International Systems Deployed at the Local Level: UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme in Japan

  • Akiko SakaiEmail author
  • Hiroyuki Matsuda
Part of the Ecological Research Monographs book series (ECOLOGICAL)


This paper examines the history of and reasons behind the acceptance by local communities in Japan of Biosphere Reserves, a global initiative established through UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, as well as their challenges and future directions. The effective utilization of international systems necessitates processes which give rise to a range of collective actions through the knowledge translation of the systems concerned. Here “knowledge translation” means translation of knowledge, rules and concepts between global and local actors based on the principle and original criteria established in a general and comprehensive context. In the case of Biosphere Reserves, the translated systems emphasize municipalities as a particularly important actor at the national level, while at the local level, the work of residential researchers, who live for an extended time in the area of research, has been equally important. Adding to the processes, this paper draws on specific case studies to examine the types of areas that should be registered and the kinds of management that they require to develop as platforms for social learning that seek to realize the global principles of the MAB.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan

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