Governor of Ishikawa Prefecture
I am very grateful that the first Asian conference on Biocultural diversity will be held here in Ishikawa with the cooperation of UNESCO, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), United Nation University (UNU) and Nanao City.
Recently, in addition to preservation of biodiversity, the concept of conservation of distinctive culture rooted in regional communities has widely recognized. In this trend, the first European conference on culture and biological diversity was held in Italy in April 2014.
This tendency corresponds to the activities by Ishikawa prefecture related to “Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi”, which has been designated as an Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS), and the work towards preserve and develop not only traditional agriculture but distinctive regional cultural activities such as local festivals rooted in people’s lives, and our activities to preserve and develop ‘hometown culture’. These activities were highly evaluated by UNESCO and the SCBD, that enable us to hold the first Asian Conference of Biocultural Diversity in Ishikawa prefecture.
Through this conference, I hope that a new value will be added to our Satoyama Satoumi and hometown culture. Additionally, Asian nations can learn about various activities that have been carried out in other parts of Asia, and to use the knowledge to revitalize their own community by utilizing abundant nature and traditional culture. I firmly believe that this opportunity will greatly contribute to the development of Asia as a whole. I hope that conference participants, whether they be researchers or delegates from international organization, national or municipal governments, will have fruitful discussions.
Lastly, I hope that participants from abroad will experience Ishikawa’s attractions such as its rich food culture and traditional culture, as well as the beautiful Satoyama and Satoumi landscapes through our reception and field excursions. We would like to offer you our Ishikawa style hospitality.
I look forward to seeing you in Ishikawa.
Mayor of Nanao City
Five years have passed since the designation of “Noto's Satoyama and Satoumi” as a GIAHS, and I am grateful that the 1st Asian Conference on Biocultural Diversity will be held here in Nanao City.
Noto's Satoyama and Satoumi include landscapes such as terraced rice paddies facing the Sea of Japan and bamboo fences that protect houses from strong salty winds. Moreover, they embody original landscapes of Japanese agriculture, as well as mountain and fishing villages.
Noto's Satoyama and Satoumi include landscapes such as rice terraces sprawled along steep slopes facing the Japan sea and the “Magaki” bamboo fences that protect houses from strong salty winds and it depict the typical land, mountain, sea and forest scenery of Japan.
Lifestyles centering on agriculture, forestry and fishery, in which biodiversity has been preserved, festival lanterns called kiriko and floats for Seihakusai Festival, which have been handed down through the generations, these are the treasures of Noto. In order to preserve such treasures for the future, we will endeavor to revitalize our communities by attracting people through activities for the preservation of Satoyama-satoumi.
We hope that you will feel the nature of the people, which has been cultivated through the climate and culture of Noto, and reflects the saying, “Even the earth is so kind in Noto.” It is also our hope that you will get a good feel for the natural beauty of “Noto's Satoyama and Satoumi.
We have held various activities after the GIAHS designation. Based on the results of those activities, I hope this conference will be an opportunity to hold discussions with people in the community about new possibilities and visions for the Noto region.
In order to improve awareness of biodiversity and preserve biocultural diversity, I would like to cooperate with the national government, prefecture and relevant organizations to promote Noto’s attractions.
In order to promote Noto’s attractions, I would like to cooperate with the national government, the prefecture government and relevant organizations regarding increasing awareness about biodiversity and preserving biocultural diversity.
Lastly, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all conference participants from all over the world, and support them in enjoying Noto through its food from the mountains and the sea, its abundant nature, beautiful landscapes and hot springs.