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Sustainability Science

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 1399–1414 | Cite as

Assessing local-scale inclusive wealth: a case study of Sado Island, Japan

  • Yuki YoshidaEmail author
  • Hirotaka Matsuda
  • Kensuke Fukushi
  • Shinya Ikeda
  • Shunsuke Managi
  • Kazuhiko Takeuchi
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Concepts, Methodology, and Knowledge Management for Sustainability Science

Abstract

Present trends of urbanization are accompanied by increasing demographic and economic shrinkage of rural regions. In countries such as Japan, these rural regions trail behind metropolitan counterparts according to GDP, the conventional measure used to guide governmental policies. Yet, past research suggests that these regions may be undervalued. Further, the Inclusive Wealth Index (IWI), largely only used at the national level, may be able to capture aspects previously missed. As such, our study attempts to highlight the wealth of rural regions by comparing the inclusive wealth of Sado Island and Japan between 1990 and 2014. Minor methodological modifications were made according to data availability at the local level and to improve the accuracy of human capital estimations. Results captured the ongoing shrinkage of Sado and demonstrate the distinct potential of the IWI as a stock measure. Sado’s per capita wealth was about 10% lower than the national averages, but its natural capital was about threefold national averages. Supplementary estimations of the natural capital of fisheries and cultivated forests suggest that inclusion of additional factors in the evaluation would further increase the relative valuation of rural regions. We discuss implications of our estimations for wellbeing, and conclude with a critical appraisal of the IWI calculation towards policy implementation of the index.

Keywords

Sustainable development Wellbeing Socio-ecological production landscapes and seascapes Satoyama–satoumi Rural–urban disparity 

Abbreviations

FAO

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

IWI

Inclusive wealth index

IWR

Inclusive wealth report

GDP

Gross domestic product

GIAHS

Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Site

GPI

Genuine progress indicator

GRP

Gross regional product

MAFF

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan

MIC

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan

MOE

Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan

NTFB

Non-timber forest benefits

OECD

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

PIM

Perpetual inventory method

UN DESA

United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs

UNEP

United Nations Environment Programme

UNU-IHDP

United Nations University/International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change

USD

United States Dollar

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to recognize the generous support of Sado City and kind cooperation of Sado Agricultural Cooperative, Hamochi Agricultural Cooperative, Niigata Prefecture Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Division of Conservation, Niigata Prefecture Department for Sado Regional Promotion, Niigata Prefecture Sado Area Fishery Adjustment Committee and Niigata Prefecture Fisheries Oceanography Research Institute. We also appreciated the thoughtful contributions of Giles Bruno Sioen and Alexandros Gasparatos.

Supplementary material

11625_2018_540_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 22 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of TokyoKashiwaJapan
  2. 2.Kyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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