200 nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zones, etc. are stipulated by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, etc. Under this ocean area management system, the island countries have the right to develop and use natural resources within their Exclusive Economic Zones designated based on the location of the islands. Furthermore, the countries are obliged to protect and conserve the marine environment including biological resources in their EEZs. Especially, there are many island countries in the Pacific Ocean, where vast Exclusive Economic Zones belong. This means that the island countries in the Pacific Ocean play an extremely important role from the standpoint of the management of the ocean.
This is the second phase (from fiscal 2013 to 2015) of the investigative study, which started in fiscal 2009 as the first phase (from fiscal 2009 to 2011). During the first year of the 3-year projects in the second phase, we organized an international seminar in collaboration with the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resource & Security (ANCORS), the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SOPAC Division of SPC) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS). At the seminar, the participants discussed the embodiment of policies that island countries and international society should promote to achieve sustainable development of islands and their surrounding ocean areas and revised the International Joint Policy Proposal, which was compiled during the first phase. Also, the complied joint policy proposal, "For The Better Conservation and Management of Islands and Their Surrounding Ocean Areas" (hereinafter referred to as the "New International Joint Policy Proposal") was released to the international society in order to realize its implementation.
During the first phase of "Investigative Study Concerning Conservation and Management of Islands and Their Surrounding Ocean Area," we hosted international seminars every year in collaboration with the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resource & Security (ANCORS) and the Applied Geoscience and Technology Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SOPAC Division of SPC), developed the International Joint Policy Proposal, disseminated the proposal to relevant offices and made efforts to realize its implementation.
In order to actually promote policy proposals concerning "Conservation and Management of Islands," "Management of Surrounding Ocean Areas" and "Responses to Climate Change/Climate Variation," collaboration and cooperation between island countries and international society are essential. Furthermore, the island countries must have participation and cooperation from various stakeholders such as universities/research institutions, NPOs, corporations and residents as well as governments. It is also expected that international and regional organizations, foreign governments, research institutions, private corporations, grant-making institutions and NGOs from international society as well as Japan will participate and cooperate to realize the implementation of the proposals, utilizing their respective capabilities and characteristics.