International Satoyama Intiative

IPSI, the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative, promotes collaboration in the conservation and restoration of sustainable human-influenced natural environments (Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes: SEPLS) through broader global recognition of their value.

Hokusetsu Satoyama Leader Training Session

SUBMITTED ORGANISATION : Hokusetsu Satoyama Museum Steering Council
DATE OF SUBMISSION : 11/06/2015
CATEGORIES :
REGION : Eastern Asia
COUNTRY : Japan (Hyogo Prefecture)
Google map: Google Map link to region
SUMMARY : Since its establishment in 2012, Hokusetsu Satoyama Leader Training Session has aimed to acquire a deeper understanding of satoyama and develop active human resources for enhancing satoyama activities.
KEYWORD : ---
AUTHOR: Hokusetsu Satoyama Museum Steering Council
LINK: http://hitosato.jp/

Introduction

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24Throughout the history of Japan, many people have received the blessings of satoyama forests, thanked them, and lived along with them. The relationship between Japanese people and satoyama has helped foster their wealthy imagination and sensibility, and satoyama have been the basis of their mentality.

Since the fuel revolution in the 1960s, however, satoyama forests do not have as much value as they used to have as places for producing fuels, including charcoal and firewood. Moreover, scarce human resources for satoyama maintenance due to rural depopulation, lack of young forest volunteers, and other reasons have resulted in an increase of abandoned satoyama forests with reduced biodiversity. Efforts by a limited number of people, including experts, are not enough to prevent satoyama forests from being destroyed.

Satoyama forests in the Hokusetsu region, located near urban areas, are unique in that they have maintained their traditional satoyama landscapes and contain valuable spaces filled with various virtues, such as history, culture, and biodiversity, as well as in that many citizens in this region are taking part in a wide range of activities related to the Hokusetsu satoyama forests.

With the aim of sustainably conserving the Hokusetsu satoyama forests and vitalizing the Hokusetsu region through further encouragement of these grassroots activities to make the best use of unnoticed and untapped resources (material or non-material) and to discover a new value (role) of satoyama in contemporary society, the Hanshin-kita District Administration Office of Hyogo Prefecture formulated the Hokusetsu Satoyama Museum (Community-as-a-Museum) Concept in cooperation with related cities and towns, academics, citizens, private enterprises, and other parties in September 2011.

As a core promotion body for this concept, the Hokusetsu Satoyama Museum Steering Council was established in March 2012, in partnership with citizens of Hyogo Prefecture, grassroots and nonprofit organizations, companies, related cities and towns, and the Hanshin-kita District Administration Office of Hyogo Prefecture.

This council offers diverse programs, including a subsidy scheme for grassroots and nonprofit organizations and environmental education programs, in order to sustainably conserve the Hokusetsu satoyama forests and vitalize Hokusetsu satoyama communities. Among them, one remarkable example is Hokusetsu Satoyama Leader Training Session, which was launched in fiscal 2012 with the aim of acquiring a deeper understanding of satoyama and developing active human resources for satoyama activities.

Targeted at current and future satoyama supporters, including forest volunteers and environmental organization members, Hokusetsu Satoyama College aims to develop generalistic human resources through its entire curriculum, ranging from introductory lectures to application classes focusing on practice, which provide participants with opportunities to study, experience, think about, and communicate with satoyama and satoyama people, and finally to contribute to the sustainable conservation and vitalization of Hokusetsu satoyama.

It can be said that satoyama are a symbol of the harmonious co-existence of mankind and nature. In the Hokusetsu region, you can still see people living in a close relationship with nature, which is diminishing in many places throughout the world.

We, the Hokusetsu Satoyama Museum Steering Council, hope to continue our efforts to sustainably conserve and vitalize Hokusetsu satoyama.

1. Hokusetsu Satoyama College

1) Goal and Objectives

Hokusetsu Satoyama College aims to develop human resources for conserving the Hokusetsu satoyama forests and vitalizing local communities through its practice-oriented curriculum, which enables its participants to study with interest a wide variety of subjects, including satoyama maintenance, biodiversity, environmental education, history, and culture, in fields of all Hokusetsu satoyama areas surviving near urban areas.

