In cooperation with the Forestry Bureau, National Taiwan Museum will be holding the "2018 Satoyama Good Food Festival — Eat, Drink, and Love the Planet" in Taipei with a focus on eco-friendly and sustainable cuisine on July 28 and 29.
Through farmers' markets, exhibitions, book fairs, talks, DIY sessions, and concerts, the festival aims to promote the concept behind the Satoyama Initiative — a sustainable and harmonious relationship between food, environment, and humankind — and the idea that love is the key ingredient both in being a good gourmand and in doing one’s part to preserve biodiversity.
Satoyama is a Japanese concept referring to a particular form of landscape and ecosystem made up of a mosaic of mountains, rivers, ponds, fields, forests, and human settlements where humanity and nature coexist.
During the August 2010 UN COP 10 meeting in Japan, the Japanese delegation proposed the concept of "maintaining satoyama to maintain biodiversity" and that the Satoyama Initiative could serve as a model for sustainability for the Convention on Biological Diversity. The hope was to begin reconstructing the harmonious relationship between humanity and nature, slowing down the loss of biodiversity, and ensuring that natural resources can be used sustainably.
As Taiwan’s economy took off, its natural environment began to face the threats of over-exploitation, destruction, and pollution. The biodiversity of the foothills and coastal areas has been particularly hard hit by human activity, with precious landscapes and natural resources gradually fading into the past.
In recent years, the Forestry Bureau has taken the lead in making the satoyama concept better known in Taiwan by promoting the Satoyama Initiative and taking practical measures to rehabilitate natural landscapes and terraced paddies.
As a result, Taiwanese society has begun to rediscover its former symbiotic relationship with the natural environment, ushering in a new wave of environmentally friendly farming and production methods. The products so created not only ensure that consumers get healthy, fresh, and nutritious food, but also help to protect the natural environment and biodiversity, simultaneously achieving both economic and sustainability goals.
Through the avoidance of chemical agents and the use of environmentally friendly farming methods, farmers can produce healthy food while also providing a healthy habitat for many wild animals. People are able to share food with these creatures, creating a vision of co-prosperity that doesn't need to be limited just to cultivated farmland.
Another group of farmers is working to return to their traditional areas and grow crops in the forests in ways that will also help preserve the local fauna. Through growing crops tied to their lifestyle and culture, they are at once revitalizing traditional culture and protecting the land, soil, and old-growth-forest ecosystem, along with achieving self-sufficiency.
How do such environmentally and ecologically friendly processes help us strike a balance between life and income? Find out at the 2018 Satoyama Good Food Festival!
‘2018 Satoyama Good Food Festival—Eat, Drink, and Love the Planet’