Nature & Parks

Nature Conservation in Japan -Section 3

[Policies & Programs] Nature Conservation in Japan

3 National Survey on the Natural Environment

3.1 Initiation of the Survey

The Environment Agency, in accordance with the Nature Conservation Law of 1972, undertakes the National Survey on the Natural Environment every five years. The Survey which is popularly known as "The Green Census" covers topography, geology, species distribution, important plant community distribution, wildlife habitat, typical natural and scenic beauty areas, and others. Four national-scale surveys were carried out in fiscal 1973, 1978/79, 1983-87, and 1988-1992, and the fifth survey is under way and will be completed in 1997.

The Biodiversity Survey has begun since 1994.

3.2 Survey Objectives

Main objectives of the Survey are as follows:

  1. To collect information on the present state of the natural environment throughout the country.
  2. To analyze the long-term change of the natural environment by accumulating the results of the Survey carried out every five years.
  3. To utilize the results of the Survey for policy development on nature and natural resources conservation and management in Japan.

3.3 Biodiversity Survey

The national survey on the state of biodiversity in Japan began in 1994. The nation-wide distribution of all animal and plant species in Japan is being surveyed and the results will be known by the year 2000. The survey on representative natural ecosystems is also under way as part of the biodiversity survey in order to have information on biodiversity at an ecosystem level.

3.4 Publication

The results of the Survey have been published in the form of reports and maps. These outputs have been employed as basic information for establishment and management of protected areas, environmental awareness programmes, Environment Impact Assessment, regional plannings, etc.

The list of the outputs

Distribution of Japanese Monkey
Distribution of Japanese Monkey

Publications on the Green Census
Publications on the Green Census


Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan

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