Biodiversity / Food / Water

March 3, 2009


Ministry Convenes Symposium on Developing Indicators for Agricultural Biodiversity

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity Government 

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) hosted a symposium on the development of biodiversity indicators useful in agriculture, also known as functional biodiversity, on November 27, 2008. The meeting was designed to exchange views for the coming "10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity (COP10)" to be held in Nagoya in 2010, and to achieve the 2010 Biodiversity Target, toward which the COP members have committed themselves to significantly reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss.

Functional biodiversity is recognized as a valuable resource in realizing sustainable farming. The use of biodiversity functions, such as the biological control by endemic natural enemies, has drawn attention to effectively promote environmentally friendly farming in an economical fashion. As such, the selection of indicator species for functional biodiversity as well as the establishment of biodiversity evaluation methods is an urgent necessity. In April 2008, MAFF launched a 2-year research project, in which possible indicators are selected and monitored for the effect of farming techniques on biodiversity.

The symposium highlighted the importance of systematic development of techniques to conserve and improve agricultural biodiversity in promoting environmentally friendly farming. The latest studies and efforts being undertaken, particularly in Europe, were also introduced as examples of how biodiversity can benefit farmers and the farming industry.

The project will hold discussions with researchers in Europe, where biological indicator studies are being advanced, along with regional meetings with experts in Japan over the next two years. The results of the project will be compiled in March 2010.

- Agriculture,Forestry and Fisheries Research Council
- Japanese Cabinet Approves Strategy For an Environmental Nation in the 21st Century (Related JFS article)

Posted: 2009/03/03 06:00:15 AM