2) Curriculum Features

The curriculum is designed to provide various programs which will encourage participants to discover the ever-unknown appeal of Hokusetsu satoyama and their own way of commitment to satoyama and, after completing the college, to further develop attachments to Hokusetsu satoyama and start new activities.

i) Curriculum for studying Hokusetsu satoyama with joy

The curriculum motivates participants not only to acquire basic knowledge and skills on satoyama maintenance but also to enjoy obtaining a wide range of knowledge and skills in related areas, such as biodiversity, environmental education, history, and culture.

ii) Various field activities

In the fields of the bio-diverse Hokusetsu satoyama along the Ina and Muko Rivers, the college offers participants multiple opportunities to practice thinning, underbrush clearing, insect and plant observation, etc.

iii) Skilled teaching staff

Participants can obtain reliable knowledge and skills from skilled lecturers, including experienced researchers from the University of Hyogo, the Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo, and other institutes; and experienced leaders of forest volunteers and environmental organizations who have been engaging in activities in Hokusetsu satoyama.

iv) Networking for future activities

Participants can create partnerships and networks useful for practical activities in the future through group activities; mingling and cooperative work with forest volunteers, environmental organizations, and local people; and other programs.

v) Convenient schedule even for full-time workers

The college offers its classes mainly on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays in consideration for the convenience of students and workers.

3) Eligible Participants

The college is open to healthy people 18 years of age or older who are interested in satoyama, are able to participate in field practice, and satisfy either of the following conditions:

i) People who are engaged in activities related to satoyama as forest volunteers or members of environmental organizations

ii) People who hope to start the above-mentioned activities

4) Expected Post-college Activities

i) Satoyama instructors who cooperate in the promotion of the Hokusetsu Satoyama Museum Concept

ii) Forest volunteers and members of environmental organizations who contribute to the conservation and utilization of Hokusetsu satoyama

iii) Volunteer leaders of environmental education for children

iv) Volunteer guides who introduce to visitors the appeal and features of Hokusetsu satoyama and other kinds of activities

5) Outline of the College in FY2014

i) Period: June 2014 to February 2015

ii) Number of sessions: 11 in total (For more details, see the attachment.)

iii) Time: 10:00–17:00

iv) Maximum number of participants: 25 people

v) Tuition fee: ¥18,000 (including tax)

vi) Venues: Satoyama forests in the Hokusetsu region, satoyama-related facilities, etc.

6) Curriculum Process

The curriculum starts with introductory lectures on satoyama, followed by the acquisition of basic knowledge and skills on thinning, underbrush clearing, etc., and cooperative work with related organizations in satoyama forests. This process helps the gradual development of human resources who can think for themselves, take action, and share their own thoughts and experiences with other people.

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7) Outline of Programs

i) Participants can enjoy studying not only satoyama maintenance but also biodiversity, environmental education, history, and culture.

ii) In the fields of the Hokusetsu satoyama forests, participants practice thinning, underbrush clearing, insect and plant observation, etc.

iii) Cooperative work with forest volunteers and environmental organizations provides opportunities to create and expand networks among satoyama supporters.

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2. Contents of the FY2014 Curriculum

FY 2014 Hokusetsu Satoyama College Curriculum

President: Tamotsu Hattori, Professor Emeritus, University of Hyogo

Adviser: Kunio Iwatsuki, Honorary Curator, Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo

Time & Date Class Contents Venue Lectures & Instructors
1st Session Jun.
15
(Sun)
 AM 1) Forestry policy of Hyogo Prefecture2) “We create forests.” (Goal of Hyogo Forest Enhancement Center)

3) Hokusetsu Satoyama Museum Concept

Museum of
Nature and
Human
Activities,
Hyogo
 1) Takashi Imazato, Director, Forest Enhancement Division, Hyogo Prefecture2) Yasuo Ozasa, Secretary General, Hyogo Forest Enhancement Center

3) Hironori Oda, Director, General Affairs Office, Hanshin-kita District Administration Office, Hyogo Prefecture

 PM 4) Curriculum of Hokusetsu Satoyama College

5) From primeval forests to satoyama forests

6) Traditional satoyama and advanced satoyama

7) History and culture of satoyama

4) Yoshihiro Morimoto, manager, Satoyama & Nature Division, Hanshin-kita District Administration Office, Hyogo Prefecture

5)–7) Tamotsu Hattori, Professor

17:45– Networking Party
 2nd Session Jul.
20
(Sun)
 AM “Hokusetsu satoyama is the symbol of harmonious co-existence between nature and mankind.”

