September 26, 2008
NISSAN PROMOTES BIODIVERSITY RESEARCH WITH U.N. INSTITUTE
- Research to Focus on Biodiversity Conservation -
TOKYO (September 26, 2008) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. is promoting collaborative research with the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies*1 on biodiversity conservation*2. The research is in line with the company's mid-term environmental action plan "Nissan Green Program 2010."
This research is aimed at identifying the ecosystem impact of the automotive industry and the value of biodiversity conservation. The results of the research will be published as a cooperative research report with the U.N. Institute by the end of fiscal year 2008. The Institute played a leading role in bringing together a U.N. project, "Millennium Ecosystem Assessment" published in 2005, which evaluated the healthiness of the world ecosystem. Nissan has been conducting a research collaboration since 2007, with Dr. W. Bradnee Chambers, senior program officer, UNU-IAS.
As part of the research, a workshop was held in the US in August. In this workshop, world renowned experts in the area of environment were invited, including Professor Harold A. Mooney of Stanford University, and Conservation International, an international environmental non-governmental organization. Environmental journalist Junko Edahiro served as coordinator for the workshop.
Discussions at the workshop centered on biofuels and water resources, which have ties with the automotive business. The workshop implemented the method introduced in "The Corporate Ecosystem Services Review", a guideline to evaluate the risk a corporation may face by the change in ecosystem services. The guideline was published in March 2008 by the World Resources Institute, World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Meridian Institute. The outputs of the workshop will also be included in the collaborative research report.
Biodiversity was positioned as one of the most important environmental issues along with climate change at U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 and various measures are taken by parties to the convention on biodiversity under the Convention on Biological Diversity. A resolution to promote commitment from the private sector was adopted at 8th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological diversity (COP8) in 2006 and there are high expectations of corporations. Further, international attention is growing as COP 10, which will be held in Aichi prefecture in 2010, draws nearer.
Nissan established its environmental philosophy: "A Symbiosis of People, Vehicles and Nature" in 1992 and is taking various actions to realize the philosophy under "Nissan Green Program 2010." The goal of the program is "managing the environmental impact generated by our corporate activities, customer use of Nissan vehicles and the company's use of resources on a level that is within nature's capacity to absorb." The collaborative research is conducted as a part of this mission.
Outline of the Workshop
□ Date: Thursday, August 14 - Friday, August 15, 2008
□ Location: Palo Alto, California, U.S.A.
W. Bradnee Chambers (Senior Program Officer, United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies) □ Invited Experts:
Harold A. Mooney (Professor, Stanford University)
Charles Perrings (Professor, Arizona State University)
Janet Ranganathan (Vice President, World Resources Institute)
John Finisdore (World Resources Institute)
Marielle Canter Weikel (Conservation International)
Michael J. Kleeman (Senior Fellow, University of California)
Heather Tallis (Natural Capital Project) □ Workshop Coordinators:
Junko Edahiro, Riichiro Oda (Change Agent Inc.) □ Participants from Nissan:
Toshio Hirota (Expert Leader) and 5 others
*1 United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies was established in 1996 under the direct control of United Nations University. Its mission is to promote research to assist policy making regarding diverse sustainable-development issues. Its major research areas include Science Policy for Sustainable Development, Ecosystems and People and Education for Sustainable Development.
*2 Biodiversity: means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. (Defined in the Convention on Biological Diversity)