Call for Papers: Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review Volume 10


The United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) is pleased to announce a call for papers for the tenth volume of the “Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review” book series. The tenth volume will feature the theme “Ensuring ecological connectivity in socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS)”. We invite authors from member organisations of the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) who have case studies relevant to this theme, to submit a manuscript following the guidance provided below.


About the “Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review”:

The Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review is a compilation of case studies providing useful knowledge and lessons focused on a specific theme related to “socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS)”. The overall aim is to collect practical experiences and relevant knowledge built from on-the-ground management activities and contribute to policy recommendations. Each volume also includes a synthesis chapter clarifying the volume’s relevance to policy and academic discussions to encourage the application of lessons learned in the field. Like the last four volumes, Volume 10 will be published by Springer. See the previous nine volumes below.


“Ensuring ecological connectivity in socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS)” With this volume we will highlight how the efforts in managing SEPLS can ensure and enhance quality of ecological connectivity and help to operationalize it in spatial planning and management. Landscape approaches practiced in the management of SEPLS enable a process to optimize the spatial patterns of natural and socio-economic elements on a landscape or seascape scale while ensuring ecological connectivity for the benefits of people and nature. This volume will look at the strategies and approaches by which multiple stakeholders collaboratively minimize trade-offs and maximize synergies and ensure quality of ecological connectivity to achieve more effective, sustainable, and equitable processes of landscape and seascape planning management.



Ecological connectivity underpins crucial ecological processes, retaining the functionality of ecosystems across biomes, habitats, and spatial scales.[1], [2] Key ecological features derived from connectivity include maintenance of genetic diversity, pollination, seed dispersal, energy flow, nutrient cycling, and disease control. As such ecological connectivity is essential for the survival of wild animals and plant species and importantly their migration. It also supports climate change mitigation and adaptation by allowing for persistence and recovery of flora and fauna through the dispersal and movement of organisms and materials in response to a variety of environmental changes.[1][3]

With the increased understanding that conventional policies based on preservation of listed species and protected areas are insufficient to curve the current trends of biodiversity loss, the concept of ecological connectivity has gained attention in the domain of conservation policies.[4] The traditional provisions for nature protection (e.g., nature reserves, Birds and Habitats Directives) can be effective in protecting large spaces of remarkable nature and preserving heritage species but are often limited in conserving ordinary biodiversity subjective to anthropogenic pressure, leading to landscape fragmentation. 

In this context, in 2010 the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted a Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, where the importance of ecological connectivity was enshrined in Aichi Target 11. This target calls for the conservation of at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas as well as 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services by 2020 through “effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems” of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs or conserved areas) to be “integrated into the wider landscape and seascape”.[5] It thus articulated the need not only to expand the areal extent of protected and conserved areas but also to ensure and enhance the quality of their management as systems for the achievement of the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity: living in harmony with nature. 

However, progress made on the connectivity element of Aichi Target 11 has been limited.[6][7] Despite the achievement of protecting 17% of the terrestrial surface globally, the protected area considered connected accounts for only 7%.[8] In particular, the areas that are most globally important for mammal movement continue to be unprotected, whereas 71% of them overlap with global priority areas for biodiversity.[9] Furthermore, the planning process of marine protected areas (MPAs) often neglects or oversimplifies an assessment of connectivity as it has only recently been added to the objectives of many MPAs.[10] Among 746 MPAs examined as those located in 6 countries or regions with advanced marine spatial planning (i.e., Australia, California, Canada, France, Hawaii and the UK), only 11% took into account connectivity as a criterion for selection and design but increasingly so particularly after 2007.[11] 

In view of even worsening global environmental crises that require meeting emergencies for biodiversity and climate change jointly, the global target was expanded to protect and conserve at least 30% of the world’s lands and waters by 2030 in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) that was adopted at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD in December 2022.[12] Given the urgencies to address the challenges, this so-called “30×30” target was set out to take a grand step to pursue nature-positive pathways by rapidly scaling-up efforts in protecting and conserving land, sea, and freshwater ecosystems around the world, wherein the importance of ecological connectivity is reiterated. Furthermore, given the increasing needs to prioritize ecological connectivity in order to facilitate larger-scale ecosystem functionality and fortify the safety net for biodiversity in the climate change era,[12] the profile of ecological connectivity has been uplifted in the GBF within which the notions associated with ecological connectivity (e.g., spatial planning, integrity, connectivity) have been incorporated throughout the overarching 2050 Goals (e.g., Goal A) and multiple 2030 targets (e.g., Targets 1, 2, 3, and 11).[1] 