(Basic Philosophy of Hokusetsu Satoyama Museum Concept)

Museum of Nature and Human
Activities,
Hyogo
Kunio Iwatsuki, Honorary Curator,
Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo
 PM 1) Exploring sustainable use of satoyama resources

2) Environmental education in satoyama

1) Hiroshi Sayama, Professor, Faculty of Policy Management, Kwansei Gakuin University

2) Masayoshi Ogawa, Director, Learning and Ecological Activities Foundation for Children (NPO)

2) Isao Adachi, Chair, Institute of Field Science Education

 3rd Session Jul.
26
(Sat)
AM 1) History of Kurokawa Community Center 

2) Safety during fieldwork; importance of underbrush clearance

Kurokawa
Community
Center,
Kawanishi
City
1) Kiyoshi Mizuguchi, Kurokawa Promotion Committee for Community Building 

2) Tadashi Fukuda, Hyogo Forest Club (NPO)

PM  Practice of underbrush clearance Tutuanna
Forest in the
Kurokawa
district,
Kawanishi
City
Tadashi Fukuda, Hyogo Forest Club (NPO) Leaders’ Association of Hyogo Forest Enhancement Center
 4th Session Aug.
23
(Sat)
 AM Memorial Seminar for Designation of Maruyama Wetlands as a Natural Monument (Open Lecture)

1) Features and appeal of Maruyama Wetlands

2) Vegetation management for the conservation of Maruyama Wetlands

3) Efforts toward the sustainable conservation of Maruyama Wetlands

4) Conservation and appeal of wetlands in the Hokusetsu and other regions

Nishitani
Fureai
Yume Plaza
1) Yoshiaki Takeda, Visiting Professor, Hyogo Study Center, Open University of Japan

2) Satoshi Fukui, Japan Weather Association

3) Yoshiki Yakura, Hyogo Environmental Advancement Association

4) Tamotsu Hattori, Professor Emeritus, University of Hyogo

 PM 5) On-site explanation (only for applicants)

6) Observation of pectelis radiate* (only for applicants)

Maruyama
Wetlands
(field
research)
5) The same lecturers as 1)–4)

6) Kyoko Kishi, Representative, Maruyama Wetlands Conservation Group

 5th Session Sep.
20
(Sat)
 AM 1) Yoshikawa Hachiman Shrine in Toyono Town

2) Daiba kunugi (Sawtooth Oak)** beside the shrine

3) Ruined charcoal kiln

4) Patchworked landscape beside cables

5) Beech forest in Mt. Myoken

6) Satoyama forests near cables

Kurokawa
district in
Kawanishi
City (field
research)
1)–4) Hiroaki Ishida, Professor, University of Hyogo

5) Shuji Shinoda, Department Manager, Nose Electric Railway Co., Ltd.

6) Satoru Tsujimoto, Kawanishi Satoyama Club

 PM 7) Imanishi family’s charcoal kiln

8) Kurokawa Cherry Forests

7) Masaru Imanishi, kikuzumi (chrysanthemum-shaped charcoal) producer

8) Hiroshi Daimon, Kikuzumi Association

 6th Session Oct.
11
(Sat)
AM 1) Management of abandoned satoyama forests

2) Fieldwork in satoyama

i) Plant observation

ii) Measurement of every tree

iii) Vegetation survey

Hyogo
Prefectural
Arima Fuji
Park (field
research)
1)–3) Hiroaki Ishida, Professor, University of Hyogo

2)–3) Asumo Kuroda, Lecturer, University of Hyogo

Yoshinobu Hashimoto, Senior Researcher, Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo

Keitaro Yamase, Senior Researcher, Hyogo Prefectural Forestry Technical Center

4) Kanako Kitada, Representative, and other members of Green Ecology Club

 PM 3) Practice of satoyama management

4) Efforts

*: Pecteilis radiata is plant that grows in sunny wetlands, and blooms white flowers like Egret has spread its wing.

