Satoyama–Satoumi Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes of Japan


Sample Chapter
  • Edited Anantha Kumar Duraiappah, Koji Nakamura, Kazuhiko Takeuchi, Masataka Watanabe and Maiko Nishi

    ISBN-10: 92-808-1210-6,
    ISBN-13: 978-92-808-1210-7
    United Nations University Press
    March 2012

    Satoyama is a Japanese term which describes mosaic landscapes of different types of ecosystem—secondary forests, farm lands, irrigation ponds and grasslands—along with human settlements managed to produce bundles of ecosystem services for human well-being. The concept of satoyama, long-standing traditions associated with land management practices that allow sustainable use of natural resources, has been extended to cover marine and coastal ecosystems—satoumi. These landscapes and seascapes have been rapidly changing and the ecosystem services they provide are under threat due to various social, economic, political and technological factors.

    Satoyama–Satoumi Ecosystems and Human Well-Being presents the findings of the Japan Satoyama Satoumi Assessment (JSSA)—a study of the interaction between humans and satoyama–satoumi ecosystems in Japan and is written by the 200 plus authors, stakeholders and reviewers from Japan and elsewhere that make up the JSSA team. The study analyses changes which have occurred in satoyama–satoumi ecosystems over the last 50 years and identifies plausible future scenarios for the year 2050 taking into account various drivers such as government and economic policy, climate change, technology, and sociobehavioural responses. This provides a new approach to land-use planning that addresses not only economic development but also cultural values and ecological integrity. This book is a key reference text for development planners, postgraduate students, policymakers, scientists and others interested in the environment and development.

    “This volume brings together an extraordinarily detailed evaluation of what has happened over the past half century to Japanese landscape mosaics, in the foothills and at the seashore, that are rich in physical, biological and cultural attributes and that have been managed as integrated systems in the past and that are now being abandoned. Using the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment conceptual framework, a strong case is made for the positive economic and non-economic values of the maintenance of these systems by new policies at the local as well as the national level.”

    —Harold Mooney, Paul Achilles Professor of Environmental Biology, Stanford University

    “Increasingly the health of our ecosystems holds the key to our human well-being. Satoyama and satoumi landscapes offer a practical illustration of the interaction between humans and nature, and are a very timely concept for the increasingly urbanized world. Extending lessons and experiences from the Japanese landscapes, this book will help government officials, diplomats, business and industries, academia, and civil society around the world make better decisions for a sustainable future.”

    A. H. Zakri, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

    “[Satoyama-Satoumi Ecosystems and Human Well-being] speaks to issues of local, national, and global relevance. In many ways, Satoyama and Satoumi landscapes represent a microcosm of Japan and, more broadly, of the challenges of envisioning sustainability in an interlinked world. The fascinating history of Satoyamas  and Satoumis, brought to live in this timely assessment, offers a unique window to the transformation of Japanese society and environment during the last 50 years. This assessment offers an opportunity for readers to reflect on the Japan’s transforming relationship to the environment, its fast rate of urbanization, and the changing role of local knowledge in a period of intense inter-generational culture change. It will encourage readers to reflect more broadly on the multi-functional importance of rural and coastal landscapes to the future of urban areas, to food self-sufficiency and water security, and overall human well being.”

    Eduardo S. Brondizio, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, Indiana University Bloomington.

     “In my view, the Japan Satoyama Satoumi Assessment (JSSA) greatly elevates our understanding of how humans as an integrated part of nature may actively contribute to maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem functions in a production landscape. This assessment  provides numerous examples of how humans interact with terrestrial-aquatic ecosystems (satoyama) and marine-coastal ecosystems (satoumi) in Japan over a period of 50 years and provide interesting scenarios for the future. I warmly recommend this assessment to anyone interested in a deeper understanding of a sustainable use and governance of ecosystems and building resilience in social-ecological systems.”

    Thomas Elmqvist, Professor, Department of Systems Ecology and Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University

    Satoyama landscapes account for approximately 60% of Ishikawa Prefecture’s land area. Satoyama and satoumi landscapes provide a valuable habitat for many creatures, where rich natural environment has been cultivated through people’s daily livelihoods. They also offer beautiful scenery and nurture local culture and traditions. This book provides scientific evidence that will help develop and act on the strategies needed to pass on our precious satoyama-satoumi heritage to future generations.”

    Masanori Tanimoto, Governor of Ishikawa, Japan.

    About the Editors

    Anantha Kumar Duraiappah is Executive Director of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) and JSSA Science Assessment Panel Co-Chair. Koji Nakamura is Professor at Kanazawa University and JSSA Science Assessment Panel Co-Chair. Kazuhiko Takeuchi is Vice-Rector of the United Nations University and JSSA Board Co-Chair. Masataka Watanabe is Professor of Keio University and JSSA Board Co-Chair. Maiko Nishi is Scientific Assessment Coordinator at the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies and JSSA Coordinator.

    Table of contents

    The Japanese Satoyama and Satoumi Assessment: Objectives, focus and approach, Anantha Kumar Duraiappah and Koji Nakamura
    Satoyama–satoumi and ecosystem services: A conceptual framework, Osamu Saito and Hideaki Shibata
    What are the key drivers of change and current status of satoyama and satoumi? Toshiya Okuro, Takakazu Yumoto, Hiroyuki Matsuda and Naoki Hayashi
    Why is change to satoyama and satoumi a concern? Takakazu Yumoto
    What and how effective have been the main responses to address changes in satoyama and satoumi? Toshimori Takahashi
    What are the futures of satoyama and satoumi? Shizuka Hashimoto
    Conclusions, Kazuhiko Takeuchi, Masataka Watanabe and Maiko Nishi
    Hokkaido cluster, Tetsuya Kondo and Taisuke Miyauchi
    Tohoku cluster, Takaaki Koganezawa and Tohru Nakashizuka
    Hokushinetsu cluster, Koji Nakamura and Shigeyuki Yamamoto
    Kanto-Chubu cluster, Tatsuhiro Ohkubo and Satoru Sadohara
    Western Japan cluster, Tomoya Akimichi and Yukihiro Morimoto
    Western Japan cluster: Seto Inland Sea as satoumi, Osamu Matsuda