Satoyama Landscapes and Their Change in A River Basin context: Lessons for Sustainability

Chakraborty, Shamik and Chakraborty, Abhik, (2017). Satoyama Landscapes and Their Change in A River Basin context: Lessons for Sustainability. Issues in Social Science, 5(1), 38-64

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Chakraborty, Shamik
    Chakraborty, Abhik
    Title Satoyama Landscapes and Their Change in A River Basin context: Lessons for Sustainability
    Appearing in Issues in Social Science
    Volume 5
    Issue No. 1
    Publication Date 2017-06-14
    Place of Publication Las Vegas
    Publisher Macrothink Institute
    Start page 38
    End page 64
    Language eng
    Abstract 'Satoyama' denotes a mosaic of different landscape-types that has sustained agrarian societies for millennia in Japan. These landscapes have undergone degradation during the past few decades. While satoyama is a consistently referred term in landscape management in Japan, little attention is given to how such landscapes undergo change in large spatial units such as river basins. This study, based on documents and interviews, reviews how watershed level changes affect the functioning of such socioecological systems in the Kuma River Basin in Kyushu. Watershed properties of the Kuma River Basin changed during pre-modern and modern times and each phase left a lasting legacy on the landscape. The article analyzes how ecological connectivity became fragmented by identifying changes in ecosystem services, and concludes that while socio-ecological landscapes have a long history of human use; the human component cannot outgrow the fundamental biophysical processes that maintain ecosystem services and system resilience; these systems can undergo swift and irreversible degradation when ecological connectivity is fragmented. The main lesson for sustainable development is that consideration of historical changes in land use is vital for understanding the connectivity of different components in satoyama landscapes; this insight is important not only for rivers but also for the wider landscapes they connect and the associated integrity.
    Keyword Socioecological landscapes
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2017
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI 10.5296/iss.v5i1.10892
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    Created: Tue, 27 Jun 2017, 18:31:41 JST by Dunbar, William on behalf of UNU IAS