On 23 July 2022, UNU-IAS participated in an online workshop discussing sustainability and biodiversity conservation practices in rural communities with a focus on landscape approaches. The workshop, Integrated Nature-Culture Approaches to Rural Sustainability, was part of the APAC Initiative for Regional Impact (AIRI) and was organised by the Centre for Civil Society and Governance of the University of Hong Kong.
Bruno Leles (Partnerships Associate, UNU-IAS) provided an overview of the theoretical concepts behind the sustainable management of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes, and their role in facilitating the integration of urban and rural landscapes. He noted that the environmental dimension of urban-rural linkages was becoming increasingly important for attaining the SDGs, and that landscape approaches, as promoted by the Satoyama Initiative, provided the necessary framework to combine urban planning, green infrastructure, and sustainable agriculture.
Katie Chick (Assistant Director, Centre for Civil Society and Governance at the University of Hong Kong) discussed the example of the Lai Chi Wo Rural Cultural Landscape in Hong Kong to illustrate how innovative approaches to sustainable development could mutually reinforce the conservation of biodiversity and traditional knowledge.
The workshop launched the AIRI Urban-Rural Sustainability Fellowship 2022-23, a one-year incubation programme intended to empower and connect graduate students, researchers, thought leaders, and practitioners from across the Asia-Pacific region who aspire to be Change Fellows for urban-rural integration and rural sustainability.