**: Sawtooth Oak which was cut the stem at the ground 1-2m to obtain a material to make charcoal, and has become a stocky form by repetition of felling of new stem

7th Session Nov.
30
(Sun)
PM International Symposium on Hokusetsu SATOYAMA
(Open Lecture)For more details, see p16-17.
Takarazuka Hotel For more details, see p16-17.
8th Session Dec.
20
(Sat)
AM 1) Guide to activity sites in the park

2) Observation of the Koya-ike

3) Maintenance of Kunugi (Sawtooth Oak) forests in the park

Koya-ike Park (field research) 1)–3) Kazuhiro Takagi, Society for Nature Preservation in Itami
PM 4) Birds in Hokusetsu

5) Daiba kunugi* & insects

Swan Hall 4) Takaharu Sakane, Green Park Division, Itami City

5) Seiichi Okuyama, Director, Itami City Museum of Insects

6) Study tour of Itami City Museum of Insects Itami City Museum of Insects 6) Seiichi Okuyama, Director, Itami City Museum of Insects
9th Session Jan. 17
(Sat)
AM Tree planting in satoyama Kurokawa district in Kawanishi City (field research) Yasuo Ozasa, Secretary General, Hyogo Forest Enhancement Center Tadashi Fukuda, Hyogo Forest Club (NPO)
PM Preparation of shiitake mushroom bed logs
10th Session Feb. 7
(Sat)
AM Workshop Themes:

i) Evaluation of Hokusetsu Satoyama College

ii) Expectations for Hokusetsu Satoyama College

iii) Issues concerning satoyama

iv) Sustainable Conservation of
satoyama forests

Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo Yasuo Ozasa, Secretary General, Hyogo Forest Enhancement Center, and others

Hokusetsu Satoyama College Alumni Association

PM
11th Session Feb.
14
(Sat)
AM 1) Presentation of workshop results Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo 1)–2) Yasuo Ozasa, Secretary General, Hyogo Forest Enhancement Center, and others

Hokusetsu Satoyama College Alumni Association

PM 2) Summary of and comments on the workshop
3) Use of satoyama resources

4) Approach of Biomass Tamba Sasayama

5) Completion ceremony

Yuko Terakawa, Satoyama Club (NPO)

Ryuji Takahashi, Baiomass Tamba Sasayama (NPO)

Tamotsu Hattori, Professor Emeritus, University of Hyogo & President, Hokusetsu Satoyama College

17:45– Networking party

*: Sawtooth Oak which was cut the stem at the ground 1-2m to obtain a material to make charcoal, and has become a stocky form by repetition of felling of new stem

3. Details of Hokusetsu Satoyama Leader Training Session in FY2014

1st Session on Sun., June 15, 2014

After the opening ceremony, participants listened to an explanation of the training session’s curriculum and the Hokusetsu Satoyama Museum Vision by a staff member of the Hanshin-kita District Administration Office, and then through lectures, they acquired basic knowledge of Hyogo Prefecture’s forestry policy, forest creation through grassroots activities, the history and culture of Hokusetsu satoyama, biodiversity, and the conservation of satoyama forests.

After the lectures, a party for networking among participants, lecturers, and alumni was held.

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2nd Session on Sun., July 20, 2014

Participants attended a lecture titled “Hokusetsu satoyama is the symbol of harmonious co-existence between nature and mankind.” about the basic philosophy of the Hokusetsu Satoyama Museum Concept by Dr. Kunio Iwatsuki, Honorary Curator, Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo, and learned about the sustainable use of satoyama resources and environmental education in satoyama.

