Nature & Parks

[Outline of the World Heritage Convention] Yakushima World Heritage Area Management Plan

[Cultural and Historical Heritage] Yakushima World Heritage Area Management Plan

Outline of the World Heritage Convention


Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage


To list the heritage sites that need protection and, to assist each nation's measures to protect heritage sites with the World Heritage Fund consisting of donations from member countries.


Date of Adoption:
16 November 1972 (17th UNESCO World Heritage in Paris.)
Effective Date:
17 December 1975
Number of Signatory Nations:
142 nations (as of 1 September 1995)
Major Signatories:
United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, People's Republic of China, Japan
World Heritage Sites:
Currently, there are 440 properties (97 Natural 326 Cultural, 17 Combined), e.g., Yellowstone National Park (USA) and the Pyramids (Egypt), listed on the UNESCO Cultural and National World Heritage List, 1988.

4.World Heritage Categories

Cultural heritage:
architectural works; monuments (sculpture and paintings); elements or structures of an archaeological nature, etc, which are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science.
Natural heritage:
natural features consisting of physical and biological formations, or groups of such formations, geological and physiographical formations and precisely delineated areas which constitute the habitat of threatened species of animals and plants, natural sites or precisely delineated natural areas of outstanding universal value from the perspective of aesthetics, science, conservation, or natural beauty.

5.The details of events surrounding the inscription of Yakushima on the World Heritage List

April 1922
Establishment of Academic Reference Forest Reserve within the national forest.
December 1924
Yakushima Old Growth Japanese Cedar Forest designated as a Natural Monument (designated as a Special Natural Monument in 1954)
March 1964
Incorporation into the Kirishima-yaku National Park (National Park area expanded in 1983).
May 1975
Designation of the Yakushima Wilderness Area
March 1992
Establishment of Yakushima Forest Ecosystem Reserve
The National Diet approved the World Heritage Convention: the Government submitted a letter of acceptance of the Convention to the Secretariat.
The Convention came into effect in Japan
The Government nominated Shirakami-sanchi and Yakushima as Natural Heritage candidate sites to the World Heritage Committee.
May 1993
IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) conducted an area study.
Bureau Session of the World Heritage Committee
Decision at the World Heritage Committee Meeting in Colombia to inscribe Shirakami-sanchi and Yakushima on the World Heritage List

This document is a preliminary English translation only. Any reader who seeks to understand formal policy and measures, should refer to the Japanese text

Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan

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