On 4 February 2017, the UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), together with Wetlands International Japan (WIJ) and the Global Environment Outreach Centre (GEOC), organised the World Wetlands Day Symposium 2017. The symposium focused on the latest issues affecting wetlands, in particular ecosystem–based disaster risk reduction (Eco-DRR).
The symposium began with a speech on Eco-DRR by Naoya Furuta (Taisho University) who highlighted the growing amount of scientific research and case study analyses on the topic, as well as increasing implementation of Eco-DRR guidelines. Yukihiro Shimatani (Kyushu University) then gave examples of Eco-DRR in Japan. He noted how natural disaster management in Japan is unique in that it not only focuses on prevention and reduction of disasters, but also links to economic development.
Following the speeches, a panel discussion explored innovative approaches to wetland conservation, including Eco-DRR efforts that have been made since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Spotlighting the connections between agriculture, forestry, fisheries, biodiversity, and the stability of human life, Noriko Moriwake (UNU-IAS) explained the importance of satoyama and satoumi for Eco-DRR. These concepts are closely connected not only to the protection of ecosystems, but also to disaster risk reduction and the improvement of human life.
For more information, see the news story on the UNU-IAS website.