The Wanda Grinda final presentation session was a great opportunity for me to talk with the representatives of local stakeholders in person. After our presentations, I was lucky to be engaged in a conversation with Mr. Kosugi of the Kushiro Salmon Society. Some points that we discussed were very thought provoking. Thus, I would like to share with everyone, who reads this post.
On the Overpopulation of Deer:
According to Mr. Kosugi, the main problem with deer is the fact that currently, they have no predators in nature. Following the extinction of wolves, the population of deer skyrocketed to such an extent, that it is now a major problem in Hokkaido and elsewhere. We must not forget that this was triggered by human intervention, which gradually destroyed the habitats of the wolves. Such history highlights the importance of preserving the ecological system. It also emphasizes the sensitivity of nature, meaning that a solution cannot be as simple as exterminating the deer population by eating deer meat. Every living creature on earth has its role in the ecosystem.
However, increasing the consumption of deer meat is one possible method of mitigating the present harm done to the livelihoods of humans and nature by deer. The problem is that in addition to the absence of a culture of eating deer meat in Kushiro, there are too many deer in the everyday lives of the people in Kushiro. Mr. Kosugi told me that eating the meat of a cute animal they see everyday, is not something a normal person can instantly do. Therefore, the treatment of deer in Nara prefecture may be a case worth looking into.
On Humans and Nature:
Currently, there is a hierarchy wherein humans are superior to nature. However, nature is unchangeable. As Professor Watanabe had said during the course, a straightened river can never stay straight, for this is opposed to the natural character of rivers. Right now, the world economy is characterized by human production. However, nature is not infinite. It is especially vulnerable to human development. Mr. Kosugi’s question was: “Then why can’t the economy be regulated so that it only circulates within the limitations of nature?”
Maybe human beings are naturally selfish and greedy.
How about the relationship between the so-called developed and developing countries?
There are so many things to think about.