Social Ecological Model - Promotion of Experimental Study in Local Area Based on “Biodiversity Science for Science Policy/CRDS-FY2012-SP-04
Executive Summary

Human socio-economic activities bring about the loss of biodiversity, and ecosystem and living organisms fail to adapt and cope with this environment. As a result, we face endangered ecosystem services (human benefits from a multitude of natural resources and processes). So we propose strategic research conducting the creation of “Social Ecological Model,” which focuses on conserving biodiversity for the construction of a sustainable society.

“Social Ecology” is a concept concerning a sustainable society where human live symbiotically with nature. This ideal society would be realized by nurturing the relationship between human and nature, and it is important that habitants and developers utilize natural resources moderately. The “Social Ecological Model” is an experimental research for science policy focusing on biodiversity and we propose comprehensive strategy to build a sustainable society through policymaking based on scientific knowledge.

The reason why we propose strategic research on policymaking concerning biodiversity science in this report is accumulating and integrating of ecosystem information on biodiversity worldwide, and there is a rise in expectations regarding the conservation of ecosystems. In response to the movement towards conservation, many international sectors are discussing whether scientific knowledge is useful in policymaking or not. We feel it would be difficult to use scientific knowledge for policymaking because of the difficulties in the quantification of social and economic outcome and in a consensus of the stakeholders. Considering this, we attempt to conduct R&D on the “Social Ecological Model” and aim at creating a model that will define the continual relationship between human and nature.

The R&D that we propose here involves (1) the development of a policy tool, (2) drawing up policy scenarios, and (3) policy evaluation and the progress in environmental management technology. The first point involves the construction of prediction models for biodiversity and ecosystem services. The second point involves identifying problems using the policy tools and proposing solutions utilizing technologies, legislation, and systemization. The third point involves policy evaluation based on science and development of technologies to solve relevant problems.

As a part of this research, we hope to collaborate with scientists, local residents, developers, policy makers, and NGO/NPO workers. In many cases, the participation of the local residents will bring them scientific understanding of biodiversity and make them aware of its value and ways to use it sustainably. In addition, the collaboration with local residents will help researchers to collect on site habitat information on biodiversity and will increase consensus forming on various issues to make policy implementation easier.