Nature & Parks

[Preface] Shirakami-sanchi World Heritage Area Management Plan

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

Preface

The Japanese beech (Fagus crenata) forest in the Shirakami-sanchi World Heritage Area ("Heritage Area"), is unique among world forests because of its high purity, preservation of old growth trees, and diversity of plants and animals. The Heritage Area represents the new beech forests that appeared in East Asia after the Ice Age. Furthermore, it is also a salient example of an on-going ecological process with various community types and varying stages of regeneration. The natural environment in this area has been deemed "An outstanding example of communities of plants and animals representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal, and marine ecosystems." The World Heritage Convention decided to add the Heritage Area to the World Heritage List in December 1993.

The following outlines the process followed for inclusion in the World Heritage List. In June l993, the Bureau Session of the World Heritage Committee gave three recommendations to the Japanese Government in regards to the proposed heritage area.:

  1. The expansion of the nominated area;
  2. Upgrading its legal status; and
  3. A commitment to establish a liaison committee with the agencies and the two concerned prefectures and to enhance well-collaborated management by formulating a management plan

The Japanese Government gave the following response in September of the same year:

  1. The decision to expand the nominated area
  2. Confirmation that the area was strictly protected under the current system; and
  3. a commitment to establish a liaison committee with the agencies and the two prefectures concerned, and to enhance well-collaborated management by formulating a management plan.

The World Heritage Committee evaluated the Japanese Government response and decided in favor of inclusion oin the List. Following these events, this management plan was formulated.

An outline of the draft management plan was publicized in September 1995, and the final plan was formulated after considering opinions expressed through a public meeting and letters


Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan

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