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Traditional Farming Landscapes for Sustainable Living in Scandinavia and Japan : Global Revival Through the Satoyama Initiative

  • Björn Berglund
  • Junko Kitagawa
  • Per Lageras
  • Koji Nakamura
  • Naoko Sasaki
  • Yoshinori Yasuda
Publishing year: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 559-578
Publication/Series: Ambio: a Journal of Human Environment
Volume: 43
Issue: 5
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Traditional, pre-industrial farming was adapted to the natural environment-topography, geology, hydrology, climate, and biota. Traditional land use systems are still to be traced in Scandinavia as an "infield/outland landscape", and in Japan as a "Satoyama landscape." There are obvious similarities and differences in land use-the main difference being that pasturing of cattle and sheep has been less important in Japan. These land use systems can be traced back to early sedentary settlements 1500-2500 years ago. In both regions, traditional management almost ceased in the mid-twentieth century leading to afforestation and decreased biological diversity. Today, there is in Japan a growing movement for landscape restoration and promotion of a sustainable living countryside based on local agrarian and forestry production, local energy, tourism, etc. With this background, the so-called Satoyama Initiative has been organized and introduced as a global socio-ecological project with ecosystem services for human well-being.


  • Geology
  • Agrarian land use history
  • Satoyama landscape
  • Infield/outland
  • Nature
  • restoration
  • Biodiversity changes
  • Deforestation history


  • ISSN: 0044-7447
Björn E Berglund
E-mail: bjorn [dot] berglund [at] geol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emeritus

Quaternary Sciences