For coexistence of people and nature

@The Nature Conservation Bureau works to preserve and restore ecosystems and to ensure that humans can coexist with nature. It is also securing a variety of places to provide people with opportunities to enjoy nature, and to learn and feel nature's blessing.

œThe National Biodiversity Strategy
@of Japan

@Japan formulated "The National Biodiversity Strategy of Japan" in 2002 aiming to realize, with all-out efforts by the entire government, the society that harmoniously coexists with nature. It pointed out the following three directions of measures to be emphasized thereafter: 1) Strengthen conservation efforts; 2) Nature Restoration; 3) Sustainable use. Ministry of the Environment will strengthen cooperation and partnership with other related ministries and agencies, and will stage various measures for the biodiversity conservation.

National Parks celebrated their
70th anniversary in 2004
(Photo: Oze area of the Nikko National Park)

”Initiatives for Nature Conservation

œWilderness Areas and Nature
@Conservation Areas

@Areas containing ecosystems whose original characteristics have been preserved without any human influence and areas with outstanding natural ecosystems have been designated as Wilderness Areas (5) and Nature Conservation Areas (10), to ensure that they are carefully protected.

œNatural Parks
@Many of JapanÕs most scenic natural areas have been designated as National Parks (28) or Quasi-National Parks (55), both to protect their natural resources and to make them accessible to people to directly experience nature. The Ministry of the Environment allocates officials called Ņpark rangersÓ in these National Parks to regulate development and raise awareness of nature conservation.

œConservation of Satochi-Satoyama
@The Nature Conservation Bureau works in partnership and collaboration with local governments, communities, NPOs, experts, and relevant government agencies (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport) to protect and restore satochi-satoyama, which are nature areas in rural and community settings, which are maintained by people.

Satochi-Satoyama [Miyazu City, Kyoto Prefecture]

Kushiro Marshland
[Kushiro Shitsugen National Park]

”Nature Restoration

@To restore the natural environment lost in the past, the Nature Conservation Bureau is implementing various projects in cooperation with other related ministries and agencies to restore such natural environments as rivers, marshes, tidal flats, moba (seaweed/seagrass beds), satoyama (community-managed nature areas), satochi (rural landscapes), and forests. The bureau is also seeking the participation of such diverse actors as local communities, NPOs, and experts on these projects.
When implementing such nature restoration projects, the bureau takes flexible approaches based on a long-term perspective by conducting thorough preliminary research, continuing to monitor after the start of the project, and adjusting projects according to the results of this monitoring.

”Promotion of Communion
@with Nature

œFacility Development in Natural Parks
@The Nature Conservation Bureau develops facilities to help people commune with nature and learn more about the environment. These facilities, located within National Parks and Quasi-National Parks, include visitor centers, nature observation trails, camping sites, public toilets and nature study facilities; they allow people to deepen their understanding of nature through firsthand experience. The bureau also works to conserve marshes and restore vegetation.

œCloser Communication with Nature
@In addition to facility development, the bureau organizes various events and projects such as the Campaign to Communicate with Nature, and the Junior Park Rangers project. It also focuses on developing Natural Park Advisors and Park Volunteers who support the bureauÕs activities in National and Quasi-National parks.

œPromotion of Ecotourism
@The Nature Conservation Bureau promotes ecotourism that takes advantage of nature and culture to achieve both tourism and community promotion, while ensuring the conservation of the natural environment. Ecotourism also helps visitors to study about the environment.

”Wildlife Management

œ Protection of Endangered Species
@The capture and transfer of endangered species are legally regulated, and their habitat protected. Furthermore, Nature Conservation Bureau is engaged in recovery projects. At present, 73 domestic and about 670 international species are designated as endangered species by law.

œ Management of Wild Birds and Mammals
@The capture of wildlife is prohibited except for special cases, such as licensed hunting. Important habitats for wildlife are designated as Wildlife Protection Areas (as of end-March 2006, about 3,900 areas, 3.7 million ha in total).

œ Measures for Invasive Alien Species
@and Living Modified Organisms

@The bureau regulates the import and ownership of "Invasive Alien Species" that could adversely impact JapanÕs ecosystem, human safety, agriculture, forestry, or fisheries, and it works to eliminate them through capture and the like. The bureau also strives to prevent negative effects on biodiversity caused by Living Modified Organisms.

Tsushima leopard cat
(designated National Endangered Species
of Wild Fauna and Flora)

Kabukuri-numa and the surrounding
rice paddies (Ramsar site: Miyagi
Prefecture, National Wildlife
Protection Area)

”Humane Treatment and
@ Management of Animals

@The Nature Conservation Bureau encourages awareness of animal protection and strives to prevent harm to domestic animals (pets), zoo animals, laboratory animals, industrial animals, and the like. For these purposes, the bureau implements such measures as efforts to raise public awareness on the issues and to regulate businesses that handle animals. It also is working on measures related to the conservation of surrounding living environment and prevention of the harm caused by animals, as well as efforts to stop animal abuse and abandonment.

”Promotion of International
@ Cooperation

@Japan has concluded bilateral conventions and agreements with the U.S.A., China, Australia, and Russia to protect migratory birds and their habitats. In accordance with the Ramsar Convention, Japan is also providing special protection to internationally important wetlands . In addition, it is regulating the international trade of endangered species based on the Washington Convention (CITES).
Japan promotes international cooperation in accordance with the Convention on Biological Diversity, for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.
In compliance with the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, the Ministry of the Environment is conserving Shiretoko, Yakushima and Shirakami-sanchi, three of JapanÕs outstanding natural heritage sites. Japan also promotes international cooperation for conservation of coral reefs and related ecosystems, through the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI).

Coral reef (Iriomote National Park)