UNU interactive seminar: Assessing biodiversity and ecosystem services

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  • DATE / TIME:
    2012•04•11    15:00 - 17:00

    UNU Interactive Seminar on Global Issues #15

    Assessing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Reflections on Satoyama-Satoumi


    • Kazuhiko Takeuchi, Vice-Rector of the United Nations University; Deputy Executive Director of the Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science; and Professor at the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo
    • Koji Nakamura, Professor, Kanazawa University; and Visiting Professor, United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies

    Scientific assessment serves as a structured, focused process designed to connect science with policy, providing information on plausible alternative futures, identifying policy options and contributing to international processes on environment and development. In this seminar, Professors Takeuchi and Nakamura, co-editors of the recently published UNU Press book Satoyama-Satoumi Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes of Japan, will explore the role of assessments in biodiversity and ecosystem services — and in particular, the experiences of the Japan Satoyama Satoumi Assessment (JSSA) and the recent International Science Workshop on Assessments for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

    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.

    The speakers will explain how, by employing the satoyama and satoumi concepts of land management, the JSSA developed scientifically credible and policy-relevant information on the significance of ecosystem services and their contributions to human well-being. They will show how the JSSA provided policymakers with important information on the possible future trends in ecosystem services, and a scientific base for the use of satoyama and satoumi in local, national and international contexts. Professors Takeuchi and Nakamura also will highlight that IPBES is designed to become the pre-eminent and authoritative source of international assessment in the area of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and that it includes several innovations to better address the urgent and changing needs of policymakers, including thematic assessments, preliminary assessments and a more policy-oriented scenario approach.

    Following the presentations will be discussant comments by Prof. Kazuhiro Kogure, Vice Director of the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute and Vice Director of Ocean Alliance, University of Tokyo. The seminar will be followed by a general discussion among the speakers and audience, and conclude with a reception.

    Attendance is free, but advance registration (by 10 April) is required.

    Please click on the link below to access the online registration form.