IPSI Logo and Winter title newsletter
Dear IPSI members and friends,

We are saddened to announce the passing of our friend and colleague, John Leigh, a member of the IPSI Steering Committee. We would like to dedicate this issue to John.
Welcome to the Winter Newsletter. Below are some highlights of what you will find in this seasonal edition:
  • New IPSI Members
  • New Collaborative Activities
  • Open Call: Nominations for the Equator Prize 2023
  • And more
Contact us to submit case studies and news about your activities.

- IPSI Secretariat

John Leigh, IPSI Steering Committee Member, Has Sadly Passed Away

John Leigh photo by IISD_ENB_Mike Muzurakis

Photo by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis

We are saddened to announce the passing of Mr. John Leigh on Sunday, February 12th, 2023 in Lima, Peru at the age of 69. John was a great friend to many in the IPSI community, having served on the Steering Committee for many years, first as representative of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), and then the Association for the Agroindustry Development in Camana (APAIC).
John was the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of APAIC, where he created many partnerships with NGOs and international organizations. Prior to APAIC, he was Conservation Officer at ITTO from 1992 to 2016, and Executive Director of Peru’s National Forestry and Wildlife Service from 2016 to 2019. Colleagues say that he filled any meeting room with his strong personality and was always ready to contribute, expressing his insights with pros and cons always in a very polite manner and with a permanent sense of good humour. His friends describe him as eternally young and always most welcoming wherever he went.

John’s hopes and accomplishments were not about material things. He dreamed of, and realized, many achievements, from simple and humble ones to great accomplishments in conservation. Among these were the many IPSI Collaborative Activities that he implemented and shared with the partnership, including his very impressive work restoring degraded landscapes in southern Peru. Full of enthusiasm and energy, nothing was impossible when he set his mind to it. A proud Peruvian, he enjoyed good food, music, traveling, enjoying the scenery, and taking pictures that he liked to share with friends and the whole community.

We believe he would like to be remembered as a good friend and father who always tried to make the people around him happy, always proud of his loving family to whom he dedicated all efforts and thoughts. We at the Secretariat join the large number of friends within the IPSI community, as well as the whole forest conservation community, friends, and colleagues who have expressed how much we will miss him, and our hope that he will rest in peace.

John at field activities for APAIC. Photos below by APAIC

John Leigh APAIC
John Leigh APAIC 2 cropped

Message from John’s Family

John was honest, kind, adventurous and fun. He was passionate about his family, and being the eldest and only son in his family, he was a pillar not only for his wife and two children but also for his siblings, nieces and nephews. He valued his many friendships and never missed gatherings. His favourite pastimes included spending time at the beach, tending to his orchids, birdwatching and listening to classic rock and blues. He was proud of his children, Vanessa and James. He was proud of the beach house he designed in the north of Peru. The ornaments in the home reflect not only his personality, but his experiences, travels and love for nature. He was proud of his passion project in Camaná, a reverse desertification project, brought to life through his lifelong dedication to environmentalism.

Messages from Steering Committee Members

  • The news about the passing of our friend and compatriot John Leigh is a sad one. As a colleague in the Biodiversity fraternity, John discharged his duties with precision. I am very sad to lose him like that without notice. John was like a brother to me. He was open to discussions on many of these daunting tasks at IPSI. His contributions to the development of the strategic plan is unparalleled. His views were always concise and to the point. He will be sorely missed. I pray for the repose of his gentle soul and for the family he has left behind.
- Alfred Oteng-Yeboah, Chair of the IPSI Steering Committee

  • John had been a dedicated and valued member of IPSI, and significantly contributed to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity at national, regional and global levels. He will be missed so much. May his soul rest in peace.
- Wataru Suzuki, on behalf of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity

  • Dear John, many thanks for your invaluable contributions to the Satoyama Initiative and for your witty sense of humour and friendship. I will always treasure your smile and positive attitude to life!
- Maurizio Farhan Ferrari, on behalf of Forest Peoples Programme