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3rd Session on Sat., July 26, 2014

Satoyama forests in the Kurokawa district of Kawanishi City still provide a place for producing charcoal for tea ceremonies, and have maintained their traditional satoyama landscapes with the help of such human activities as growing and logging kunugi (Sawtooth Oak) trees, which are a raw material of charcoal.

Participants visited the Kurokawa district to learn the traditional way of satoyama maintenance through the practice of underbrush clearance.

In the morning, they listened to a lecture on preparedness and safety for maintenance work in satoyama and shared their opinions with each other, and in the afternoon experienced underbrush clearance, a necessary step for satoyama maintenance, at kunugi-planted spots in the Tutuanna Forest, which a company has created on its own initiative.

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4th Session on Sat., August 23, 2014

Maruyama wetlands, located in the northern part of Takarazuka City, are among the largest and richest in biodiversity in Hyogo Prefecture. In April 2014, these wetlands were designated as a natural monument by the Takarazuka City Board of Education.

It is thought that human use of satoyama forests caused nearby areas to become so bald that loose silty soil there flowed down into the gentle valley, resulting in the full-scale development of Maruyama wetlands beginning in the Edo period. These wetlands are very unique nationwide in that the human use of satoyama forests triggered their development.

A memorial seminar for the designation of Maruyama wetlands as a natural monument was held for the general public in collaboration among Hyogo Prefecture’s Hanshin-kita District Administration Office, Takarazuka City, the Hokusetsu Satoyama Museum Steering Council, and Muko-gawa Basin Environmental Conservation Council. As this seminar was also the 4th session of the Hokusetsu Satoyama College, its participants attended the seminar.

In the morning, participants listened to seminar-style lecturers by experts on 1) the features and appeal of Maruyama wetlands, 2) vegetation management for conservation of Maruyama wetlands, 3) efforts toward sustainable conservation of the wetlands, and 4) the appeal and conservation of wetlands in the Hokusetsu and other regions. In the afternoon, they attended an on-site explanation by seminar lecturers at Maruyama wetlands. (Some participants experienced a vegetation survey of pecteilis radiata*.)

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*: Pecteilis radiata is plant that grows in sunny wetlands, and blooms white flowers like Egret has spread its wing.

5th Session on Sat., September 20, 2014

The satoyama forests in the Kurokawa district of Kawanishi City, renowned as “Japan’s No. 1 satoyama,” are the only example in Japan of satoyama that have been sufficiently maintained and conserved as they traditionally were; our participants attended a study tour of a genuine (traditional) satoyama.

They not only listened to the explanations by experts of the distinguished features of Japan’s No. 1 satoyama (landscapes, history, culture, and biodiversity), but also observed with their own eyes Japan’s only surviving example of traditional patchworked satoyama landscapes, kikuzumi (chrysanthemum-shaped charcoal) production with its own history and culture, and the biodiversity seen in daiba kunugi*. Moreover, they visited kikuzumi producers and grassroots organizations working in the Kurokawa district to deepen their understanding of traditional satoyama.

*: Sawtooth Oak which was cut the stem at the ground 1-2m to obtain a material to make charcoal, and has
become a stocky form by repetition of felling of new stem

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6th Session on Sat., October 11, 2014

Satoyama are important local resources in terms of the conservation of biodiversity, and the Hokusetsu region has seen a wide variety of conservation activities being undertaken. Hyogo Prefecture views satoyama forests as “environmental and cultural forests aimed at the harmonious co-existence of humans and nature,” and is engaging in a satoyama management approach called the “Hyogo approach,”* which is attracting nationwide attention as a pioneering one. Actual implementation of the Hyogo approach in the Hokusetsu region has led to diverse welcome achievements, including plants of about 40 kinds, such as kasumi-zakura (prunus verecundas) and yama-tsutsuji (torch azaleas), growing wild there, and increased hime-kan’aoi (wild gingers), on which Gifu butterflies grow.

The conservation of satoyama requires us to consider the desirable condition of the satoyama that is targted and the desirable maintenance approach for that purpose. Furthermore, this consideration involves numerical evaluation of the satoyama’s current condition.

