2017•07•26 YokohamaOn 26 July 2017, UNU-IAS co-hosted a thematic session at the Ninth International Forum for Sustainable Asia and the Pacific (ISAP 2017) on Putting sustainability at the heart of landscape and seascape management – Key roles played by subnational and local governments, focusing on policy-related activities toward sustainable management of natural resources. ISAP is an annual two-day forum that brings together frontline experts and stakeholders from international organizations, governments, businesses and NGOs to discuss sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific, co-organized by UNU-IAS and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).
UNU-IAS Senior Visiting Professor and Chair of the IGES Board of Directors Kazuhiko Takeuchi opened the session with an explanation of “Sustainable Landscape Management through the Satoyama Initiative”, a global effort (led in part by UNU-IAS) to preserve and harness the cultural and natural heritage and resources of landscapes and seascapes. This was followed by a panel session with speakers from around Asia, moderated by UNU-IAS Project Director Naoya Tsukamoto. Tsukamoto began with a short presentation in which he pointed out that subnational and local governments enjoy the advantages of being close to the community as well as having a degree of local independence and potential for strong leadership, but that these can also be disadvantages for landscape and seascape management in some cases.
The panelists then gave presentations on their own work:
Yutaka Takaishi (Hanshin-Kita District Administration Office, Hyogo Prefectural Government): “Promotion of Hokusetsu Satoyama Museum Vision: Towards the sustained environmental conservation and vitalization of local communities”
Gerald Jetony (Natural Resource Office of Sabah State Government, Malaysia): “Linking biological and cultural diversity in the State of Sabah, Malaysia”
Marcal Gusmao (Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Environment, Timor-Leste): “SEPLS in Timor-Leste and government initiatives to promote their sustainable management”
Pia Sethi (The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)): “The sustainable management of SEPLS and mainstreaming of biodiversity conservation in the State of Nagaland, India”
They closed the session by commenting on the difficulty in finding commonalities in work at the subnational level in that various types of governance districts have very different scales and roles, although it was agreed that it is very important to continue to work together on find and develop such commonalities.