Environmentally friendly agriculture policies implemented on the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture can serve as a model for the rest of the world, according to Anne McDonald, professor of global environmental policy at Sophia University in Tokyo.
The Canadian-born academic, who researches Japanese farming and fishing practice, made the remarks at a June 22 seminar hosted by Japan’s agriculture ministry on the fringe of the Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro.
She said that integrated policies being developed in Noto to support, build and develop environmentally sound agriculture under comprehensive policies aimed at conservation of “satoyama” mountains and “satoumi” marine environments have the potential to be models not only in Japan but in other countries.
She also said that integrative approaches to policymaking and implementation are key.
The satoyama mountains and satoumi ocean of Noto were designated as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) sites by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) last year. The satoyama mountains on Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture, were also designated as a GIAHS site.
McDonald also said the people of Sado were successfully reviving traditional, sustainable agriculture by reducing their reliance on pesticides and chemical fertilizers. That has also allowed wild toki crested ibises to begin to re-establish themselves in the area.
Yutaka Sumita, deputy director-general for international affairs at the agriculture ministry, told the seminar: “There is a deepening sense of crisis in Japan and the world with regard to food security.” He said Japan would work with the FAO to spread sustainable agriculture and therefore help global food security.
Shiro Wakui, professor at Tokyo City University, argued in his seminar presentation that Japanese cities have historically drawn no distinction between nature and civilization.
“The historic urban structure of the type represented by Edo (present-day Tokyo) can serve as a model for a future society in which resources and energy will be recycled and re-purposed,” he said.
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