About biodiversity and international endangered species
According to the website of the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOE), biodiversity is defined as abundant individuality of species of lives and their links.
During the earth’s long history of 4 billion years, 30 million species of lives have come into the world after adaptation to various environments and evolution.
Each of these lives has individuality and support each other directly or indirectly to survive.
The Convention on Biodiversity defines 3 levels of biodiversity – ecosystem, species, and gene.
* About biodiversity (Ministry of the Environment of Japan)
About international endangered species
* List of endangered wildlife
To prevent wildlife from going extinct due to various human activities, it is necessary to identify which species are endangered.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a world-class nature conservation NGO with international knowledge of wildlife, develops a list of wildlife species that are in danger of extinction. This list is called "Red List".
Currently, there are about 20,000 wildlife species in this list. Of 5,000 species of all mammals, over 1,100 species are in the list, which means remarkable 20% or more species are threatened.
In Japan, an authority equivalent to today’s Ministry of the Environment (MOE) developed a red data book called “Endangered wildlife species in Japan” in 1991.
* IUCN Red list
* Biodiversity Information System (Ministry of the Environment)
About Washington Convention
Formal name: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
(Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)
By regulating international trades of not only wildlife themselves but also stuffed animals and animal fur, the CITES aims for wildlife conservation.
There was a call for a convention during the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1972. In 1973, the CITES was signed at Washington D.C., which became known as "Washington Convention".
CITES has Appendices I, II and III (called CITES I, II, and III after the name of the convention) depending on the levels at which the fauna and flora are threatened and bans completely international trades of listed fauna and flora for commercial purposes.
* For those who look after and sell endangered wild fauna and flora (Ministry of the Environment)
Regulation of international endangered animals
In Japan, trading of international endangered animals are regulated under the “Act on Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora”, which is described below.
Japanese relevant law
* Act on Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Act No. 75 of June 5, 1992)
* Explanation of "Act on Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora"
* A part of the enforcement regulation of "Act on Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora" was amended by a ministerial ordinance and came into force on June 1, 2014.
* For those who look after and sell endangered wild fauna and flora
Japan Wildlife Research Center (JWRC) became responsible for registration work as a “designated registration agency” by the director general of the former Environment Agency based on “Act on Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora” starting from April 1, 1993. JWRC also became responsible for certifying work as a “designated certifying agency” by the director general of the former Environment Agency and the former Minister of International Trade and Industry based on the amended Act starting from June 28, 1995. In consequence of the amendment of the Act on July 20, 2003, JWRC was designated as a “registration agency” by the Minister of the Environment and as a “certifying agency” by both the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry on January 20, 2004, and has been responsible for registration and certifying works since then. (Excerpt from the website of JWRC)
*Explanation of "Act on Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora"