Satoyama: Japan Looks to Ancient Village Wisdom to Save Biodiversity | CommonDreams.org

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Japan Looks to Ancient Village Wisdom to Save Biodiversity | CommonDreams.org.

In the pre-industrial age, woodlands gave villagers plants, nuts, mushrooms and wildlife as well as natural medicines, textiles, fuel and timber for building, all usually harvested sustainably over the centuries.

These managed ecosystems – neither pristine wilderness nor cultivated agricultural landscapes – are known as “satoyama”, a composite of the words for villages (sato) and mountains, woods and grasslands (yama).

Today ecologists, somewhat less poetically, call them “socio-ecological production landscapes”.

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