Noto's Satoyama and Satoumi Library


In June 2011, ‘Noto's Satoyama and Satoumi’ which expands across Noto peninsula, along with ‘Sado's Satoyama in Harmony with the Crested Ibis’of Sado City in Nigata, was designated as GIAHS (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems) by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the first from Japan.


In order to enable Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi internationally recognized as GIAHS to be passed on to future generations, it is essential that various people and organizations contribute to maintenance and conservation activities for satoyama and satoumi, as well as the creation of new value in these socio-ecological and coastal ecosystems. In order to achieve this, it is first necessary for local residents, associations and organizations such as companies and schools both within and outside the prefecture and designated NPOs, along with urban dwellers, to fully and clearly understand the value of Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi.

To that end, we have conducted a survey which is described below, giving an overview and assessment of the value of the main assets which constitute Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi in this libray.These content are based on ‘Survey Report on the Assets which Constitute Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)’ conducted in March 2012.






Nature and Living Things

Satoyama Preservation Activities
Biotope activities and surveys on living organisms
Protection activities for rare and endangered species


Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Industries

Rice farming

Noto Vegetables

Diverse environments and diverse fish species
Use of seaweed beds and seaweed

Historical irrigation facilities
Irrigation Channels


Traditional Crafts and Technologies

Drying techniques
Pickling and fermentation techniques
Traditional arts
Traditional Satoumi Techniques
Traditional Satoyama Techniques


Culture and Festivals

Yearly events
Religious events and festivals



The Sotoura Landscape
The Uchiura Landscape
Landscapes of the inland areas (foothill areas)


Use and Conservation

Morning markets and produce stands
Green Tourism, Eco Tourism
The support of new workers and new settlers




Survey Report on the Assets which Constitute Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)


Background to the Survey

GIAHS (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems) is a project that was started in 2002 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (based in Rome, Italy). Its goal is to be able to pass on regions of global importance to future generations where agricultural land use and traditional agriculture has developed and become established over centuries of adaptation to changes in societies and environments, and where the associated culture, landscapes and biodiversity have developed alongside them.


In June 2011 at the International Forum on Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems held in Beijing, China, four new areas were designated, including ‘Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi’ and ‘Sado's Satoyama in Harmony with the Crested Ibis’ in Japan, along with two areas in China and India. The designated areas therefore totaled 12, spanning 11 countries including Peru, Chile, Tanzania-Kenya, Algeria-Tunisia-Morocco, Philippines, and China (3 areas).


In Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi, the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries have operated for many years in harmony with nature, and as a result, unique, rich and diverse agricultural practices, fishing methods, land use, resource management, lifestyles, traditional cultural practices, techniques, knowledge and conservation practices have developed. These have created a unique system with the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries at the core. While maintaining a close, reciprocal relationship, these industries have been maintained and have been passed down through the generations to the present day. The designation of Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems reflects the positive assessment of the United Nations FAO that recognizes the outstanding nature of the system - in other words the Noto lifestyle - in which biodiversity is preserved and resources are used sustainably.


To put this designation in context, there has been increased interest of the international community in ‘satoyama’ in recent years, for example the re-assessment of the effectiveness of local level systems in which utilization of local knowledge, preservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of resources have been key concepts in maintaining people’s harmony with nature and the environment over such a long time, in contrast to the crises and difficulties of global level systems facing humanity such as the economy, food, public order, poverty, the environment, and climate change. Furthermore, in October 2010, at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP10) held in Nagoya City (Aichi Prefecture), one of the resolutions adopted was to promote the Satoyama Initiative, which aims to achieve both the preservation of biodiversity and sustainable resource use in satoyama areas.


Survey Procedure

In 2010, the Noto Regional Association for GIAHS Promotion and Cooperation, made up of the 4 cities and towns of Noto, selected and organized around 80 examples from the 160 asset examples constituting ‘Noto’s Satoyama and Satoumi’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘Satoyama/Satoumi Assets’), as listed in the application documents submitted to the United Nations FAO for the purpose of being designated as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems, following archival research, interview surveys and field research.


Survey Framework

Research Institute of City Planning and Communication Co., Ltd (the commissioned organization)
Yurie Koshiba, Project Associate Professor, Kanazawa University Center for Regional Collaboration (In charge of: Satoumi and the Fishing Industry)
Mio Horiuchi, Postdoctoral Fellow, Kanazawa University Center for Regional Collaboration (In charge of: Festivals/Culture and The Rural Landscape)