New initiatives in a town that has practiced "Coexistence with Nature" for half a century: Aya, Japan

Satoyama Initiative所収

Efforts in Aya over the past half century to coexist with nature have been based on collaboration with a diverse range of people and organizations, not only locally but also from all over Japan and abroad. Activities leading up to the present day were triggered by opposition to a deforestation plan in a state-owned forest, but since then, the national government, the prefecture, the town, and NPOs have worked together to establish the Aya project, and with leverage from an international organization, the entire community has worked to protect and conserve the area as a biosphere reserve. Meanwhile, Aya Town has been working to promote natural ecological agriculture, which has led to Aya-brand agricultural products. The town is now attempting to connect people and nature by creating natural ecosystem in spaces where people live, with the AEON forest at its core. The AEON forest is enriching biodiversity and ecosystems, and at the same time, is enabling people to directly enjoy this abundant biodiversity and ecosystem in various ways. In the residential area, trials are underway to create a natural ecological space that continues in a stepping-stone fashion from the AEON forest. The local government is working to scientifically evaluate these activities. The elementary and junior high schools are creating opportunities for their students to learn from practices that apply cutting-edge science. A lifestyle in harmony with nature developed by the people of Aya over the past half century is now evolving toward the 22nd century, as the town seeks to further deepen integration of people and nature.