Leveraging Solutions: Smart Policies, Plans, and Actions

Putting Sustainability at the Heart of Landscape and Seascape Management – Key Roles Played by Subnational and Local Governments

The Satoyama Initiative— established to promote the sustainable management of landscapes and seascapes that include significant human production activities, with a view towards harnessing their cultural and natural heritage and resources— has proven to be a key factor in triggering transformational changes towards sustainability and resilience in many places around the world. While effectively functioning at all levels, global to local, it is at subnational levels and scales of action that transformational changes truly begin. Local policies and actions are required to overcome specific issues that communities and societies are facing as well as to achieve multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 14 (‘life below water’) and 15 (‘life on land’).

In the context of the Satoyama Initiative, the term “socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes” (SEPLS) has been coined to denote places where biodiversity and human production activities coexist in a harmonious mosaic of habitats and land- and sea-uses. When sustainably managed, SEPLS can meet a full range of local needs – water, biodiversity, food, health and others – while also contributing to national-level conservation and development priorities and global targets such as the SDGs. However, many SEPLS face serious threats today. Various activities have been implemented to meet these threats and contribute to triggering and mainstreaming positive changes.

This session will present ongoing work with the goals of sharing knowledge and fostering further action. Starting with an introduction of the Satoyama Initiative and IPSI, the international partnership created for its implementation, speakers will deliver presentations on activities promoting sustainable management of SEPLS. Representatives of IPSI-member subnational and local governments will present their activities, followed by insight on the importance of local activities from the perspectives of other types of member organisations. A subsequent panel discussion will focus on identifying the need for further development of SEPLS management practices and exploring ways to overcome existing challenges.

Opening Remarks

Kazuhiko Takeuchi

Chair of the Board of Directors, IGES / Director and Project Professor, IR3S, The University of Tokyo / Senior Visiting Professor, UNU-IAS


Yutaka Takaishi

Environmental Advisor, Hanshin-Kita District Administration Office of Hyogo Prefecture


Gerald Jetony

Senior Geologist, Natural Resources Office of Sabah State, Malaysia


Marçal Gusmao

Lecturer and Vice-Director, Centre for Climate Change and Biodiversity, National University of East Timor (UNTL) / National Focal Point for the Nagoya Protocol of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Environment, Timor-Leste


Pia Sethi

Fellow and Area Convener, Centre for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)


Naoya Tsukamoto

Project Director, UNU-IAS