Yukio Ubukata, Member of the House of Representatives
Chair of the Environmental Division, Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan
Forests play an important role in nurturing biodiversity and combatting climate change, and therefore the large-scale degradation and reduction of forests will lead to significant losses for humanity. Based on this perspective, leaders at the Group of Seven (G7) meeting last month in Biarritz in southwestern France pledged their support for initiatives to fight the large-scale forest fires afflicting the Amazon, over which there is a particularly heightened sense of urgency. In addition, they reached a shared understanding on behalf of the international community of the importance of the forests in the Amazon region.
Given the continued rise in carbon dioxide emissions globally due to economic activities from the advances in globalization, the Earth’s forests play an extremely important role in sequestering and trapping this carbon dioxide within said forests for extended periods of time over the course of natural cycles. In particular, the tropical rainforests of the Amazon stand on par with the Congo Basin, the tropical rainforests of Asia, and other forested regions in this regard. They are home to rare species of flora and fauna, with approximately 400 new species of living creatures having been discovered there in 2017.
If we are unable to put a stop to the forest fires that have been occurring with great frequency lately, including the fires in the tropical rainforests of the Amazon, this will have grave consequences for human health and our daily existence, as well as result in the destruction of rich biodiversity. These factors could expose the world to the risk of a whole host of dangers, not just those directly related to the climate.
The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan understands the importance of preserving these forests of high conservation value. In addition, we share the profound concerns of the international community regarding the various global crises hindering the role of forests, such as the current forest fires in the Amazon. Therefore, the international community and Japan as a member thereof, will continue the ustmost support and action possible to ensure that these concerns can continue to be surmounted through action.