At Japan National Committee of IUCN, Razan Al Mubarak calls to embrace the interconnectedness of climate change and biodiversity loss

English Español

Dear friends, 

Last week, I had the privilege of traveling to Japan to meet with members of the Japan National Committee of IUCN, where we discussed upcoming priorities and opportunities for further Union engagement. 

What left an impression during these discussions was the famed hospitality of our hosts and the idyllic location of our meeting: on one side was the breathtaking Tokyo skyline and, on the other side in the far distance, majestic Mount Fuji seemed to hold court — reminding us that it’s been there far longer than we have. 

It struck me as an apt metaphor for how we approach climate change and nature, as often separate things — so separate that we even have different COPs for them! We should be embracing the interconnectedness of climate change and biodiversity loss as two sides of the very same coin. 

In Japan, I met with Mr. Toshihiro Kitamura, the Deputy Director-General of the International Cooperation Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MoFA-J); and Mr. Naohisa Okuda, the Director General of the Nature Conservation Bureau at the Ministry of Environment of Japan (MoE-J). Among other items, we discussed the role of Nature-based solutions in tackling the crises of biodiversity loss and climate change; in Japan, where MoE-J works on nature and biodiversity and MoFA-J works on climate change, Nature-based Solutions offer a remarkable opportunity for partnership across agencies, and to embrace a holistic approach to nature and climate change. 

I was deeply moved by the camaraderie among IUCN members in Japan – one that’s rooted in mutual concern for nature and respect for IUCN. Japan is ahead of the curve, laying the groundwork for the integration of nature and climate change, and I am excited to revisit their progress during the upcoming IUCN Leaders Forum this October in Geneva, at COP28 in Dubai, or at a later time in Japan. 


– Razan Al Mubarak