Bio: Yuki Yoshida is an academic researcher from University of Tokyo. The author has contributed to research in topics: Sustainability science & Ecosystem services. The author has an hindex of 5, co-authored 10 publications receiving 182 citations.
TL;DR: This article reviewed literature in multiple languages (English, German, and Japanese) on empirically grounded types of human-nature relationships and highlighted the dominant dimensions used to differentiate various types, particularly those related to positionality of humans and nature with respect to each other.
Abstract: The ways people relate to their environment are recognized as relevant to landscape sustainability efforts and policies. Contemporary human–nature relationship concepts have historical and philosophical roots and frame empirical explorations. An increasingly dominant paradigm guiding landscape assessment and management is the notion of ecosystem services, describing benefits humans obtain from ecosystems. This paper reviews literature in multiple languages (English, German, and Japanese) on empirically grounded types of human–nature relationships. The dominant dimensions used to differentiate various types are highlighted, particularly those related to positionality of humans and nature with respect to each other, character of the bond between humans and nature, and perspectives on understanding of nature. Empirical explorations of human–nature relationships follow both deductive and inductive reasoning, use both quantitative and qualitative methods, and reveal wide variation in typologies. Ecosystem services as a theoretical concept is linked to dimensions of empirically grounded human–nature relationships concepts. The ecosystem services concept is situated quite clearly in the nexus of anthropocentric and utilitarian dimensions of human–nature relationships with notions of nature as separate from humans, though more inclusion of cultural perspectives and intrinsic values are emerging. More explicit attention to broader, diverse interpretations from local stakeholders may inform the operationalization of the ecosystem services concept for landscape planning processes. Context matters greatly, as people may hold multiple, even competing perspectives on their relationship with or role in nature, and they may change across different circumstances or time. Further research is needed to understand communication and mobilization strategies for sustainable action within landscapes.
TL;DR: In this analysis of 26 European and 13 Japanese cases, it is found that place-based food networks are typically located in heterogeneous landscapes, are driven by civil society (and less by markets), and act at a local scale.
Abstract: Many Japanese and European landscapes harbor biocultural diversity that has been shaped by human agency over centuries. However, these landscapes are threatened by widespread land abandonment, land-use changes, and urbanization. The aim of this study is to use a “solution scanning” method to identify place-based food networks in Europe and Japan that reinforce linkages between biological and cultural diversity in landscapes. In our analysis of 26 European and 13 Japanese cases, we find that place-based food networks are typically located in heterogeneous landscapes, are driven by civil society (and less by markets), and act at a local scale. Regional identity is the most frequently addressed societal issue. Scenery, rural tourism, and nature conservation are more important motivations in Europe, and physical well-being and revitalization of local economies are more relevant in Japan. European models are typically associated with achieving biodiversity conservation and socio-cultural tradition outcomes, and Japanese models more with public health and nutrition outcomes. We discuss the potential for transfer of approaches from Japan to Europe (e.g., models that tackle the aging of rural societies), and from Europe to Japan (e.g., models that build explicit connections between food production and biodiversity conservation). We conclude with a list of recommended policy measures, e.g., the creation of a flexible legal framework that protects the interests of and reduces political constraints for collaborative efforts to biocultural diversity in landscapes.
TL;DR: In this article, surveys and interviews with farmers in two Illinois watersheds explored their human-nature relationship perspectives and linkages to conservation practices, emphasizing ecologically oriented partnership and stewardship ideals as motivating their conservation efforts.
Abstract: US Midwestern farmers are direct actors in managing nitrogen fertilizers and key to remediating water quality problems in agricultural landscapes. As farmers’ relationships with nature offer insights into their decisions and conservation practices, surveys and interviews with farmers in two Illinois watersheds explored their human–nature relationship perspectives and linkages to conservation practices. While domineering “Master” perspectives theorized as a cause of human-induced environmental problems were found, farmers spoke of obligations to the land and closeness to nature, emphasizing ecologically oriented partnership and stewardship ideals as motivating their conservation efforts. However, production-oriented pressures of the agricultural industry and livelihood and humanitarian considerations complicated farmers’ human–nature relationships and limited their efforts to act upon personal perspectives. Multiple, confounded human–nature relationships are influenced by factors beyond local landscapes wi...