Although the ambitious global goals and targets have been set out, how to ensure quality of ecological connectivity continues to be a challenge. The challenge entails both conceptual and methodological dimensions. As agreed internationally, ecological connectivity is defined as “the unimpeded movement of species and the flow of natural processes that sustain life on Earth.”[13] However, it is conceptualized in varied ways by different people across scales and times and used differently in various disciplines.[14][15] For instance, some may be concerned with connectivity to enable or enhance the movement of charismatic species for the purpose of promotion of ecotourism, while others may value connectivity that allows for propagule dispersal and fish spawning aggregations to design marine protected areas through conservation of linked reefs. They thus refer to different phenomena as connectivity, which could be distinctive or even conflicting with each other. Consequently, conservation decisions may give rise trade-offs among stakeholders who may value different types or dimensions of connectivity, impeding a unified approach to operationalize it in spatial planning and management.[14] 

This broad, complex, and value-laden conceptualization has methodological implications for how to measure ecological connectivity, assess its ecological functions and benefits and deal with trade-offs. Certain kinds of connectivity may allow or accelerate species movements that have negative impacts on native ecosystems through biological invasions.[3] Conversely, fragmentation of ecosystems can exacerbate the impacts of either abrupt or progressive natural disturbances (e.g., floods, wildfires, heat waves) and may hamper socio-economic and cultural resources to be renewed at a landscape or seascape level.[15] These outcomes appear to be unevenly distributed across different demographics and geographies, causing or amplifying the inequities that those most vulnerable or disadvantaged often confront more severely.[15] 

In this connection, the tenth session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) held in earlier 2023 agreed to undertake a methodological assessment of integrated biodiversity-inclusive spatial planning and ecological connectivity (hereafter called “ecological connectivity assessment”). This assessment is being designed as a fast-track two-year process to timely provide information for the implementation of the GBF, particularly its targets 1 (spatial planning), 2 (ecosystem restoration) and 3 (protected and conserved areas).[16] The requests for the assessment from the plenary include addressing an information gap concerning spatial planning measures to support conservation, restoration and ecological connectivity, assessing corridor connectivity, landscape mosaics and spatial patterns and planning as contributions to effective conservation of biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people, and assessing knowledge gaps for planning and investing in climate-ready marine fisheries and marine protected areas, among others.[16] 

As an integrated way to promote both conservation and development in a given area, landscape approaches facilitate a process to optimize the spatial patterns of natural and socio-economic factors by endangering and designing ecological connectivity for socially and ecologically sound outcomes. Such approaches have been practiced through managing SEPLS with involvement of a range of stakeholders who negotiate and collaborate on their valued connectivity at a landscape or seascape level. In this respect, many case studies from IPSI partners demonstrate how to minimize trade-offs and maximize synergies between multiple associated factors by ensuring quality of ecological connectivity on a landscape or seascape scale. Hinging on local and regional perspectives, they also showcase the roles of land/seascape stewardship in enhancing ecological connectivity, while providing practical insights into more effective, sustainable, and equitable processes to operationalize connectivity in spatial planning and management.


The Satoyama Initiative Thematic Review Vol. 10

This volume will focus on the relevance of SEPLS to aspects of ecological connectivity and integrated biodiversity-inclusive spatial planning. Cases to be included in the volume may highlight the roles, attitudes, motivations, and actions of multiple stakeholders, including smallholders, Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and others in ensuring and enhancing quality of ecological connectivity through their work in SEPLS. They are also expected to provide insights on how the SEPLS management efforts can contribute to the relevant local, national and global policymaking and implementation through operationalizing ecological connectivity in spatial planning and management in a more effective, sustainable and equitable manner. Furthermore, it is intended to offer useful knowledge and information for the projected IPBES ecological connectivity assessment, while feeding into the implementation of the new IPSI Strategy and Plan of Action for 2023-2030, particularly one of its five strategic objectives, namely “Area-Based Conservation Measures”. 

IPSI partners are invited to contribute case studies related to this theme, demonstrating experiences and insights on, among others:

  • What and how multiple benefits derived through SEPLS management have helped to ensure and enhance aspects of ecological connectivity? 
  • Are there any trade-offs and synergies among efforts to attain quality of ecological connectivity in managing SEPLS? If so, what are they, and who has been losing or winning? 
  • How can you measure ecological connectivity, assess its ecological functions and benefits, and examine related trade-offs and synergies through managing SEPLS? 
  • How has the SEPLS management in your area helped in operationalizing ecological connectivity in spatial planning and management and making the processes more effective, sustainable, and equitable?
  • Has local and traditional knowledge and cultural diversity helped to ensure and enhance quality of ecological connectivity for socially and ecological sound outcomes? If so, how?

