2017•07•06 TokyoOn 10 June, the UNU-IAS Operating Unit Ishikawa-Kanazawa (OUIK) organized a symposium entitled A Look at the Various Work Supporting Satoumi, at UNU Headquarters to commemorate the publication of the third volume in its Biocultural Diversity Series Noto Satoumi Movement: Passing on Wisdom of Living with the Sea. This symposium coincided with the annual UN World Oceans Day held on June 8 and the Ocean Conference held at UN Headquarters in New York from June 5 to 9. Attended by over 80 participants, this event marked the first time a symposium centered solely on the theme of satoumi was held at UNU.
After opening remarks by UNU-IAS OUIK Director Tsunao Watanabe, Senior Visiting Professor Kazuhiko Takeuchi delivered a keynote presentation on “A Look at the Forest-Land-River-Sea Connection in Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi”, followed by a report from UNU-IAS OUIK Research Associate Evonne Yiu on “OUIK’s Noto Satoumi Movement”. A session that followed on the “Jobs in Noto’s Satoumi” included presentations by a fisherman on reviving traditional mullet watchtower fishing in the town of Anamizu, a representative of the Ishikawa Prefecture Fisheries Research Center on his research on seaweed in Noto, and a teacher on supporting satoumi creation through scuba-diving. Yiu also interviewed the Chairman of the Wajima Women Skin Diver Fishery Conservation Promotion Association.
In a session showcasing best practices of satoumi creation from other parts of Japan, a representative of an NPO based in Okayama Prefecture introduced the “Regeneration of Seagrass Beds and Oyster Cultivation in Hinase, Okayama” and an official from Minami Sanriku, a town in Miyagi Prefecture, spoke on the “Recovery from the Great East Japan Great Earthquake through a Forest-Land-Sea-People Approach”. In a panel discussion that closed the event, Nobuyuki Yagi, Professor from the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, provided commentary on the significance of the satoumi concept in addressing international ocean issues. With the audience, the panel discussed how to define satoumi and how satoumi creation can be implemented.
The symposium emphasized the necessity of creating a mechanism in Japan’s satoumi whereby traditional fishing methods and customary practices of resource management can be capitalized, along with managing fisheries resources and coastal areas as open commons suited for the needs of modern society. Also, it was recognized that, by conserving the bountiful natural marine environment as typified by satoumi concept, contribution could made to the international community’s efforts in achieving the “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” (in particular, SDG 14). A full report (in Japanese) of the symposium is available on the OUIK website.