HOME > TOPICS : 2008 > 10.22-23

The 3rd RIHN International Symposium
“ The Futurability of Islands: Beyond Endemism and Vulnerability ”

Date: October 22(Wed)-23(Thur)
Venue: Lecture Hall, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature  access
Organized by: The Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), National Institute for Humanities
Supporter: Japanese National Commission for UNESCO



  The natural and cultural features of islands develop according to their degree of separation from a mainland. Until recently, many islands were separated from centers of development, and their natural and cultural features were well conserved. Dependent on limited supplies of water and other natural resources, island inhabitants developed the knowledge needed for sustainable use of resources. At the same time, isolation has made islands vulnerable to famine, disease, and invasive species. In some cases, resource scarcity has increased contact with the external world; many islands have histories of robust interaction with the outside world, for example, through trade and other inter-island exchange networks, and highly mobile societies as a result.

  With increased mobility of people, information and goods in the current age, many islands are threatened by severe depopulation, loss of indigenous culture, and ecosystem degradation. In special cases where the value of indigenous nature and culture is widely recognized, as with islands designated as UNESCO Biosphere Reserves or World Heritage Sites, population decline may be halted by a rise in tourism. Unregulated development of tourism, however, may bring problems of resource depletion, garbage disposal, and epidemics due to pests or other alien organisms, while tourism-induced migration may dilute the indigenous culture. Addressing such problems requires consensus between native islanders and resident immigrants, but in many cases their experience of place and perception of contemporary island change are distinct.

  This symposium examines the problems that islands encounter in the current period of environmental change and globalization. Through formal reports on the current situations in several islands as well as structured discussion, symposium participants will consider how island inhabitants can be empowered, and their culture developed and transmitted, without sacrificing livelihood or ecological integrity.

Handbill,  Details here


International Affairs Section, Research Cooperation Division

Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN)

zip code: 603-8047

457-4, Motoyama Kamigamo, Kita-ku, Kyoto City, Japan(access)

tel: +81-75-707-2152 fax: +81-75-707-2106