In this session, our participants visited Hyogo Prefectural Arima Fuji Park in Sanda City, which has adopted the Hyogo approach* and is now renowned as an “advanced satoyama,” to learn through lectures and practice the Hyogo approach and the park’s specific survey methods (for plant observation, measurement of every tree, and vegetation survey). Moreover, our participants heard about the efforts of organizations working there.

* Continued improvement cutting of evergreen broad-leaved trees, bamboo grasses, etc., in abandoned satoyama forests with the aim of nurturing the forests to be biodiverse summer-green high forests

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7th Session on Sun., November 30, 2014

Satoyama forests in the Hokusetsu region, located near urban areas, are unique in that they have maintained their traditional satoyama landscapes and contain valuable spaces filled with various virtues, such as history, culture, and biodiversity, as well as in that many citizens in this region are taking part in a wide range of activities related to the Hokusetsu satoyama forests.

With the aim of sustainably conserving the Hokusetsu satoyama forests and vitalizing the Hokusetsu region through further encouragement of these grassroots activities to make the best use of unnoticed and untapped resources (material or non-material) and to discover a new value (role) of satoyama in contemporary society, the Hanshin-kita District Administration Office of Hyogo Prefecture has been undertaking the Hokusetsu Satoyama Museum (Community-as-a-Museum) project in cooperation with related cities and towns, academics, citizens, private enterprises, and other parties since 2012.

Meanwhile, international society has recognized the concept “SATOYAMA” since Japan’s Ministry of Environment announced the SATOYAMA initiative at the 10th Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) held in October 2010, leading to global approaches toward the conservation of the secondary natural environment (satoyama), which is formed and maintained through the relationship between humans and nature.

In response to changing situations in international and domestic societies, we held an international symposium as the starting point of our approach toward further promotion of the activities that we have undertaken in the Hokusetsu region and toward participation in the International Partnership for the SATOYAMA Initiative (IPSI) to raise Hokusetsu satoyama to be
“world-leading satoyama.”

This symposium was held in collaboration with Hyogo Prefecture’s Hanshin-kita Administration Office, the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN), the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), and the Hokusetsu Satoyama Museum Steering Council. Our participants attended this symposium as the 7th session of Hokusetsu Satoyama College. (For more details of the symposium, see the attachment.)

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Contents of the international symposium

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8th Session on Sat., December 20, 2014

In the 8th session, our participants visited Koya-ike Park, which is one of the most important destinations of migratory birds in the Kansai region and was selected as one of the Hokusetsu Satoyama 30.

Koya-ike Park is attracting public attention because it, as a “machinaka (urban) satoyama park (satoyama where is in urban area)”, has offered a place for satoyama building through partnerships between administrative bodies and citizens, involving various activities, such as kunugi (Sawtooth Oak) planting, the creation of firefly habitats, and environmental improvement for the restoration of rare species, including gorgon water lilies.

While conducting observations around the park, our participants learned vegetation management in the park from grassroots organization members, and listened to experts’ explanations on insects and wild birds, which are closely linked to satoyama conservation.

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9th Session on Sat., January 17, 2015

In the 9th session, our participants planted kunugi (Sawtooth Oak) seedlings in the Tutuanna Forest, where they cleared underbrush in the third session, and experienced the preparation of bed logs for shiitake mushrooms, a satoyama product.

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10th Session on Sat., February 7, 2015

In the 10th session, our participants themselves organized a workshop to review the classes they had attended at Hokusetsu Satoyama College and to discuss with each other many subjects, including sustainable conservation of satoyama forests. (They intended to develop the results of this discussion into presentations to be given in the next session.)

Unlike the previous sessions, where they had experienced lectures, fieldwork and practice, the final two sessions provided them with opportunities to express their own ideas and develop them into presentations. (This ability to share ideas with other people is probably important for future satoyama conservation leaders.)

All the participants were divided into small groups to hold discussions, and people from the Hyogo Forest Enhancement Center and Hokusetsu Satoyama Leader Training Session alumni supported them in this workshop.

