Approximately 60% of the land area in Taiwan is covered by forests. The forests have diverse ecosystems and are closely related to Taiwan’s social and economic development. However, stateled forest governance has led to conflicts between indigenous peoples and the government, undermining the social, cultural, and environmental development of indigenous peoples. To address these problems, the
co-management of forests by both indigenous peoples and the government has been promoted as a new policy goal in Taiwan since the early 2000s. In recent years, there have been gradual institutional adjustments of Taiwan’s natural resource management as well as academic
studies and policy suggestions for co-management. Nevertheless, there is still a large gap between theories and practices in environmental co-management and a lack of practical strategies and examples. We argue that the “Satoyama Initiative” should be integrated with co-management to improve forest governance based on our 2 case studies. Following a participatory action research
approach, we worked closely with the Adiri and Labuwan communities in Pingtung, southern Taiwan,to explore how indigenous communities can develop ecotourism and agroforestry through collaborations with governments, universities, and non-governmental organizations. We found thatthe symbiotic relationship of community life, economy, and ecology promoted in the Satoyama Initiative can facilitate consensus building among indigenous communities and the government.The ecotourism planning process also serves as a strategy for cultural revitalization and local empowerment.Additionally, integration of traditional ecological knowledge and science can be used to develop sustainable forest management practices. As indigenous communities have experienced increases in incidents of theft and intrusion into their living space and traditional territories, this study calls attention to appropriate legal protection for indigenous communities’ conservation efforts and sovereignty.