Chief Editor: Stewart Wachs
Design: John Einarsen [click on cover to enlarge]
This richly informative and lavishly illustrated edition of KJ features diverse contributions by more than 50 writers, photographers and artists, specially prepared for distribution this fall at COP10 in Nagoya, the UN’s 10th Conference of Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD).
COP10 may be our last best chance to act on the recognition that our own fate is inseparably bound up with the sustainable health of the biosphere and its myriad species, known and as yet unknown. Through the wealth of ideas, knowledge, beauty and sheer wonder produced for this special issue on life’s preciousness and peril, we hope to inspire participants at COP10 to act on behalf of the Earth (and our own species’ best interests) to craft a truly effective response to the now-catastrophic rate of extinction.
Specially featured is a 22-page section exploring the ideal – and troubling present-day reality – of Japan’s satoyama: rural areas where people have lived with the land and on it without spoiling it over many generations, preserving and even promoting biodiversity.
And as a bonus, complementing the print issue, we have compiled and designed over 30 additional exclusive online reports – all available free, downloadable as PDF files.
CONTENTS OF PRINT ISSUE[click on titles or page images for article subpages — and downloads*]
Natural Conversations* — Robert Brady I’ve gotten pretty good at Frogonian over the years, and about this time of year I usually have my first frog conversation.
Evoking Earth's Immune Response to Mega-Corporate Maladies* — W. David Kubiak In sum, the biosphere is being collectively ravaged by huge corporate bodies protected by purchased politics and united in their hostility to growth limits and environmental costs. Equally grim, biodiversity’s last line of defense is manned by scattered environmental forces too divided by their issues to devise joint battle plans and discover their true strength.
Joy — Satish Kumar From evolution we learn that we must protect unity by allowing it to manifest in trillions of forms. Yet instead of unity, our civilization too often creates uniformity, and in place of diversity, divisions.
Six Thousand Lessons* — Barry Lopez Over the years, in speaking with Eskimo people — Yup’ik and Inupiat in Alaska and Inuit in Canada — I came to understand that they prefer to avoid the way we use collective nouns in the West to speak about a species.
Halfway There — Anthony D. Barnosky The Big 5 refers to five — and only five — extremely unusual times in the past 550 million years. Times when at least 75% of Earth’s species went extinct in a geological instant.
The Wonder of Life* — Sam Levin Carry this magazine outside, open to this page. Step off your front porch, or stoop, or whatever you have, and look around. What do you see?
Back — Isabella Kirkland The plants and animals in this picture have gone to the brink of extinction and been carefully husbanded back, or were presumed extinct and then re-found.
COP10: Cop out or Coevolve?* — Eric Johnston Delegates, when you arrive in Nagoya, Japan this October for the UN’s 10th conference on biodiversity, you’ll be meeting at a decisive moment. For the agreements you reach, or fail to, at COP10 may well determine whether many forms of life survive or die out — including the large-brained, spiritually-inclined but as yet self-defeating, tool-making ape — a relative newcomer to this biodiverse world.
Four Scenarios — The Millenium Ecosystem Assessment The MA's findings, contained in five technical volumes and six synthesis reports, provide a state-of-the-art scientific appraisal of the condition and trends in the world’s ecosystems and the services they provide, and the options to restore, conserve or enhance the sustainable use of ecosystems.
The Nature of Value and the Value of Nature* — Pavan Sukhdev An economist wrote that some things have a huge value, but they’re not very useful — a diamond, for example — and that other things are very useful, such as water, but they don’t seem to have a very high value. What he was really saying is that human beings have neither addressed the nature of value nor indeed the value of nature.
The Ecozoic Era — Thomas Berry The Cenozoic period is being terminated by a massive extinction of living forms that is taking place on a scale equaled only by the extinctions that took place at the end of the Paleozoic around 220 million years ago and at the end of the Mesozoic some 65 million years ago.
The Hidden Forest — Noda Michiyo Even as new discoveries are being made about these underwater forests and grasslands, they are rapidly vanishing. Seaweeds are extremely sensitive to changes in water temperature, rendering them vulnerable to global warming.
Nature is Nonlinear* — George Sugihara Scientific tools and conceptions built to work well in controlled engineering contexts — involving simple and stable clockwork mechanical devices — do not work well in natural systems, where nonlinear instability is literally a fact of life.
