Coverage of Selected Side Events at the 2020 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF 2020) - enb.iisd

Held on the sidelines of the 2020 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), this virtual event highlighted the Satoyama Initiative. It focused on the ways in which the Initiative helps protect the planet and build resilience, advance well-being and share nature’s benefits, and foster partnerships.

 

The Initiative is based on the concept of “Satoyama,” a traditional rural landscape in Japan. It represents a global effort to realize societies in harmony with nature through the revitalization and sustainable management of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS) for biodiversity and human well-being. SEPLS are areas where human well-being and the ecosystems have a symbiotic relationship.

 

The International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative (IPSI) was established to implement the Initiative. It was set up in 2010 during the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, held in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. It currently consists of 267 members, including governments, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and private sector entities. As its flagship program, the Community Development and Knowledge Management for the Satoyama Initiative (COMDEKS) promotes sustainable use of natural resources in the landscapes and seascapes with local communities. COMDEKS is funded by the Japan Biodiversity Fund of the SCBD, and implemented by UNDP in partnership with Ministry of Environment of Japan, CBD Secretariat, and UNU-IAS. COMDEKS has supported over total 400 community-based projects in selected landscapes and seascapes in 20 developing countries through the GEF SGP, which is implemented by UNDP.

 

During the event, speakers provided strategic overview and explored lessons learned through integrating the management of SEPLS into national and sub-national policies as a critical contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Participants also discussed a green post-COVID-19 recovery through biodiversity conservation and sustainable use utilizing integrated landscape and seascape approaches.

 

Opening the event, Achim Steiner, Administrator, UNDP, emphasized the ways in which COVID-19 has revealed the connection among all living things. He also emphasized its disproportionate impact on and risk to poor and vulnerable communities. Steiner described the Satoyama Initiative as a crucial, viable pathway to expand partnerships with indigenous peoples and local communities. Sharing the ways UNDP is supporting the COVID-19 recovery, he explained that communities, science, and management of land and seascapes must find a new paradigm to make progress.

 

Kazuhiko Takeuchi, President, IGES, and Senior Visiting Professor, UNU-IAS, said revitalizing the Satoyama Initiative is key to the post-COVID-19 recovery. He elaborated on the need to develop harmonious co-existence between people and nature and to localize the SDGs. He pointed out the ways in which SEPLS are used to develop environmental conservation while trying to fully utilize these resources for human well-being. Calling for continued international collaboration, Takeuchi noted the role of SEPLS as buffer zones between protected areas and denser human settlements and noted successes from around the world.

 

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