  • It is with great sorrow to know his passing. His friendship, insight, and contribution to the IPSI including, his participation in the Kumamoto workshop, will be greatly missed. My deepest condolence to his family.
- Ichiro Hama, on behalf of Biodiversity Strategy Office,
Ministry of the Environment Japan

  • I am sure I speak for everyone in the IPSI community who ever met John when I say the news of his passing comes as a terrible shock. He was a great colleague on the IPSI Steering Committee, and an even better friend. Those of us who worked with him were always impressed by his skill and enthusiasm in contributing to IPSI and CBD events, whether by serving as a facilitator or sharing expertise from his long years of experience in conservation. More personally, I have great memories of spending time with John at venues around the world, sometimes drinking wine late into the night. He put as much of himself into enjoying life as he did into working to protect nature, and he will be sorely missed.
-William Dunbar, on behalf of Conservation International
The IPSI Secretariat would like to express our gratitude to John’s family, Jorge Malleux (President, APAIC), and William Dunbar (Project Manager, Conservation International) for their help in creating this tribute.

Welcome New Members!

We are pleased to announce that the IPSI Steering Committee recently endorsed six new member organisations. Making the number of IPSI members 298!

Non-Governmental or Civil Society Organisations
National or Local Governmental Organisation
Industry or Private Sector Organisation

Endorsed Collaborative Activities

The Steering Committee approved two new IPSI Collaborative Activities, bringing the total number of activities to 60! The new activities are:

Nominations for the Equator Prize Are Open

Equator Prize 2023 Newsletter banner
📢 Nominations for the #EquatorPrize 2023 are now open!

The UN Development Programme is now accepting nominations for community-based initiatives that are using nature-based solutions and #localaction to:

🌍 Create a planetary safety net
🌳 Redefine our relationship with nature
💲Create a new green economy for people and planet

Special consideration for initiatives on ecosystem integrity, intergenerational equity and gender equality.

Go to the link below to learn how to nominate, who is eligible and what your organization could win. Nominate by March 20th!
nature in city newsletter

SDGs symposium 2023 - Cities and nature: exploring linkages and designing solutions for sustainability

The symposium will explore intersections between cities and nature, both in terms of how cities and urban activities affect nature, as well as how nature can help solve urban challenges.
Co-hosted by the University of Tokyo and Springer Nature.

28 February 2023 / 15:00 – 16:00 JST
Online / The University of Tokyo
peatlands newsletter

Seminar - Making visible the invisible: making peatlands centre stage

If managed properly, peatlands can store carbon, but become carbon emitters if drained. The seminar will discuss the challenges of living and working within the limits of the ecosystems around us, focusing on peatlands. Hosted by IPSI member Chuo University.
Register here

6 March 2023 / 15:00 – 17:00
Online / Chuo University

Nature for Life Hub Features IPSI Publication on Biodiversity, Health, and Sustainability

SITR7 Video Newsletter Banner
The 2022 Nature for Life Hub brought together governments, non-profit organisations, civil society, businesses, indigenous peoples, and youth, for a three-day virtual event that highlighted transformative actions for a nature-positive future. The IPSI Secretariat and UNU-IAS produced a video featuring the most recent volume of the Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review, Biodiversity-Health-Sustainability Nexus in Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes (SEPLS).

Read the news here.

First-Ever Inception Workshop Convenes Recipients of SDM 2022

Workshop pic edited
On 30 January 2023, the SDM Secretariat, hosted by IGES, and UNU-IAS co-organised the first-ever Satoyama Development Mechanism (SDM) Inception Workshop. The workshop briefed project leaders on SDM implementation and reporting procedures. In addition, it offered participants an opportunity to network with fellow IPSI members.

The Satoyama Development Mechanism (SDM) is an IPSI collaborative activity that provides seed funding to IPSI activities. The 2022 open call for proposals announced important changes to SDM’s modality, including more funding per project, aligning priority areas with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, and introducing the inception and project completion workshops.

Read the news here.

