Japanese Journal of Health and Human Ecology
Online ISSN : 1882-868X
Print ISSN : 0368-9395
ISSN-L : 0368-9395
Change of natural resources use in a rural area near local city: From the viewpoint of familiarity with natural environments
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2003 Volume 69 Issue 6 Pages 205-219


The dependence on a primary industry of local people declined in most rural areas in Japan with the changes of their lifestyle during the period of rapid economic growth. In a rural area near local city located in the eastern Yamanashi prefecture (Kamiohhata, Tsuru City), an interview survey was conducted on 80 households to clarify the changes of the use of natural resources available in forest with the changes of the subsistence activities. In accordance with the decline of sericulture, introduction of industrial materials, and fuel revolution, importance of gathering grass for animal feed, firewood, and fallen leaf for fertilizer decreased drastically from 1960 to 1980 in both number of households and area of collection. However, firewood and fallen leaf are still used for the specific purpose ("persistence" use) in 20 - 30% of subjected household which continues the cultivation of the self consumption crops. While, collection of wild plants for eating which has the factor of "pleasure" use declined in last 10 years. This decline could be explained by the degradation of natural environments close to the living area in the result of decrease in the opportunity of people contacting it after the period of rapid economic growth. It is necessary to manage the natural environments for guaranteeing both the amenity of people and regional biodiversity. For this purpose, the familiarity of people with the natural environments should be reconsidered from the viewpoint of "persistence" and "pleasure" uses of natural resources.

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