Agricultural lands, secondary forests, artificial wetlands, and grasslands… In Japanese, there is a name for the area that encompasses these ecosystems, along with human settlements: satoyama.
Satoyama, a bounty of goods and services
Satoyama provides a range of benefits that include food, fibre, forest products, non-timber forest products, economic, cultural, spiritual, and aesthetic services. For example, rice, vegetables, maitake and matsutake (Japanese mushrooms), charcoal, firewood, biomass and woodblocks can be derived from satoyama. Such areas are also a source of great animal and plant biodiversity. In fact, satoyama should be considered as a heritage which has been created and maintained in the past, and passed on to the present. Today, we must ensure that satoyama persists for future generations.
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