The New Commons: Governing Satoyama-Satoumi Landscapes for Human Well-Being
21 March 2013 (Kanazawa, Japan)

This symposium focused on the challenges facing the governance of satoyama and satoumi landscapes. Prof. Tohru Nakashizuka (Tohoku University) focused on the significance of biodiversity and ecosystem services for human well-being, presenting examples to show that biodiversity is an integral part of our daily lives. He highlighted potential risks including the vulnerability of monoculture planted forests to pests and disease, and the potential for new strands of infectious diseases largely caused by intensification of husbandry practices. Prof. Koji Nakamura (Kanazawa University) introduced the results of the seminal Japan Satoyama Satoumi Assessment (JSSA) and its cluster analysis of the Hokushinetsu region, which was conducted during 2007–2010 across Japan with the input of more than 200 stakeholders. He explained that to build on the results of the JSSA, and fill in existing gaps in understanding and data, plans were in progress to conduct a regional assessment of satoyama/satoumi and human well-being in Ishikawa. Prof. Anantha Kumar Duraiappah (United Nations University International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change) built on the first two keynote presentations by explaining how the JSSA helped to provide a strong scientific foundation for looking at satoyama and satoumi. He went into detail on the evolving concept of a new commons, and offered one working definition of the new commons as the spatial boundary that contains different ecosystem types that together produce a critical/minimum set of regulating services (water purification, soil erosion control, flood protection, etc.) to produce provisioning services, such as agricultural production. Three short talks were then delivered by local stakeholders. Read the release …