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Ambio. 2003 Jun;32(4):307-11.

Participatory conservation approaches for satoyama, the traditional forest and agricultural landscape of Japan.

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Faculty of Environmental and Information Studies, Musashi Institute of Technology, Tsuzuki-Ki, Yokohama, Japan.


The traditional agricultural landscape of Japan, known as satoyama, consists of a mixture of forests, wet rice paddy fields, grasslands, and villages. This landscape supports a great diversity of plant and animal species, many of which are significant to the Japanese culture. The satoyama landscape is currently being rapidly converted to residential and industrial uses in Japan's expanding metropolitan areas, with the local loss of many species. Only 7% of the land in the Yokohama area remains as satoyama. City residents and older farmers have become key participants in programs to protect examples of satoyama. Many urban residents value the experience of participating in agricultural and conservation activities once they are made aware of the threat faced by the satoyama landscape. In one particularly successful program, conservation efforts and fund-raising are linked to "Totoro", an imaginary forest animal featured in a popular animated film.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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