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Youth Biodiversity Symposium 2023 in Yokohama ~ closed~

A symposium was conducted with the central theme of biodiversity, aiming to advocate for a positive relationship with nature. The event drew the active participation of approximately 50 individuals, including youth, international organizations, and companies. Engaging discussions and workshops took place, featuring keynote speeches, presentations on initiatives, insightful panel discussions, and valuable networking opportunities.

Last updated date:2024/2/21

Event Report

Opening Remarks

photo of Director
Opening Remarks

Mr. Kenya Endo, Director of the City of Yokohama Environmental Planning Bureau, emphasized the significance of biodiversity and discussed the objectives of the symposium and GREEN×EXPO 2027, highlighting the importance of diverse activities by various entities.

Keynote Speeches

1 “The Future of Biodiversity and Citizen Science”

Speaker's photo

Hiromi Kobori(Special Professor, Tokyo City University)
Examining global biodiversity trends, Professor Kobori highlighted the importance of citizen science, illustrating practical examples and achievements.

Keynote Speech No.1

2 “Driving Transformation Youth Power”

Speaker's photo

Melena Sakiyama (Co-founder, GYBN Network)
Special focus was given to the influence of youth on societal changes and policy decisions for effective environmental problem-solving.

Keynote Speech No.2

Panel Discussion

Moderator's  photo

Moderator : Mr. Teppei Dohke
Secretary General of the Japan committee of IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Under the guidance of Mr. Teppei Dohke,the Secretary General of the Japan Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the event was held in two parts. 

Panel Discussion #1

photo of Panel Discussion #1
Panel Discussion #1

In the first part, Mr. Ryo Sasai, Mr. Naoki Okano,Mr. Yu Murase, and Ms. Rie Yamashita presented their initiatives and engaged in a discussion on various environmental topics such as food waste, fair trade, single-use plastics, and sustainable practices under the theme of "My Environmental Actions.”

Panel Discussion #2

In the second session, Mr. Dohke continued to moderate the discussion on "Environmental Actions to Take Together" with five panelists, including Mr. Okano and Ms. Yamashita from the first session, as well as representatives from Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN), Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD Secretariat), and the Japan Association for the International Horticultural Expo 2027 in Yokohama.

Panel Discussion #1&#2

Each panel discussion featured lively exchanges of opinions among the panelists, responding to questions from the audience. Both the panelists and moderator, Mr. Dohke, actively contributed to the conversations all aimed at realizing a life in harmony with nature.

Participants' Feedback

● Learning about the activities of youth generations globally was highly interesting.
● Youth’s activities and messages resonated deeply among all participants.

Exibition Booth Highlights

The activities of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and Earth Day Tokyo were introduced, along with informational displays from ITTO (International Tropical Timber Organization) and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency). The event included panel exhibits and announcements of upcoming activities in Yokohama.

Networking Session


photo of networking session

Participants engaged in free talk, fostering camaraderie. The importance of biodiversity and opportunities to contribute to biodiversity conservation were discussed, encouraging further exchanges and networking among all participants.

Participants’ Feedback

● Stimulating for participants of the same generation and across generations.
● Deepened understanding of international trends.
● Became a catalyst for youth to engage in activities beyond national borders.

Closing Remarks

Photo of closing remarks
Ms.Hamashima (MOEJ)

Ms. Naoko Hamashima, Director, Office for Mainstreaming Biodiversity, Biodiversity Policy Division, Nature Conservation Bureau (MOEJ), shared expectations regarding the symposium's contribution to achieving Nature Positive Economy.

Looking Ahead to the Next Year

photo of Mr.Christian Schwarzer
Announced by Mr.Christian Schwarzer

Mr. Christian Schwarzer, co-founder of GYBN, announced that the International Youth Conference on Biodiversity will be held in August 2024, in Yokohama, in collaboration with national and international partners..


Event Flyer


Time and Date

  • 19 Nov 2023
  • 13:00 - 18:00 (JTS)


PACIFICO Yokohama 6th floor GALERIO (1-1-1 Minatomirai, Nishi-ku Yokohama International Cooperation Center)


  • 12 minute walk from the East Exit of JR Sakuragicho Station (Negishi Line)
  • 5 minute walk from the Queen’s Square Exit of Minatomirai Station (Minatomirai Line)

How to Apply

Access from the URL below to fill out and send the application form.

  • Capacity is 50 people(first-come-first-served basis)
  • URL Form(External website)(closed)


  1. 13:00 Opening
  2. 13:15 Keynote speeches
  3. The Future of Biodiversity and Citizen Science
  • Hiromi Kobori (Special Professor, Tokyo City University)
  • Youth Contributions for Coexistence with Nature (provisional title)Christian Schwarzer (Co-Founder, GYBN)
  1. 14:00 Panel discussion I  <Topic for discussion> My Environmental Actions
  2. 15:50 Panel discussion II <Topic for discussion> Environmental Actions to Take Together
  3. 17:00 Closing
  4. 17:05 Networking workshop
The Panel Ⅰ
Japanese order
Naoki Okano (N Highschool,Representative Director of GRAF)
Ryo Sasai (Yokohama Municipal Mitake-dai Junior Highschool)
Yu Murase (Yokohama National University,Fairtrade Label Japan -Intern nest (SB Japan Youth Community)- Mentor)
Rie Yamashita (Local Marketing Manager IKEA Kohoku)

The Panel Ⅱ
Japanese order
Naoki Okano (N Highschool,Representative Director of GRAF)
Chantal Robichaud (The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity)
Christian Schwarzer(co-founder of Global Youth Biodiversity Network)
Representetive of Japan Association for the International Horticultural Expo 2027, Yokohama

Contact details

Policy Division, Environmental Planning Bureau
Tel: (+81)-45-671-2484
Fax: 045-661-4093

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