United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Nagoya 2010: TUNZA conference unites young voices on biodiversity

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The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in cooperation with the Aichi Prefectural Government and the City of Nagoya, has been hosting the 2010 International Children's Conference on the Environment in Nagoya, Japan from 20-26 October 2010.

The International Children's Environment Conference brought together over 220 children and chaperones from around 40 countries and is taking place simultaneously with the UN conference on the protection of biodiversity.

In this forum the children were given the opportunity to share their experiences concerning the environment, climate change and environmental protection. The event also gave them the chance to discuss the state of biodiversity and what they can do to protect species worldwide in their own lives.

The conference saw children debate on the sustainable use of biological resources, the implementation of laws and ways to deal with invasive species. Nikon offered them a nature experience program which showed the children the connection between living creatures (biodiversity) and games with themes relating to biodiversity.

The outcomes of these discussions will be a declaration on biodiversity that is to be presented to the high-level segment of the Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity tomorrow.

The participants also participated in field excursions, including a field trip to the biodiversity-rich Komono Town, where there was a tree planting ceremony, and where the children learned about diverse Japanese species of trees and biodiversity sanctuaries around Mount Fuji.

The children also took part in an eco-generation workshop organized by Samsung Engineering, with experts presenting on biodiversity; common problems affecting the biodiversity globally and their solutions. They also used the opportunity to share and learn about the ecosystems of different nations, and expressed their concern for Mother Earth by preparing so-called 'Biodiversity Maps' of their regions.

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