Japan Diet OKs Deep-Sea Conservation Bill

Politics

Tokyo, April 24 (Jiji Press)--The Diet, Japan's parliament, enacted on Wednesday a bill to revise the nature conservation law in order to improve protection of marine ecosystems by restricting deep-sea development.

The revision establishes a system to conserve specific areas of seabed at depths of more than 200 meters in Japan's territorial waters and exclusive economic zone.

Under the system, undersea mountains and trenches rich with life will be designated as conservation areas, and a two-tier regime of licensing and notification systems will be implemented to limit exploitation.

The bill was unanimously approved at a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, on Wednesday. The bill cleared the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, earlier this month.

The Aichi Biodiversity Targets, adopted in 2010 at the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, or COP10, in Nagoya, call for 10 pct of marine areas to be conserved by 2020. The current share of protected areas in Japanese waters stands at 8.3 pct.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press