Farewell Message from IPSI Secretariat Staff: Bruno Leles

Dear IPSI members and colleagues,

It has been a privilege to be part of the IPSI family. Since joining the UNU during a challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was welcomed by a wonderful group of colleagues and IPSI members from all over the world that never let me feel tired and lonely.

You have touched my heart and inspired me to find solutions to keep our partnership productive and responsive to the many challenges we have faced in recent years. From you, I learned how the SEPLS concept supported actions to fight the spread of COVID-19, enhancing links among biodiversity, health and sustainability; how local governments can inspire the youth to reinvent sustainable landscapes, merging innovation and tradition; and how the Satoyama Initiative evolved from an idea in 2010 to a large partnership of almost 300 members in over 70 countries. With you, I had the immense pleasure of starting the discussion of what lies ahead for the partnership in this new decade and supporting the transfer of your vast knowledge to the negotiations of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

More than ever, I am convinced that enhancing sustainability and biodiversity conservation in production landscapes is the key to living in harmony with nature. Thus, inspired by you, I accepted, last year, the challenge of leaving IPSI and joining the IPBES Secretariat to support the thematic assessment of the interlinkages among biodiversity, water, food and health. In this new capacity, I will be able to dive deep into the science behind the nexus response options to sustainability, and to keep working with many of you as IPBES experts and stakeholders.

I look forward to staying connected and hearing updates about your achievements. We can prevent the biodiversity crisis by working together for better science and policy. You can count on me in this fight.

Warm regards,

Bridging Between Owners and Users in Japan’s Private Property Regime: The Case of Farmland Banking

Published in the book The Political Economy of Land, this chapter, written by Dr Maiko Nishi (Research Fellow, IPSI Secretariat), examines how the rights to farmland in Japan have been rearranged through the adoption of a Farmland Banking system meant to mitigate a severe drop in the farming population and large-scale farmland abandonment since the 1980s. This system gives prefectural governments new power to sublet privately owned farmland to third parties and facilitate farmland aggregation.

The Politics of Adaptiveness in Agroecosystems and its Role in Transformations to Sustainable Food Systems

Published in the Earth System Governance journal and co-written by Suneetha Subramanian (Research Fellow, IPSI Secretariat), the article reviews the recent paradigm of governing adaptiveness in agroecosystems—including a key paradigm the landscape concept—and identifies the gaps and potential of this paradigm for governing the transformation of agroecosystems towards sustainable food systems.

Cooperative of Farmers’ Association with Communities for Ecological and Organic Scale Production of Rice Industry

Fig. 10

The local agricultural products with the “Black-winged Kite” brand (Image source: Wu-Feng District Farmers’ Association)

Recent case study submitted by Soil and Water Conservation Bureau (SWCB) Council of Agriculture Executive Yuan, R.O.C.

Wu Feng District is a famous agricultural district in Chinese Taipei. However, low farmers' incomes and excessive use of pesticides have been thorny problems hindering regional development. This raised concerns about resolving conflicts between farmers and protecting the wildlife in farmland ecosystems.

Wu Feng Farmers' Association, Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Soil and Water Conservation Bureau, and National Chung Hsing University formed a multi-stakeholder platform to support farmers and protect farmland ecosystems. The platform enabled the community to approach transformations, particularly in increasing income and restoring ecosystems by changing farmers' perceptions and farming practices toward organic farming. The changes in the farmers' behaviour in organic agriculture and increased wildlife protection promoted the balance between local biodiversity conservation and agricultural economic prospects based on cross-discipline collaboration.

Let us know if there are any changes in your e-mail address or contact information.

Secretariat of the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative

United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)
5–53–70 Jingumae
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925

Tel: +81 3-5467-1212
Fax: +81 3-3499-2828
Email: isi@unu.edu

If you have been forwarded this newsletter and would like to SUBSCRIBE, you can do so on the IPSI website here.

Cover photo by Jeremiah Berman on Unsplash

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The activities of the IPSI Secretariat are made possible through the financial contribution of the Ministry of Environment, Government of Japan