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Press Release

Inscription of Shiretoko on the World Heritage List Finalized

July 14, 2005

The 29th Session of the World Heritage Committee held in Durban, South Africa, from July 10, Sunday, to July 17 examined Shiretoko, recommended by Japan for inscription on the World Heritage List (hereinafter referred to as "the List") and adopted its inscription on the List as of July 14. With this, Japanese properties included on the list amounted to 13 (3 natural properties and 10 cultural properties). The formal adoption date shall be the last day of the meeting.

Ms. Yuriko Koike, Minister of the Environment, commented "It is a great pleasure to have Shiretoko inscribed on the World Heritage List being the 13th Japanese property on the List, as a treasure of the mankind. Inheritance of this precious natural property to date relied on the noble awareness and substantial efforts of the people in Shiretoko and many others concerned. I, hereby, express my sincere gratitude and respect to their endeavors. The inscription on the List is not our end goal. Our final target to achieve is to preserve the property into the future on a sustanable and ecologically sound basis. I shall further devote myself for the conservation of natural property of Shiretoko which came to be the universal treasure."

<Outline of Examination Result at the 29th Session of the World Heritage Committee>

1.Decision on inscription

Recommendation on whether nominated property shall be inscribed or not is expressed by the following 3 classifications; "inscribe" or "not inscribe", "refer" and "defer". It was recommended to "inscribe" Shiretoko on the World Heritage List.

2. Applicable selection criteria

Criteria for selection are as follows. As for criterion of "scenic beauty" proposed in Japanese nomination, it was decided as not satisfying the standard for inscription.

(1) Natural criteria (ii) (ecosystem)
Shiretoko provides an outstanding example of the interaction of marine and terrestrial ecosystems as well as extraordinary ecosystem productivity, largely influenced by the formation of seasonal sea ice at the lowest latitude in the northern hemisphere.
(2) Natural criteria (iv) (biodiversity)
Shiretoko has particular importance for a number of marine and terrestrial species. These include a number of endangered and endemic species, such as the Blackiston's Fish owl and the plant species Viola kitamiana.
The site is globally important for a number of salmonid species and for a number of marine mammals, including the Steller's sea Lion and a number of cetacean species.
The site has significance as a habitat for globally threatened sea birds and is a globally important area for migratory birds.

3. Measures to be implemented after the inscription

Recommendation to implement the following measures was made.

(1) Sending a map and details of the final boundaries, extending the marine boundary from 1km to 3km, as well as a copy of the law supporting them, to the World Heritage Centre once necessary legal procedures have been completed.
(2) Inviting a mission in two years from its inscription to assess progress with the implementation of the marine management plan and its effectiveness in protecting the marine resources.
(3) Expediting development of a marine management plan, to be completed by 2008, to clearly identify measures for strengthening marine protection and the possibilities of extending the boundaries of the marine component of the property.
(4) Developing a salmonid management plan to identify impacts of dams and strategies to address this impact.
(5) Addressing other management issues (including tourism management and scientific research) indentified in the evaluation report.


Japan was highly evaluated for the process of public consultation involved in the preparation of nomination documents, the preparation of an excellent nomination dossier and effectively addressing IUCN's recommendations to enhance the conservation and management.

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