October 21, 2022

Minister: Building regional circular and ecological spheres is key

Hiroshi Ono

Ono Hiroshi, the Ministry of the Environment’s vice minister for global environmental affairs, discussed the efforts to make our society sustainable through the creation of regional circular and ecological spheres.

He began by saying the international trend toward realizing a sustainable society “is changing at an accelerated speed and gaining momentum.”

“Over the past year, many companies and organizations have put advanced initiatives into practice in the areas of climate change, biodiversity and circular economy,” Ono said.

The Ministry of the Environment is taking a broad range of measures with the aim to create regional circular and ecological spheres — that is, decarbonize regions, conserve and restore the natural environment, and achieve comprehensive development of regional social economies — as called for in the Fifth Basic Environment Plan, approved by the Cabinet in 2018.

The ministry worked out a regional decarbonization road map in June 2021. The road map calls for creating at least 100 leading decarbonization areas by fiscal 2030 and introducing “measures to achieve decarbonization domino effect in regions across the nation and attract investment.”

This past April, 26 regions were designated as leading decarbonization areas, and the “top runners have already started running,” Ono said.

The ministry also faces other related issues — “issues that are the other side of the same decarbonization coin.”

An example of those efforts tackling the issues is “Tsunageyo, Sasaeyo, Mori, Sato, Kawa, Umi” (“Connecting and Supporting Forests, the Countryside, Rivers and the Sea”), a project aimed at making it possible for the country to continue to enjoy the blessings of natural resources a long into the future.

“In order to simultaneously resolve the issues surrounding the Earth, we need to step up the coordinated efforts between the public and private sectors and export Japan’s successful examples in other parts of the world to make our society sustainable by creating regional circular and ecological spheres,” Ono said.

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