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President Makino introduces Okayama University’s efforts to help achieve SDGs at the International Day for Biological Diversity Symposium held to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Convention on Biological Diversity

May 30, 2018

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Convention on Biological Diversity and share efforts at all levels from local to global to help conserve biodiversity and achieve the SDGs, the International Day for Biological Diversity Symposium “Biodiversity and SDGs” was hosted by the Ministry of Environment, Okayama University, United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), Global Environment Outreach Centre (GEOC), and Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Japan at the Elizabeth Rose Conference Hall in the United Nations University (Shibuya City, Tokyo) on May 24.

After making a speech as the host, President Hirofumi Makino delivered a lecture titled “Partnerships Resonating with Each Other—Okayama University’s Initiatives for Contributing to the SDGs.” Citing specific cases, President Makino introduced Okayama University’s own process of making STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) for the SDGs a reality to solve social challenges, a role that should be played by universities, while strengthening partnerships with other organizations in other regions and countries.

In the latter half of the symposium, a panel discussion was held under the theme of Biodiversity and SDGs with Dr. Chigusa Hanaoka, Senior Research Administrator at Okayama University acting as the facilitator. Panelists representing business, academic and governmental organizations shared their specific actions at Okayama Prefecture to conserve biodiversity and help achieve the SDGs. They highlighted the fact that such actions at the local level help make local communities more attractive and that these actions need to be replicated throughout Japan and the rest of the world. They also discussed the role of academic institutions in human resource development and technical support. Then Dr. Hanaoka concluded the panel discussion by summarizing the initiatives of business, academic and government circles to continue and develop biodiversity conservation activities while pursuing the SDGs. At the end of the symposium, Mr. Naohisa Okuda, director of the Biodiversity Policy Division, Nature Conservation Bureau, Ministry of the Environment delivered the closing address.

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