Satoyama landscape as social–ecological system: historical changes and future perspective

Author(s): Takeuchi, K., K. Ichikawa, T. Elmqvist
In: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Year: 2015
Type: Journal / article
Theme affiliation: Landscapes
Link to centre authors: Elmqvist, Thomas
Full reference: Takeuchi, K., K. Ichikawa, T. Elmqvist. Satoyama landscape as social–ecological system: historical changes and future perspective. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2015.11.001

Summary

Many production landscapes around the world have been sustained through appropriate use and management of natural resources, but many are now facing overuse or underuse.

This paper explores future perspectives on the satoyama landscape (traditional Japanese rural landscape) as a social–ecological system through an overview of its transformation. Two phases in the human–nature relationship are observed: before the fossil fuel revolution of the late 1950s, people maintained a direct relationship with nature, and the landscape was integrally managed through community cooperation to avoid overuse; then, after the late 1950s, inflow of goods and services from outside and outflow of the population resulted in underuse of natural resources, and the human–nature relationship became weakened and more indirect.

Rebuilding the human–nature relationship in the present day calls for efforts that go beyond the local level toward cross-scale, connected and coupled social–ecological systems.

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