Urban–Rural Connectivity for Forest Management and Landslide Risk Reduction: Case of Japan

Book Chapter

In addition to providing a range of social, economic, and environmental benefits to human societies, forest ecosystems also play a vital role in disaster prevention and mitigation. With the growing frequency and intensity of landslide hazards, the importance of forest management is increasingly being recognized to safeguard the sustainable delivery of ecosystem services. However, at the same time, the changing population dynamics and rapid urbanization trends are putting undue pressures on the forest ecosystems in rural areas. As such, enhancing the urban–rural connectivity has become crucial to address the shared concerns of sustainable forest management and landslide risk reduction. To further understand the importance of this subject, this chapter discusses the context of Japan wherein the essence of urban–rural connectivity for forest management has been duly recognized at policy and governance levels. Building on the context of Japan’s forests and forestry industry, the chapter first highlights the forest management policies in Japan, which are closely aligned with the objectives of landslide risk reduction. Thereafter, the key Japanese strategies of enhancing the urban–rural connectivity are explained in reference to selected good practices. As takeaway lessons, the chapter underlines the need for investing in rural ecosystems and building urban–rural synergies