Jul 21, 2009

RCAPS Seminar: Professor, NAKAMURA Koji & Dr. Kazem VAFADARI Coming Soon

RCAPS Seminar will be held on July 29th (Wednesday)


"Satoyama" in Japanese means traditional rural landscape with mosaics of human managed habitats such as rice paddies, forests, ponds and etc. It accounts for 40% of the all national land of Japan and 70% of Ishikawa Prefecture. Satoumi is a coastal zone properly managed by human activities like fishery. Therefore, Satoyama and Satoumi play significant roles in pooling biodiversity and providing essential ecosystem services such as food, regulation, cultural and aesthetic services that contribute to human well-being. Both systems were in harmonious relationship between human and the nature. They are the sustainability models that our society in 21st century must look back through. However, most Satoyama and Satoumi areas, especially on Japan Sea side, are being threatened today by depopulation and aged society under long lasting slumps of agriculture and forestry. In this presentation, I will show the "Satoyama problems" in Ishikawa Prefecture, including abandonment of managements of rice paddies and forests. Over-growth of forests due to no management caused serious "wild life damages" by Japanese monkeys, black bears, wild boars and Japanese deer. Many villages became "marginal" or "collapsed". In order to reactivate Satoyama areas, we launched "Kakuma Satoyama Nature School of Kanazawa University", "Noto Satoyama Satoumi Nature School" and "Noto Satoyama Master Training Project". We aim to create a network of local industries, farmers, agriculture unions, autonomous communities and resident people, in order to promote environment-oriented agriculture, forestry and fishery as well as conserving traditional knowledge and culture. We started "come back stork and ibis again" campaign to save the bird which once went extinct from Satoyama, as a part of Satoyama restoration movements.


Satoyama and Satoumi are Japanese words, which describe cultural mountainous and coastal areas of the rural landscapes. For years, collaboration of human and nature has created and managed arias like paddy fields, agricultural and forest land, vernacular architecture and etc. Satoyama and Satoumi studies have been recently more under focus by scholars as a result of the critical situation of these areas in Japan. The studies cover different aspects of nature (environmental) and biodiversity as well as social studies focusing on the local community and the livelihood of people living in Satoyama and Satoumi.
Today, many areas of rural Japan share same characteristics such as depopulation, aging of population and abandonment of agricultural and forest lands. Communities have gone to decline and nature has started to take over. The animals are increasingly appearing in agricultural lands causing inconvenience for the local communities. Servicing such as transportation and education are increasingly collapsing.
The role of tourism in revitalization of rural community and conservation of Satoyama nature resources is under focus of this paper. It discuss how Promotion of rural tourism can lead to evolving of local identity, creating market for local products, diversification of local revenue and, could contribute to conservation of natural resources if well managed no matter if they are called ecotourism, green tourism, volunteer tourism and etc the literature . Sunran-no-sato Ishikawa Prefecture (located in Noto peninsula) is a successful example where the local people adopted tourism activities and it became as a source of their revenue. This paper presents a case study of Minshuku group in Shunran and explains how they managed teamwork to improve their ability and skills to host domestic and international tourists. They use mainly the local facilities and products. The abandoned school building in the village, which is reformed as a tourist accommodation and has attracted 3000 people since 2006, is a clear example of the successful satoyama tourism model in Shunran.

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