2020 Vision: Reinventing Conservation Media — Peter Cairns Forty-two percent of UK respondents in a recent Gallup poll had never heard of biodiversity. Only 27 percent knew what it meant. Now, either I’m missing something or these are alarming statistics.
What Can Spring from a Good Idea — Sam Stier Animals, plants, and microbes are the consummate engineers. They have found what works, what is appropriate, and most important, what lasts on Earth.
Ecology, Place and the Awakening of Compassion — Gary Snyder The biological world with its ecological interactions is this world, our very own world. Thus, ecology (with its root meaning of “household science”) is very close to economics, with its root meaning of “household management.” Biodiversity is a Practice — Susan Murphy Not only do each of us, in our human consciousness, “contain multitudes,” as Walt Whitman put it, but the practice of biodiversity recognizes that we are personally diminished with every species loss.
Diversity and the Great Retelling — Yuki Koji Within prayers to the universe during our rituals, within sacred stories about gods, storytellers and listeners, within the world of myth that storytellers entice you to enter, there is a place to create and cultivate caring and love towards nature. The key to coexistence with other living things lies hidden there.
Oceanocide — Claire Nouvian Fewer than 300 boats in the world are destroying the deep sea, the largest reservoir of biodiversity on Earth. They are wiping off the map deepwater coral reefs and sponge beds thousands of years old.
Rejoining the Earth Family: Vasudhaiv Katumbakan —
Vandana Shiva Humans are part of the planet’s diversity. We are members of the Earth Family (Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam in Sanskrit) consisting of the diverse species and varieties of microorganisms, plants and animals.
The Rewilding of a Bank Refugee* — Stewart Wachs Little did I know that my sister-in-law had a yearning to live in true wildness — not the gluttonous savagery of “wild” financial markets, where she formerly made her living, but the natural wildness which, like the best of civilized culture, reminds us of what it means to be human, of what we are linked to rather than separate from.
Holocene is Over: Slow the Warming and Build Those Corridors — Bill McKibben
Biodiversity, of course, faces an enormous set of challenges in this century, but none so far-reaching as the rapidly rising temperature and all that it implies. Basically, the stable Holocene of the last ten thousand years has come to an end.
Where the Tiger Survives, Diversity Thrives —
Philip J. Nyhus & Ronald Tilson The Tiger is in crisis. Once it prowledforests and grasslands stretching to the corners of Asia; today fewer than 4,500 wild tigers remain in just a fraction of their former range.
Unstill Life with Mangos —
John Wythe White Up in the tree is a spectacle of mass ripening, mangos in every phase of change, like maple leaves in autumn, turning from dark green to crimson to orange to bananaskin yellow.
Increasing Diversity —
Kevin Kelly If a diverse ecosystem is in good health it will, over time, increase its own diversity. Evolution increases differences. Culture is about accentuating differences.
Rewilding Restores Hope — Caroline Fraser While many rewilding projects are in their infancy — the European Green Belt, for example, has just begun to restore the former Iron Curtain region as an “ecological backbone” — others have achieved astonishing early results.
An Avian Oasis Created by War —
Hall Healy The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and adjoining Civilian Control Zone (CCZ), both created by the 1953 ceasefire to the Korean War, are a biodiverse oasis providing an important resting area for cranes and other birds during migrations.
Understanding a Crane —
Peter Matthiessen One way to grasp the main perspectives of environment and biodiversity is to understand the origins and precious nature of a single living form, a single living manifestation of the miracle of existence: if one has truly understood a crane —or a leaf or a cloud or a frog — one has understood everything.
Satoyama: the Ideal and the Real* — Brian Williams Literally hamlet-mountain, satoyama has become something of a buzzword, and features extensively in Japanese government literature for the October 2010 COP10 conference on biodiversity in Nagoya. Like all buzzwords, satoyama is often used with less than complete comprehension of what the concept really entails. This is problematic, especially given the commendable calls already being made for a “global satoyama.” A more comprehensive understanding of both the ideal of satoyama and the contemporary reality are clearly needed to guide efforts towards a more sustainable society. This satoyama section of KJ 75 aims to contribute to such a clearer understanding.
Smothering Streams & Habitats —
Nature, Inhabited* — Winifred Bird Satoyama describes a rural Japanese landscape made up mainly of managed woodlands and grasslands, rice fields, and the network of waterways and reservoirs associated with them. Underlying those elements, however, satoyama refers to certain principles of living on the land that belong no more to Japan than to any place long and sustainably cultivated by humans.
