A Geographical Indication (GI) is expected to facilitate agri-environmental management in agricultural landscapes. Currently, local products from small-scale farms and national branded products with a relatively large scale of production are being registered using GI schemes. Considering the relationships among GI products, their agricultural landscapes, and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), as a GI case study, we examined small GI farms in Odate City, Akita Prefecture, Japan, which produce edible plants called Tonburi. This research explored the complex cause-effect relationship between TEK and landscapes and found that the TEK of Tonburi production influenced biological diversity and vice versa. The TEK and skills of small farmers were confined to the family members of each farmer and were not shared at the community level until GI registration. However, the farmers shared their TEK of sustainable agricultural landscape management through the process of GI registration. Through negotiation between local agricultural cooperatives and farmers, TEK was provided as a form of cultural capital and shared with new producers after GI registration. We concluded that enclosed TEK negatively affects production maintenance and landscape management in the long term. However, the GI registration process contributes to the sharing of TEK as a form of cultural capital among Tonburi farmers.
- Agricultural landscape
- Geographical indication
- Rural development
- Traditional ecological knowledge
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Sociology and Political Science