Rebuilding satoyama landscapes and human–nature relationships

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The author began working on satoyama landscape issues in 1999, in a joint research project entitled “Building a Nature Conservation Strategy for Satoyama Landscapes”. At that time, satoyama landscapes were defined as land-use mosaics of rural villages, comprising satoyama woodlands, grasslands, dry fields, paddy fields, human settlements, artificial ponds, rivers and irrigation channels. The satoyama featured in the study were limited to woodlands and grasslands used for firewood and charcoal, and to agricultural woodlands and grasslands. It was considered that, to conserve satoyama landscapes, it was important to maintain natural environmental features such as landform, soils, vegetation and animal communities as well as to consider several other matters, such as the establishment of legal and economic frameworks for conservation and involving a wide range of stakeholders. The question of how to reconstruct in modern society the important role that satoyama landscapes once played as sources of natural resources and energy was also pondered.

Related Subject(s): Economic and Social Development
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