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.

Production of publication series “Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review”

Participating organizations (IPSI members): United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)

Activity Proposal


More than 80 IPSI case studies have been collected and analyzed, and are shared on the IPSI websiteand in the form of various publications, providing a wide range of knowledge covering diverse issues that SEPLS entail. Discussions have also been held to further strengthen IPSI’s knowledge-facilitation functions, with members suggesting that efforts should be made to produce knowledge on specific issues in SEPLS in order to make more targeted contributions to decision-makers and on-the-ground practitioners.

It is in this context UNU-IAS in collaboration with IGES initiated the project to produce the Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review. The overall aim of the Thematic Review is to collect experiences and relevant knowledge, especially from practitioners working on the ground, taking advantage of their potential for providing concrete and practical knowledge and information as well as contributing to policy recommendations.

Activities (including site locations if applicable)

The primary objective of the activity is to produce a publication “Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review” in a regular basis. There will be a specific theme set for each volume. Each volume will compile case studies from IPSI members and a synthesis chapter to clarify its relevance to policy and academic discussion and to help make lessons learned practical in the field. The publication will be disseminated widely through website and various occasions including IPSI’s events and other events such as CBD COP.

The publication is developed through a multi-stage process including both peer review and discussion among the authors. Authors have several opportunities to get feedback, which helps them to make their manuscripts more useful and easy to understand for readers. First, each manuscript receives comments from the editors relating primarily to their contributions to the theme of the volume. Peer review is then conducted by the authors of other chapters, with each author receiving feedback from approx. two other authors who were requested to comment on whether the manuscript was easy to understand and informative, provided useful lessons, and so on. The workshop is then held to enable the exchange of feedback between authors. Here, the authors presents their case studies and receives comments both from the two designated reviewers and from the other workshop participants. The workshop also serves as a place for discussion to further deepen understanding on the theme and to extract findings across all the case studies. A synthesis chapter is developed from the presentations and discussions during the workshop, and the chapter is made available for review by authors and selected experts before finalization.

Expected outcomes

The publication provides information and insights on sustainable management of SEPLS from various perspectives for practitioners, researchers and policymakers. The process used for developing the publication offers an opportunity for authors from both academic and non-academic organizations to contribute to knowledge-building in an accessible and interactive way, as well as to provide high-quality papers written in simple language for academics and a broader audience alike.

Actors and task sharing

UNU-IAS and IGES operate the publication process.

Authors from IPSI member organizations develop a chapter manuscript, review manuscripts of other authors, take part in the workshop, and give inputs to a synthesis chapter manuscript.

How the activity relates to the IPSI Strategy and IPSI Plan of Action

The publication contributes to Strategic Objective 1 as it provides focused knowledge on SEPLS with each volume having a specific theme. It also contributes to wider dissemination of such knowledge, also included in Strategic Objective 1. The process used for developing a publication also contributes capacity building of the authors, which is related to Strategic Objective 4.

Resources, funding

The activity is self-funded by the participating organizations (UNU-IAS and IGES) as agreed between them.