Indicators for co-management of production landscape: Joining science, traditional and local knowledge, policy expertise, and consumers for sustainability
Achievement of sustainability requires a “social contract” – a collective agreement to not reduce the opportunities and well-being of current and future generations. People will collaborate if they feel respected, have their values accepted, and are given meaningful and trusted roles in achieving sustainability. Building identity and pride in one’s own place and community therefore underpins the quest for sustainability. It requires collaborative planners and politicians to root governance and share power with local communities to achieve co-management and “environmentality”. Creating a common framework and sustainability indicators that can be scored and interpreted by all stakeholders (farmers, business people, citizen scientists, planners, policymakers) provides the basis for measuring group progress towards achieving sustainability and resilience. Such indicators also allow learning about what works and does not work for sustainability, and helps bond the community by reinforcing and demonstrating the community’s collaboration. Integration of top-down and bottom-up approaches brings collective strength. Scientists and planning experts with an “etic” (outsider) perspective can bring lessons from afar and take a bigger-picture view. Traditional and Local Knowledge (TLK) holders have a deeper and more nuanced “emic” (insider) understanding of local ecology, community, and economy that can lead to “local tuning” of strategies for sustainable living. Sharing information, trust, and sound scholarship will drive accountability and learning, but this will require considerable investment in community networking, sharing of information, and benchmarking performance. The New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard (NZSD) is a recent example of on online tool for joining widely-dispersed growers and industry managers together to create “social networking” for sustainability. It helps market-accreditation schemes to drive consumer choice for ethical food and fibre production. Price premiums and preferential market access in Japan might result from having a satoyama-satoumi market accreditation brand which acts like an eco-label and also celebrates the wider social and economic dimensions of sustainability and uniquely Japanese values that it protects. The NZSD also automates upscaling of sustainability indicators data for “State of the Environment” reporting to local governments (like Japan’s prefectures) and the Ministry for Environment or Ministry for Primary Production. Such “cross-scale linkages” are important to guide top-down investment and policy and underscore the public “license to farm”. The NZSD team has discovered that designing indictors for sustainability monitoring and learning is relatively easy. Prioritizing indicators and creating defendable targets for measuring progress towards joint goals is harder. Operationalising the indicator framework and triggering participation by all stakeholders, not just professionals from government or research agencies, to score indictors and interpret the results is hardest of all. Sustained and collective care of the satoyama-satoumi systems could benefit from creating a community networking tool like a dashboard to link grassroots actors together, reinforce their vision and kowledge, create business opportunities for sustainable action, and salute their identity and wisdom. Japan should rightfully be very proud of its wonderful satoyama and satoumi systems and the underlying philosophy that has much to teach western approaches to environmental care.
Editor: Saito, Osamu; Amano, Yohsuke
Publisher: United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability
Conference: International Workshop on Sustainable Management of Socio-Ecological Production Landscapes in Noto, Kanazawa City, Japan
Keywords: social contract; traditional knowledge; local knowledge; New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard; NZSD; co-management; production landscapes; sustainability
Research Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote/plenary); Conference or Workshop Item (Oral presentation)
The full PowerPoint Presentation is available in the same document on pages 75-80.