Satogawa: River Arteries of Life* —
Brian Williams Like all else in the satoyama landscape, the satogawa (literally ‘hamlet-streams’) were adapted over time to suit human needs. This was done in ways that did not diminish biodiversity but allowed it to flourish in the new configurations.
Restoring a River Quickly and Cheaply — Fukudome Shubun
Satoumi: Wise Use of Coastal Zones* — Winifred Bird Satoumi juxtaposes “village” and “sea” to describe coastal zones — of seas, estuaries or lakes — that are highly biodiverse and productive, yet far from untouched.
Invaders of Lake Biwa — Komori Shigeki
Paddy Ecosystems: Diverse or Despoiled? — Winifred Bird
Japan's Abandoned Satoyama Forests* — Jane Singer Gradually the remaining farmers have grown too old and too few to continue trimming branches, cutting undergrowth, and thinning the forests as they should.
Born of Despair, a Beautiful Forest — C.W. Nicol
Myopic Forest Policy = Weepy Eyes — Jane Singer
Aflame and Alive: Managed Grasslands in Japan — Winifred Bird
Denuded Hillsides: Satoyama's Other History — Sugiyama Masao
Room for Us All* — Jane Singer and Winifred Bird Valid doubts persist about whether satoyama has ever been fully realized in its ideal form, or whether a national government whose policies helped to destroy the traditional rural environment has any right to turn round and trumpet that network of integrated ecosystems as a model for the world. But becoming snagged in such debates will distract us from the many tangible and inspiring successes attained by these land-use practices themselves.
Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan, by Azby Brown — Julian Bamford
SATOYAMA: The Traditional Landscape of Japan by K. Takeuchi et. al. —
The Deep Ecology Movement: An Introductory Anthology, edited by Alan Drengson and Yuichi Inoue —
Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity, edited by Eric Chivian and Aaron Bernstein —
Earth Pilgrim: Conversations with Satish Kumar by Satish Kumar —
The Forgotten Japanese: Encounters with Rural Life and Folklore, by Miyamoto Tsuneichi, trans. Jeffrey S. Irish —
A Different Kind of Luxury: Japanese Lessons in Simple Living and Inner Abundance by Andy Couturier —
The Japanese Tea Garden, by Marc Peter Keane —
The One Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming by Masanobu Fukuoka, trans. Larry Korn —
Download reviews section here(1.52MB)
EXCLUSIVE ONLINE REPORTS
[All downloadable as PDF files from subpages. Click on title or page images...]
NEW - Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo: An ethno-biological meditation
Adam Hartzell interviews director Jessica Oreck
I’ve always wanted to make films about ethno-biology, the way that whole cultures interact with the natural world. What’s important with my films is that they are accessible for people that don’t have any experience in nature at all.Working in the butterfly exhibit at the Natural History Museum, you hear more kids ask if the butterfly is broken than if it’s dead. Which to me is a pretty big sign that there is something wrong with our basic understanding of the natural world.
NEW - from COP-10, Nagoya: One Artist's Journey — Lucinda Cowing This table set is made almost entirely from driftwood. Each salvaged piece has a unique shape, texture, colour, and often other characteristics that suggest a story which could span years or decades.
One Family — Richard C. Murphy Over 400 billion years ago, when our planet first formed, biodiversity was zero. There were no species. No life. Fundamentals — InterAcademy Panel Loss of biodiversity threatens the ecosystems that play a central role in supporting vital Earth systems upon which humanity depends.
Life Sustains Life — Stephen Hesse Our arts, leisure and entertainment, too, are linked to the myriad shapes, sounds, materials and colors of biodiversity. In short, when we speak of biodiversity we are also talking about the quality of human life and human survival.
Model of Sustainability? — Catherine Knight “Satoyama” has become something of a buzzword in the last few years, appearing often in the media and discourse on nature conservation and environmental management practices in Japan.
Stone Wall — Winifred Bird On a beautiful pure blue day just before Christmas, I helped my husband rebuild a crumbled stone retaining wall behind his parents’ house in Mie prefecture.
Bringing Back Tokyo Fireflies — Emily Cousins Nestled somewhere along the Nogawa river in Osawa, Tokyo, is a small rice paddy known as Hotaru No Sato, or “home of the fireflies.”Every summer, sometime in late June, fireflies (hotaru) make this place their home.
Lessons from Kitayama Cedar — Yamada Isamu Kitayama forestry has been practiced for more than 600 years. this traditional forestry is characterized by dense planting of cedar trees on steep rocky slopes.
Is Lake Biwa Becoming Anoxic?— Kumagai Michio Lake Biwa is far and away Japan’s largest lake, stretching more than 63 kilometers from end to end, with a maximum depth of just over 100 meters.
Seedbanking to Protect Biodiversity — James Wood Seeds are travellers in space and time. In many species seeds are shed dry, and the embryos held within remain in a state of suspended animation – not alive, not dead, just waiting for moisture to reawaken them.
Conservation of the Amur Leopard The critically endangered Amur, or Far Eastern leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is probably the rarest big cat in the world. A mere 25 to 34 individuals remain in the wild within the southwest Primorye region of Far Eastern Russia.
The Hunter Hunted — Sara Sukor Its existence has been so magically described, majestically worshipped and globally admired, yet this charismatic creature has been driven to the edge of extinction.
When There Is Nothing at the Waterhole — Midori Paxton Little things — lizards, beetles, a roosting owl, weaver birds, ground squirrels... A host of tiny lives, so easily unnoticed, but so full of interest once one has become aware of them. And so important to the integrity of the whole ecosystem.
Real Strategies — Midori Paxton When it comes to big-time biodiversity conservation, Protected Areas (PAs) are a major asset and a key ally. They cover 13 percent of the Earth’s surface and contain the highest concentrations of biodiversity. Strengthening of the PAs is obviously a key strategy.
Restoring Coral Reefs in Thailand — Keiron McLintock Thailand’s coral reefs support 4,000 species of fish, 700 species of coral, and thousands of plants and animals — coral reefs are home to one in four marine species.
Rock the Boat for Sustainable Fishing — Gen Del Raye More than a third of the world’s fisheries have commercially collapsed within the last century, while only a handful have subsequently been restored.
The Dividing Line — Gen Del Raye In the fall months abalone divers who operate near these islands describe a feeling of being watched by eyes that lie just beyond their field of view, and some have spent harrowing moments hiding beneath boulders while great whites roamed nearby.
Clean Coasts — Jennifer Teeter Zero-emissions operation means no oil pollution and no threat of spillage. With Greenheart ships replacing conventional small and medium-size vessels, the lessening of environmental destruction would be immediate and dramatic.
Jeju’s Choice: Profit or Preservation? — Rebecca Smith The choice before Jeju is that of an epic struggle — global urbanization, industrialization, and militarization versus natural preservation
Lifeboats and Lifelines — Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan We know that the environment is the social security system for a vast number of poor. Although jobs may be created, they cannot be sustained in a vacuum that does not include solid social, economic and environmental foundations.
13 Grandmothers — Clara Shinobu Iura We, the international Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, represent a global alliance of prayer, education and healing for our Mother earth, all Her inhabitants, and all the children, for the next seven generations to come.
A Non-dual Ecology? — David Loy The eco-crisis is as much a spiritual challenge as a technological one.
Where Pilgrims & Conservationists Meet — Matteo Pistono Seeming to defy gravity, the Buddhist hermitage of Taktsang — long known as the Tiger’s Nest — perches precariously on the face of a cliff three thousand feet above a dense jungle forest.
Biodiversity is Another Word for Discovery — David Ng The flora, fauna, and terrains of our graceful planet contain a whole world of discovery. It only takes a single child and a trip outdoors, to realize that it is arguably our planet’s richest resource of intellectual query. To Be Human — Adam Wolpert As humans, I have come to see, we are nested within a system that is infinitely creative; recognizing this truth unleashes our own creativity.
Price: ¥1,500 per issue / US$15 / Canada $15 / AUS$20 / EURO10 / HONG KONG $85 / KOREAN WON 20,000
However, please note that we are at present in transition to a new bank account and Paypal online payment system. We hope to be able to process orders and subs from May 2011.
As of Spring 2011, KJ will switch from print issues to quarterly digital editions. Same quality content and outstanding design, just a different delivery system with a lot more potential that we are eager to explore.
Subscriptions will cost just $50 — for five issues.
Single issues, $12