated responsibilities where everyone is responsible but at different levels.
  He emphasized that the conservation of biodiversity can lead to spill positive effects such as: Diversified income opportunities, better public health, resilience against natural disaster (such as floods, land-slides and tsunami) and improved opportunity for education and productive activities.