International Nature Reserves and Local Inhabitants: The Case of the “Wise Use” of Ramsar Wetlands in Japan
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国際的な自然保護区と住民 : 日本におけるラムサール条約の「ワイズユース」から考える
Pollution. Environmental engineering
This paper discusses the relationship between international nature reserves and local inhabitants through an examination of the wise use debate pertaining to Ramsar wetlands in Japan. Definitions of wise use are abstract, and only concretized through examples of best practice, which wetland stakeholders identify based on their own perceptions of wise use. Practices that existed before registration can be recognized as wise use after registration, thus affirming current practice, resulting in little change following registration, and leading to indifference. However, tourism is recognized as wise use and ecotourism is increasing, as is the tendency to connect registration to regional improvement. Yet when local residents pursue such strategies, there is the potential to deviate from the convention’s original intentions. Although this may render the extra-local logic of the convention meaningless, it may also help residents come to a consensus without contentious debate, thus affirming the relationship between residents and wetlands. The abstract ideals of the convention also inform local environmental education and thereby shape how residents understand their relationship to the wetlands.
This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Grant Number 25284164 and 25284166) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
Japanese Journal of Human Geography
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Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences