Nature & Parks

[Framework of Management] Shirakami-sanchi World Heritage Area Management Plan

[Cultural and Historical Heritage] Shirakami-sannchi World Heritage Area Management Plan

3. Management Framework

(1) Basic Framework

For the purpose of maintaining the value of the area as a World Heritage Site, the entire Heritage Area will be under unified management that will consider the aims of individual conservation systems.
The Heritage Area is divided into two management classifications.:

  1. The core area ("Core Area") has especially high-grade vegetation, and has been not significantly affected by human activity.
  2. The area surrounding the Core Area ("Buffer Area") serves as a buffer zone. The Buffer Area was the nominated area that the World Heritage Committee Bureau Session recommended for expansion.

The management of the Heritage Area will be conducted according to the above management classifications.

The following indicates the area for each management classification.
Core Area: 10,139 ha
Buffer Area: 6,832 ha
Total area: 16,971 ha

(2) Outline of the Designation Systems for Conservation

The Core Area is protected by ,the strict enforcement of conservation regulations under the jurisdiction of several rules: as a Special Zone and a Wildlife Protection Zone in the Nature Conservation Area, as a Special Protection Zone in the Quasi-National Park, and as a Preservation Area in the Forest Ecosystem Reserve.
Conservation measures in the Buffer Area are under the jurisdiction of the Ordinary Areas of the Nature Conservation Area and the Conservation and Utilization Zones of the Forest Ecosystem Reserve Parts of the Buffer Areas are included the Quasi-National Park and Prefectural Natural Parks.

  1. Nature Conservation Area
    Nature Conservation Areas must specifically conserve the natural environment and must also fulfill certain criteria, e.g., having extraordinary natural forests. The Minister of the Environment designates and manages these Areas in accordance with the Nature Conservation Law.
    The core of Shirakami-sanchi was designated as the "Shirakami-sanchi Nature Conservation Area" under the aforementioned law in July of 1992. This Area has 9,844 hectares designated as a Special Zone where special conservation measures are implemented. In this Zone, the Minister of the Environment must approve activities such as the construction of buildings, alteration of the land shape, mining, and cutting trees or bamboo. This Area is also designated as a Wildlife Protection Zone: collecting or damaginge the 108 species of protected plants is prohibited. Both of These zones are located completely within the Core Area. The areas not within the designated Special Zone are in the Ordinary Zone. The Minister of the Environment must be notified in writing before undertaking activities such as constructing large buildings or alter the land scape. Ordinary Zone is located within the Buffer Area
  2. Natural Parks (Quasi-National Park, Prefectural Natural Park)
    Natural Parks aim to protect scenic beauty; to promote the use of natural areas,; and to contribute to human health, recreation, and enlightenment. The Natural Parks Law makes provisions for the designation ofe three types of parks: National Park.s, Quasi-National Parks, and Prefectural Natural Parks.
    The Heritage Area includes the Tsugaru Quasi-National Park (managed by the Aomori Prefectural Governor, designated by the Minister of the Environment in accordance with the Natural Parks Law), Akashi-Keiryu-Anmon-No-Taki Prefectural Natural Park (designated and managed by the Aomori Prefectural Governor based on a prefectural ordinance), and the Kimimachizaka-Fujisato-kyo Prefectural Natural Park (designated and managed by the Akita Prefectural Governor based on a prefectural ordinance). The Tsugaru Quasi-National Park has ,two distinct zones: the Special Zone and the Special Protection Zone. Within the Special Zone, the Prefectural Governor must approve activities such as building construction or tree cutting to ensure due consideration has been given to the protection of the park as well as the importance of the continued use of the park. Within the Special Protection Zone, the Prefectural Governor must approve acts such as the aforementioned construction and cutting, collection of animals and plants, collection of fallen leaves and branches, or bonfires. Restrictions are enforced in each area. Special Zones have been established within the Prefectural Natural Parks in both prefectures where similar regulations are enforced.
  3. Forest Ecosystem Reserve
    Forest Ecosystem Reserves are areas established and managed by the Forestry Agency in accordance with National Forest Management Rules. Through the conservation of old growth forests, Its the Reserves aim to maintain the natural forest ecosystem, protect plants and animals, preserve the gene pool, advance the technology of forest management, and contribute to academic research in Shirakami-sanchi. Based on the National Forest Management Rules, the area surrounding the Japanese beech forests was established as the "Shirakami-sanchi Forest Ecosystem Reserve" in March, 1990.
    Preservation Areas are the most primeval sections of the forest and require strict management of the forest ecosystem. Excluding academic research and emergency measures taken during natural disasters, changes in the ecosystem occur without human disturbance and are basically primarily due to natural processes. The Conservation and Utilization Zone serves as a buffer to prevent environmental change outside of the reserve from directory affecting the forests in the Preservation Area. Forestry operations for timber production are prohibited in this Zone. However, educational or recreational uses may be permitted if they are in harmony with natural conditions and they are not accompanied by large-scale.
    The entire Heritage Area overlaps the Forest Ecosystem Reserve: the Core Area coincides with the Preservation Area and the Buffer Area coincides with the Conservation and Utilization Zone
  4. Natural Monuments (Protected Species)
    Under the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties, the Minister of Education can designate "Natural Monuments." Natural Monuments are of high academic interest in Japan and they may include geological minerals (including areas of extraordinary natural phenomena) or certain plants and animals (including their habitat, breeding grounds, and migration) "Special Natural Monuments" are designated natural monuments with particular.
    Of the animals and plants inhabiting or growing in the Heritage Area. Capricornis crispus has been designated as a Special Natural Monument. Furthermore, Dryocopus martius, Aquila chrysaetos Japanica and Glirulus japonicus have been designated as Natural Monuments. Therefore, the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs must approve any changes to the habitat of these species or any actions that would affect the preservation of these species.

(3) Management Structure

The Heritage Area will be managed through the close collaboration among the Environment Agency, Forestry Agency, the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Aomori Prefectural government, and Akita Prefectural governmente.
The Shirakami-sanchi World Heritage Area Liaison Committee ("Liaison Committee") will be established as a forum for administrative bodies to promote more effective cooperation and collaboration for the management of the Heritage Area.
The Liaison Committee will promote mutual cooperation and collaboration and, manage the Heritage Area in a unified, appropriate, and efficient manner. Because the effective management of the Heritage Area is essential to enhance the understanding and cooperation of local community, the Liaison Committee will seek to promote cooperation with local municipalities and concerned organizations.


Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan

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