IPSI Newsletter, June 2020


Dear IPSI members and friends,

Greetings from the IPSI Secretariat in Tokyo, Japan. IPSI and its members continue to stay active in a wide variety of projects and activities related to landscape and seascape approaches towards “societies in harmony with nature”, even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It is our greatest hope that you and your friends and family are staying safe and healthy during this difficult time.

This month’s newsletter contains updates from the recent meeting of the IPSI Steering Committee, where members discussed the future strategic direction of the partnership and also accepted nine new membership applications and endorsed four new IPSI collaborative activities. We also have news about the call for proposals for SDM 2020, reports from two recent online events related to World Oceans Day and World Environment Day, plus an announcement of a recent paper from IPSI member the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. Finally, we have an announcement that applications are open for United Nations University’s intensive core courses, and a call for contributions on indigenous and local knowledge from IPBES.

In addition to this news from IPSI, we also recently received the good news that Ms. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema has been named as Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). More about Ms. Mrema and her appointment is available on the CBD website here. Similarly, IPSI friend and Costa Rican Environment and Energy Minister Carlos Manuel Rodriguez has been selected as the next CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). More information can be found on the GEF website here. We have had good contacts with both of these appointees in the past, and we hope readers will join us in congratulating them as we look forward to working closely with them in the future.

As always, please feel free to contact us to submit any new case studies or other information about your activities, or if you have any questions or comments.

IPSI Secretariat

IPSI Welcomes Nine New Members

We are pleased to announce that at an online meeting in May 2020, the IPSI Steering Committee confirmed nine new member organizations, bringing IPSI’s total membership to 267 organizations. It is therefore our pleasure to welcome:

  • Advocates for Biodiversity Conservation (ABC-Ghana) (Non-governmental or civil society organization, Ghana)

  • Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research (Academic, educational, or research organization, Austria)
  • The Council of Promoting Biodiversity in Rice Paddies Connected to Lake Biwa (Other – collaboration between local government and related residents, Japan)

  • Nirmanie Development Foundation (NDF) (Indigenous or local community organization, Sri Lanka)

  • People Empowering & Development Alternatives (PEDA) International (Industry or private sector organization, Pakistan)

  • Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute (SDMRI) (Non-governmental or civil society organization, India)

  • Taiwan Landscape Environment Association (TLEA) (Non-governmental or civil society organization, Chinese Taipei)

  • Vellore Institute of Technology (Academic, educational and/or research institute, India)

  • VICAM: Vicuñas, Camélidos y Ambiente (Non-governmental or civil society organization, Argentina)

The new members, in addition to being involved in valuable projects in their own right, also help to increase IPSI’s strength by expanding our representation in under-represented areas. We look forward to collaborating closely with all of them in promoting the concept of the Satoyama Initiative in the future.

Four New IPSI Collaborative Activities Endorsed

IPSI Collaborative Activities are activities carried out by at least two IPSI members (possibly in collaboration with other organizations), and approved as such by the IPSI Steering Committee. At its online meeting this month, the IPSI Steering Committee approved the proposals for four new IPSI Collaborative Activities, bringing the total number of IPSI Collaborative Activities to 52.

The new activities are:

  • Mainstreaming of Taiwan Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (TPSI) in line with Taiwan Ecological Network (TEN) – by IPSI members National Dong Hwa University (NDHU); Environmental Ethics Foundation of Taiwan (EEFT); Fuli Farmers Association; Hualien District Agricultural Research and Extension Station (HDARES), Council of Agriculture; International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF); National Yunlin University of Science and Technology (YunTech); Observer Ecological Consultant Co.; Society for Wildlife and Nature (SWAN) International; Soil and Water Conservation Bureau (SWCB), Council of Agriculture; Taiwan Ecological Engineering Development Foundation (EEF); and Tse-Xin Organic Agriculture Foundation (TOAF), along with Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA); and Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute (TESRI), Council of Agriculture
  • New Futures for Satoyama: Innovation in Policy and Practice to Sustain Cultural Landscapes – by IPSI members the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI), University of Gloucestershire; United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS); and University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), along with Kyoto University; Gakushin Women’s College; NIBIO; Korean Rural Economics Institute (KREI); University of Frankfurt; AgroParisTech; Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology; University of Waterloo; University of Bern; CREA National Agricultural Economics Research Institute; Scotland’s Rural University College (SRUC); and USDA ARS
  • International Symposium on Mountain Studies: Satoyama Mountainscapes – by IPSI members University of Georgia, Department of Geography, Neotropical Montology Collaboratory; and University of Santiago de Compostela, along with International Geographical Union (IGU), Commission of Mountain Studies.
    Institute of Geography, National Autonomous University of Mexico; Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences; Mountain Research Center, University of Tsukuba; and Department of Geography, University of Istanbul
  • Enhancing Community Capacity for Livelihood Diversification through Mangrove Forest-based Products – by IPSI members Unnayan Onneshan and Forest Peoples Programme, along with Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development (RCE) Cha Am, with Secretariat at the Sirindhorn International Environmental Park (SIEP) Thailand

IPSI members are encouraged to propose any activities carried out in collaboration with other members as IPSI Collaborative Activities. This is a great opportunity to gain more attention for your activities and to improve IPSI’s functioning as a partnership, as well as to improve SEPLS management through knowledge sharing. Please contact the IPSI Secretariat if you have any activities that may be potential IPSI Collaborative Activities.

