Collective learning for the sustainability of socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS) and their contributions to the global sustainability goals

Event: International Conference on Eco-friendly Farming and Farmland Ecology, Taipei
Date: 17-19th August, 2018

Socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes (SEPLS) are globally ubiquitous and constitute the fundamental elements in achieving societies in harmony with nature. They, when wisely managed with thoughtful investments, can significantly contribute to the conservation and enhancement of local biodiversity. In this study, we analyse the interim results of the Satoyama Development Mechanism (SDM). The SDM is a seed-funding scheme established in 2013 to promote the activities in line with the strategic objectives of the International Partnership for Satoyama Initiative (IPSI). This includes, i) increase knowledge and understanding of SEPLS; ii) address the direct and underlying causes of biodiversity loss in SEPLS; iii) enhance benefits from SEPLS; and iv) enhance human, institutional and financial capacities. Over five years since its launch, SDM has supported 30 projects in 16 countries and areas across Africa, America, Asia-Pacific and Europe regions. In this study, we aimed to identify best practices and key lessons learnt from the SDM projects for enhanced biodiversity and human well-being in SEPLS, with a view to achieving the IPSI strategic objectives and relevant global goals, including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, 2020 and the 2030 global agenda for sustainable development (SDGs). To attain this objective, we conducted an online survey and created a relational database of all the 30 SDM projects. We then run a meta-analysis of the SDM projects, with particular focus on the project interventions and their outcomes in line with the IPSI Strategic Objectives, Aichi Biodiversity Targets and SDG. Our analysis identified various instruments and policy support tools for maintaining, enhancing or revitalizing biodiversity and human well-being in SEPLS that are readily available and are proactively practiced by local actors. This includes, among others, ecological production and certification, establishment of endemic tree nurseries, reforestation, co-governance which align well with number IPSI objectives, several Aichi Biodiversity targets (namely target 1,2,3,4,7,14,18,19) and the SDGs (1,2,3,6,8,10,12,15). Also Participatory GIS mapping was identified as major policy support and monitoring tool which contributed to IPSI Objective 1, 2; Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, 14, 18, 19 and SDG 15, 16. In this paper, we argue that these can be more widely adopted for scaling up actions, and thereby for making significant contributions to the progress towards Aichi Biodiversity Targets and SDGs in a synergistic way. As a seed funding programme, timely and focused investments by SDM in highly motivated and progressive local institutions proved effective. We also found challenges in shortening the feedback loop to promote reciprocal learning, and in propagating the adoption of best practices wider in different contexts in which each SEPLS is placed.