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors highlight the wealth of rural regions by comparing the inclusive wealth of Sado Island and Japan between 1990 and 2014 and demonstrate the distinct potential of the Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI) as a stock measure.
Abstract: Present trends of urbanization are accompanied by increasing demographic and economic shrinkage of rural regions. In countries such as Japan, these rural regions trail behind metropolitan counterparts according to GDP, the conventional measure used to guide governmental policies. Yet, past research suggests that these regions may be undervalued. Further, the Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI), largely only used at the national level, may be able to capture aspects previously missed. As such, our study attempts to highlight the wealth of rural regions by comparing the inclusive wealth of Sado Island and Japan between 1990 and 2014. Minor methodological modifications were made according to data availability at the local level and to improve the accuracy of human capital estimations. Results captured the ongoing shrinkage of Sado and demonstrate the distinct potential of the IWI as a stock measure. Sado’s per capita wealth was about 10% lower than the national averages, but its natural capital was about threefold national averages. Supplementary estimations of the natural capital of fisheries and cultivated forests suggest that inclusion of additional factors in the evaluation would further increase the relative valuation of rural regions. We discuss implications of our estimations for wellbeing, and conclude with a critical appraisal of the IWI calculation towards policy implementation of the index.
TL;DR: In this paper , the authors focus on the intangible aspects of human-nature relationships: people's direct and emotional attachment to their land and interrelationships between close-knit human communities and a thriving natural environment.
Abstract: Abstract Communities in socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes are aging and depopulating. While longstanding interdependence of humans and nature in such areas holds crucial hints for sustainable development, they continue to be undervalued by existing economic frameworks. We suspect omission of non-material nature’s contributions to people (NCPs) as a possible reason for this undervaluation and focus on the intangible aspects of human–nature relationships: people’s direct and emotional attachment to their land and interrelationships between close-knit human communities and a thriving natural environment. Field observations on Sado Island, Japan, and literature reviews informed our hypothesis that perceived nature, conceptual human–nature relationships, place attachment, and social relationships contribute to subjective wellbeing. Structural equation modeling of island-wide questionnaire responses confirmed our hypothesis. Nature contributes to wellbeing by enhancing place attachment and social relationships; ecocentrism contributes to greater values of perceived nature. Free-response comments elucidated how local foods and close interpersonal relationships enhance residents’ happiness and good quality of life, as well as how aging and depopulation impact their sense of loneliness. These results lend empirical support to the understanding of human–nature interdependency in socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes. In assessing their value to local residents and society at large, greater consideration should be given to intangible aspects of human–nature relationships and quality of life.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors provide a systematic review of urban ecosystem services research, which addresses the combined domain of ecosystem services and urban development, and highlight six challenges aimed at strengthening the concept's potential to facilitate meaningful inter-and transdisciplinary work for ecosystem services.
Abstract: Global urbanization creates opportunities and challenges for human well-being and transition towards sustainability. Urban areas are human-environment systems that depend fundamentally on ecosystems, and thus require an understanding of the management of urban ecosystem services to ensure sustainable urban planning. The purpose of this study is to provide a systematic review of urban ecosystems services research, which addresses the combined domain of ecosystem services and urban development. We examined emerging trends and gaps in how urban ecosystem services are conceptualized in peer-reviewed case study literature, including the geographical distribution of research, the development and use of the urban ecosystem services concept, and the involvement of stakeholders. We highlight six challenges aimed at strengthening the concept's potential to facilitate meaningful inter- and transdisciplinary work for ecosystem services research and planning. Achieving a cohesive conceptual approach in the research field will address (i) the need for more extensive spatial and contextual coverage, (ii) continual clarification of definitions, (iii) recognition of limited data transferability, (iv) more comprehensive stakeholder involvement, (v) more integrated research efforts, and (vi) translation of scientific findings into actionable knowledge, feeding information back into planning and management. We conclude with recommendations for conducting further research while incorporating these challenges.