How to submit a manuscript and what happens after submission:


Authors are invited to submit a paper if at least one of the authors belongs to an IPSI member organisation. (See



Authors are requested to submit an abstract (400 words) to the IPSI Secretariat by email ( by 19 January 2024. Submission of a full manuscript should be made before 8 March 2024, after receiving confirmation from the editorial team. Authors are requested to follow the Authors’ Guide and the reference style and are encouraged to use the Template for Manuscripts. After screening, selected authors will be informed in April 2024 and then invited to a Case Study Workshop planned to be held virtually or in person in June or July 2024. This Case Study Workshop will offer an opportunity for getting feedback on manuscripts and discussion among participants for development of a synthesis paper to be included in the volume.


Timeline (dates are subject to change):

19 January 2024:        Deadline for submission of abstracts (400 words)

8 March 2024:             Deadline for submission of full manuscripts

April 2024:                   Notification of selected authors

June or July 2024:      Selected authors participate in Case Study Workshop (virtual or in-person)

September 2024:         Submission of revised manuscripts

March or April 2025:    Publication


Related documents:

For inquiries, please contact…

Dr. Maiko Nishi at the IPSI Secretariat (

[1] Lemieux, C. J., Beazley, K. F., MacKinnon, D., Wright, P., Kraus, D., Pither, R., Crawford, L., Jacob, A.L., & Hilty, J. (2022). Transformational changes for achieving the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework ecological connectivity goals. FACETS.

[2] IPBES/9/INF/27

[3] Berkström, C., Wennerström, L., & Bergström, U. (2022). Ecological connectivity of the marine protected area network in the Baltic Sea, Kattegat and Skagerrak: Current knowledge and management needs. Ambio, 51(6), 1485-1503.

[4] Perrin, M., Bertrand, N., & Vanpeene, S. (2022). Ecological connectivity in spatial planning: From the EU framework to its territorial implementation in the French context. Environmental Science & Policy, 129, 118-125.

[5] CBD (2010). Strategic plan for biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets “Living in Harmony with Nature. Available at

[6]Gannon, P., Dubois, G., Dudley, N., Ervin, J., Ferrier, S., Gidda, S., Mackinnon, K., Richardson, K., Schmidt, M., Seyoum-Edjigu, E., & Shestakov, A. (2019). Editorial Essay: An update on progress towards Aichi biodiversity target 11. Parks, 25(2), 7-18.

[7] Maxwell, S.L., Cazalis, V., Dudley, N. et al. Area-based conservation in the twenty-first century. Nature 586, 217–227 (2020).

[8] UNEP-WCMC IUCN and NGS. (2021). Protected planet report 2020: tracking progress towards global targets for protected and conserved areas. Available at

[9] Brennan, A., Naidoo, R., Greenstreet, L., Mehrabi, Z., Ramankutty, N., & Kremen, C. (2022). Functional connectivity of the world’s protected areas. Science, 376(6597), 1101-1104.

[10] Roberts, K. E., Cook, C. N., Beher, J., & Treml, E. A. (2021). Assessing the current state of ecological connectivity in a large marine protected area system. Conservation Biology, 35(2), 699-710.

[11] Balbar, A. C., & Metaxas, A. (2019). The current application of ecological connectivity in the design of marine protected areas. Global Ecology and Conservation, 17, e00569.

[12] Oppler, G., Hilty, J. A., Laur, A. T., & Tabor, G. (2021). Connectivity conservation: The time is now. In Parks Stewardship Forum (Vol. 37, No. 3).

[13] Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). (2020). Improving ways of addressing connectivity in the conservation of migratory species, resolution 12.26 (REV.COP13), Gandhinagar, India (17–22 February 2020). Available at

[14] Beger, M., Metaxas, A., Balbar, A. C., McGowan, J. A., Daigle, R., Kuempel, C. D., … & Possingham, H. P. (2022). Demystifying ecological connectivity for actionable spatial conservation planning. Trends in Ecology & Evolution.

[15] Butler, E. P., Bliss-Ketchum, L. L., de Rivera, C. E., Dissanayake, S. T., Hardy, C. L., Horn, D. A., … & Wallace, H. (2022). Habitat, geophysical, and eco-social connectivity: benefits of resilient socio–ecological landscapes. Landscape Ecology, 1-29.

[16] IPBES/10/10