In this workshop, participants mainly discussed the following themes:

  1. Evaluation of Hokusetsu Satoyama Leader Training Session
  2. Expectations for Hokusetsu Satoyama Leader Training Session
  3. Challenges for satoyama
  4. Sustainable conservation of satoyama forests

Challenges shown from each group were summarized in the following four challenges.

  1. Utilization of Satoyama
  2. Economic Value
  3. Human resource development (ensure) for the conversation of Satoyama
  4. Publicity about Satoyama

Four challenges were discussed in each group, and each group of participants gave a presentation in the next session.

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11th Session on Sat., February 14, 2015

In this final session, each group of participants gave a presentation on the results and achievements of their discussion in the 10th session, and people from the Hyogo Forest Enhancement Center offered an overall summary and comments.

After that, they listened to two presentations of case studies about the utilization of satoyama resources, and exchanged ideas on how to make the best use of satoyama resources and on the way to address challenges.

Finally, Dr. Tamotsu Hattori, President of Hokusetsu Satoyama College and Professor Emeritus at the University of Hyogo, awarded each participant a certificate of completion, and a networking party followed.

Number of participants in FY2014: 23 people (Among them, 18 people completed the curriculum.)

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4. Facts on Hokusetsu Satoyama College Participants

1) Change in the number of participants

Hokusetsu Satoyama College started offering its curriculum in fiscal 2012, and FY2014 marked the third term.

Although the maximum number of participants was set at 25, the actual numbers of participants of the three years are as indicated below.

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2) Number of participants by age group

The annual numbers of participants by age group are indicated below. People in their 60s accounted for nearly half of all the participants.

The average ages of participants were 55 in fiscal 2012, 57 in fiscal 2013, and 58 in fiscal 2014.

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3) Number of participants by gender

The annual numbers of participants by gender are as indicated below. The percentages of male participants are overwhelmingly higher: 78% in fiscal 2012, 77% in fiscal 2013, and 91% in fiscal 2014.

As the role of women in further promotion of satoyama conservation activities will be important, we should figure out a way to increase the number of female participants.

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4) Number of participants by affiliation

Participants from satoyama conservation organizations amount to one third to half of all the participants. It can be said that the college is contributing to human resources development for these organizations.

As a certain number of people from the general public have constantly participated in this college, we have to motivate this kind of people to participate in actual satoyama conservation activities.

Among the FY 2013 participants who completed the whole curriculum, 12 people expressed the hope of joining a satoyama-related organization.

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5) Number of participants by area of residence

Participants who live in Takarazuka, Kawanishi, and Sanda Cities, within the precinct of the Hanshin-kita District Administration Office, accounted for 56 to 67% of all participants, and more generally, most of the participants are from areas between Kobe and Osaka.

We need to make efforts to increase the number of participants from outside the Hanshin area.

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6) Voices of participants

A questionnaire survey of the FY2013 participants after completion revealed the following findings:

i) 95% of participants felt satisfied.

To the question “How was the Hokusetsu Satoyama College in general for you in retrospect?” 63% of participants responded with “Very good,” and 32% with “Good.”

ii) 100% of participants want to recommend this college to other people.

To the question “Do you want to recommend Hokusetsu Satoyama College in general to other people?” 100% of participants responded with “Yes, I do.”

iii) “Lectures and experience are nicely balanced. Experience is certainly important, but you cannot undertake any activities without basic knowledge.”

vi) “I hope you will provide more opportunities to develop relationships among participants.”

6. Conclusion

Since 2012, Hokusetsu Satoyama Leader Training Session has, in the fields of all Hokusetsu satoyama areas, developed human resources for conserving the Hokusetsu satoyama forests and vitalizing local communities through its entire curriculum, ranging from introductory lectures to application classes focusing on practice, which provide participants with opportunities to listen to, look at, and experience satoyama and satoyama people, and share with other people their ideas about satoyama. We have achieved acceptable results, and we hope to further advance this project through the improvement of our curriculum, through partnership with a wide range of people, including our alumni, experts, and grassroots organizations, and through other measures.