Nature & Parks

[Management Measures] Shirakami-sanchi World Heritage Area Management Plan

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

4. Management Measures

(1) Basic Policy

The Heritage Area will be managed according to the designations of Core and Buffer Areas to preserve the value of the area as a World Heritage.
From the perspective of implementing unified, efficient, and effective management of the area, the concerned administrative bodies will promote effective collaboration, and encourage coordination through forums such as the Liaison Committee.

  1. Core Area
    In general, the Core Area will be free of artificial intervention and subject to natural changes. Building construction, soil or rock, and other acts that may threaten the conservation of the natural environment (unless for special purposes such as academic research) will be strictly regulated by the conservation systems already in place.
    Because of the widespread publicity of the inclusion of the Heritage Area in the World Heritage List, the number of visitors to the Heritage Area has increased sharply and may negatively impact the natural environment of the area. Entry into this area will be regulated with the ,exception of entry through existing footpaths for mountaineering and other purposes.
    Further discussions will be held to hear local opinions on issues such as the establishment of regulations for mode of entry.
  2. Buffer Area
    Certain types of activities in the Buffer Area will be restricted to preserve the status quo of the Core Area. In particular, special regulations will apply to activities that may have an adverse effect on the natural environment of the Core Area. For example, forestry operations for the purpose of timber production will be prohibited. The existing artificial forests in the Buffer Area will be transformed into natural forests, through future projects.

(2) The Protection of Animals and Plants

The protection of plants and animals in the Heritage Area will be implemented through necessary measures based on the existing conservation systems according to management classifications.
Studies will be implemented to research the natural environment of and to monitor the activities of animals such as the Asian black. Appropriate conservation measures will be implemented according to the results of those studies, for example, the establishment of a Wildlife Protection Area under the Wildlife Protection and Hunting Law.

  1. Core Areas
    The cutting of trees or bamboo and the collection of plants will be strictly restricted in the Core Area, except for academic research or other special circumstances. Animals designated as Natural Monuments will be protected from capture and other acts that may inhibit successful.
    Strict restrictions will apply to activities that may have impact the habitat or breeding grounds of animals or plants by altering the landscape, etc.
  2. Buffer Areas
    To promote the preservation of animals and plants, regulations will apply to on activities that may have impact the habitat or growth environment of plants or animals by affecting the landscape.

(3) Outdoor Recreation

To preserve the value of the natural environment of Shirakami-sanchi as a World Heritage Area, outdoor recreation will be appropriately managed according to the policies of each management classification.
Discussions will be held to determine how to regulate private passenger vehicles access by the forest roads surrounding the Heritage Area because they may affect visitors to the Core Area.

  1. Care Areas

    The use of existing pathways for hiking will be managed to prevent negative impact on plants and animals.
    There will also be regulations on other outdoor recreation activities.

  2. Buffer Area

    The Buffer Area may be used for cultural and educational purposes and as ,simple recreation spaces or areas to experience pristine nature, as long as these activities do not violate the intent of the existing conservation systems.

(4) The Implementation of Management Programs

The Heritage Area will have management programs that are implemented to promote local understanding and cooperation.

  1. Patrol
    The of the Environment and the Forestry Agency will coordinate to establish patrols within the Heritage Area by District Forestry Officers and others. Public volunteers will be commissioned to support the patrols.
    Both Aomori and Akita Prefectures will commission Nature Conservation Leaders to manage the Heritage Area through patrols.
    In addition to this systematization of these patrol policies, the Liaison Committee will increase coordination among related organizations to promote more effective patrols throughout the Heritage Area. District Forestry Officials and others who have the power of law enforcement will patrol and inspect to ensure the swift enforcement of the regulations. If illegal activities are discovered, communication among concerned organizations will be strengthened appropriately.
  2. Management Facilities
    The necessary signs, patrol paths, etc. to promote appropriate management of the Heritage Area will be established with due consideration given to the possible effects on the natural environment.

(5) Information and Environmental Education Activities

Information and environmental education must be provided to the public to gain their understanding of the value of the Heritage Area and their cooperation in preserving the area. To achieve these goals, a mechanism needs to be created that will disseminate information about the Heritage Area, e.g., nature, culture, and available facilities. Opportunities must be provided to explain the value of the natural setting of Shirakami-sanchi and to visitors to learn on their own. Specifically, the following measures are under consideration.

  1. Constructing facilities to display and explain the concept of the World Heritage Area.
  2. Providing information on the forest system, forest dynamics, and the proper manner to experience the forest through informational and educational activities presented by the Regional Forestry Offices, its branch offices, and the Fujisato Forest Center.
  3. Creatinge posters and leaflets to disseminate information and promote a sense of conservation by posting them and distributing them to visitors; also creating directories, signs, etc.
  4. Studying and developing environmental education activities;and discussing how to provide proper guidance for observers, researchers, and mountain-climbers within the Heritage Area.

(6) Research and Monitoring

Because many unknown aspects of the natural environment remain in the Heritage Area, academic research and long-term monitoring will be conducted to collect basic data. Long-term monitoring will include observing the natural environment and human impact in the Heritage Area.
Furthermore, base facilities will be created for research and monitoring. Activities at the facilities will include the collection and distribution of data, and the storage of samples. Special emphasis will be placed on the construction of base research facilities such as the Shirakami-sanchi World Heritage Conservation Center.
Active coordination and cooperation with concerned organizations will be sought for research and monitoring projects.

Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan

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