SDM 2020 Call for Proposals Now Open

The secretariat of the Satoyama Development Mechanism (SDM), an IPSI Collaborative Activity, has opened a call for proposals for SDM 2020. SDM is an IPSI collaborative activity that serves as a financing mechanism to facilitate the implementation of activities under IPSI. It provides grants of up to USD $10,000 to selected IPSI members each year for implementation of on-the-ground projects, meetings and workshops, research activities, and others. IPSI members are invitied to submit applications.

More information can be found on the SDM website 
here. If you have any questions regarding the SDM application, please contact the SDM Secretariat directly at sdm@iges.or.jp

Preparatory Events for 2020 UN Ocean Conference

The 2020 UN Ocean Conference, officially the “2020 United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but a number of preparatory events are being held through online seminars on and around World Oceans Day on 8 June. IPSI was recently represented at one such event, titled “Keeping the Momentum for Ocean Action: Asia-Pacific Participation and Engagement”, held on 3 June. The IPSI Secretariat’s Dr. Evonne Yiu spoke at the event, pointing out the importance of landscape and seascape approaches to integrated coastal management and the potential of the Satoyama Initiative for improving land-sea connectivity to help tackle issues ranging from marine pollution to biodiversity and climate change.

The IPSI Secretariat is particularly interested in hearing members’ concerns and interests concerning seascapes, so we would like to strongly encourage you to get in touch with any feedback or suggestions about what we as a partnership should be doing related to oceans and coastal biodiversity. Please let us know your thoughts!

More information on the event, including a video recording, can be found on the “Keeping the Momentum” series website here.

SEAMEO- UNESCO Joint Webinar on World Environment Day

IPSI was recently represented in a joint webinar held by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and UNESCO titled “COVID-19 Effects on Biodiversity: Science Education Reimagined”, held on 5 June, World Environment Day. The IPSI Secretariat’s Dr. Evonne Yiu, serving as a keynote speaker, explained the Satoyama Initiative as part of a discussion of “Biodiversity for One Health: Making Transformative Change through Education”. Dr. Yiu pointed out that the current COVID-19 pandemic is directly attributable to humans’ failure to live in harmony with nature, and the need for an all-society approach including all stakeholders and communities from landscape to global levels in order to reestablish a healthy relationship with nature and ensure human health.

More information on the webinar series is available on the SEAMEO website here, and the event can be viewed on YouTube here.

New Publication: Creating a space for place and multidimensional well-being: lessons learned from localizing the SDGs

A new article recently appeared in the journal Sustainability Science, written by colleagues at IPSI member the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation (CBC) and partners.

According to the article abstract, “Achieving sustainable development globally requires multilevel and interdisciplinary efforts and perspectives. Global goals shape priorities and actions at multiple scales, creating cascading impacts realized at the local level through the direction of financial resources and implementation of programs intended to achieve progress towards these metrics. We explore ways to localize global goals to best support human well-being and environmental health by systematically comparing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with regionally-derived well-being dimensions that encompass components of social–ecological resilience across the Pacific Islands. Our research shows that, in the context of the Pacific, there are overlaps but also significant gaps between regional conceptions of well-being and the globally-derived SDGs. … Creating space for place-based values in global sustainability planning aligns with international calls for transformational changes needed to achieve global goals.”

Readers are encouraged to read the whole article, as CBC is a very active IPSI member and has collaborated on creating a “Nature-Culture Indicators and Knowledge Systems Resource Directory” including the “Indicators of Resilience in Socio-ecological Production Landscapes and Seascapes” developed through IPSI collaborative activities, and the article should be of interest to anyone working with issues related to IPSI. The article is available from Sustainability Science here.


Applications Open: UNU Intensive Core Courses

The United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), host of the IPSI Secretariat, is currently accepting applications for its four-week UNU Intensive Core (UNU-IC) Courses to be held from 1-29 September 2020. The courses are designed to provide analyses of global issues from both theoretical and empirical perspectives and draw on the research projects undertaken at UNU-IAS and at various other United Nations University institutes located worldwide. Although advanced in nature, they are open to postgraduate students and professionals in various occupations who are not necessarily specialists in the field. The deadline for applications is Friday, 10 July 2020.

Details on the courses offered, requirements, and application procedure can be found here.

IPBES Call for Contributions on Indigenous and Local Knowledge

The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) has launched a “call for contributions on indigenous and local knowledge”, and readers with knowledge on this subject are encouraged to submit their contributions. These will provide input for the three ongoing IPBES assessments on: the sustainable use of wild species; diverse conceptualisations of multiple values of nature; and invasive alien species. According to IPBES: “We are hoping to receive materials that express community-based knowledge, practices, values, needs, and/or experiences related to one or more of the assessments. Materials can be submitted in national or local languages. We also welcome recommendations of individuals, communities, organizations and networks that could engage in the development of the assessments as reviewers or contributing authors.”

More information on the call for contributions, including how to contribute, is available on the IPBES website here.


Please be sure to let the Secretariat 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.