Satoyama heritage symbolises the environmental, economic, cultural, and social linkages between ecosystem services and human wellbeing. Because of the mosaic patterns of satoyama ecosystems and the limited impact so far by humans, satoyama remains rich in biodiversity. But environmental change caused by invasive alien species, overgrowth, and climate change, and social and economic development trends have begun to disturb satoyama, causing a wide range of problems. These are putting several plant and animal species—such as Medak
|Satoyama is common in many regions of the world, including Asia, Oceania, Europe, and Africa. As such, its conservation and management are of great international relevance. Satoyama is an area that concerns many stakeholders including local communities, both national and local government agencies, and research and academic institutions.|
The threat of silent satoyama
Satoyama are being abandoned—both by humans and biodiversity. Because of the aging population, depopulation, and inactive agriculture and forestry in rural society, reduced human interactions have changed the ecosystems in satoyama of Japan. Studies show that biodiversity in satoyama may be affected by non-interaction or neglect, and recently, abandonment has become a major threat to biodiversity in satoyama. For paddy fields and irrigation ponds in satoyama, this has caused biodiversity to disappear, including tadpoles, frogs and other organisms that live in such habitats.
The role of multilateral processes in protecting satoyama
The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in satoyama is key to making sustainable development and human wellbeing a reality. Such practices are enshrined in numerous multilateral processes, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA). These processes address the need to prevent and mitigate unsustainable practices, such as the use of pesticides, over-harvesting, and construction.
The role of the IICRC
IICRC's research activities aim to identify concrete and realistic strategies that ensure healthy ecosystems and human wellbeing. Given the scope of satoyama, which covers agriculture, forestry, wetland and grassland ecosystems, any initiative must take a cross-sectoral approach and must also involve all stakeholders that live in the area. Only such an approach will ensure the effective conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in satoyama ecosystems.
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