TL;DR: This paper reviewed 475 publications on human-nature connection and found that most research has concentrated on individuals at local scales, often leaving ‘nature' undefined, and identified three subgroups of publications: first, HNC as mind, dominated by the use of psychometric scales, second, HOC as experience, characterised by observation and qualitative analysis; and third, HCC as place, emphasising place attachment and reserve visitation.
Abstract: In sustainability science calls are increasing for humanity to (re-)connect with nature, yet no systematic synthesis of the empirical literature on human–nature connection (HNC) exists. We reviewed 475 publications on HNC and found that most research has concentrated on individuals at local scales, often leaving ‘nature’ undefined. Cluster analysis identified three subgroups of publications: first, HNC as mind, dominated by the use of psychometric scales, second, HNC as experience, characterised by observation and qualitative analysis; and third, HNC as place, emphasising place attachment and reserve visitation. To address the challenge of connecting humanity with nature, future HNC scholarship must pursue cross-fertilization of methods and approaches, extend research beyond individuals, local scales, and Western societies, and increase guidance for sustainability transformations.
TL;DR: In this paper, the concept of Services to Ecosystems (S2E) is proposed to close the loop of the reciprocal relationship between humans and ecosystems, highlighting the need for ethnographic research in Ecosystem Service-based interventions.
Abstract: The concept of Ecosystem Services (ES), widely understood as the “benefits that humans receive from the natural functioning of healthy ecosystems” ( Jeffers et al, 2015 ), depicts a one-way flow of services from ecosystems to people We argue that this conceptualisation is overly simplistic and largely inaccurate, neglecting the reality that humans often contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of ecosystems, as often evidenced (but not exclusively) in many traditional and Indigenous societies Management interventions arising from Ecosystem Services research are thus potentially damaging to both ecosystems and indigenous rights We present the concept of ‘Services to Ecosystems’ (S2E) to address this, closing the loop of the reciprocal relationship between humans and ecosystems Case studies from the biocultural ecosystems of Amazonia and the Pacific Northwest of North America (Cascadia) are used to illustrate the concept and provide examples of Services to Ecosystems in past and current societies Finally, an alternative framework is presented, advancing the existing framework for Ecosystem Services by incorporating this reconceptualization and the loop of reciprocity The framework aims to facilitate the inclusion of Services to Ecosystems in management strategies based upon Ecosystem Services, and highlights the need for ethnographic research in Ecosystem Service-based interventions
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors explore spiritual and aesthetic cultural values associated with ecosystems and argue that these values are not best captured by instrumental or consequentialist thinking, and they are grounded in conceptions of nature that differ from the ecosystem services conceptual framework.
Abstract: This paper explores spiritual and aesthetic cultural values associated with ecosystems. We argue that these values are not best captured by instrumental or consequentialist thinking, and they are grounded in conceptions of nature that differ from the ecosystem services conceptual framework. To support our case, we engage with theories of the aesthetic and the spiritual, sample the discourse of ‘wilderness’, and provide empirical evidence from the recent UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-on Phase. We observe that accounts of spiritual and aesthetic value in Western culture are diverse and expressed through different media. We recognise that humans do benefit from their aesthetic and spiritual experiences of nature. However, aesthetic and spiritual understandings of the value of nature lead people to develop moral responsibilities towards nature and these are more significant than aesthetic and spiritual benefits from nature. We conclude that aesthetic and spiritual values challenge economic conceptions of ecosystems and of value (including existence value), and that an analysis of cultural productions and a plural-values approach are needed to evidence them appropriately for decision-making.