Shirakami-Sanchi

Protection and management

The primeval beech forest of the Shirakami-Sanchi World Heritage property is conserved through measures like patrols and management grounded in various laws, ordinances, and rules. At present, no significant problems have surfaced that would threat its Outstanding Universal Value. However, ongoing monitoring of the natural environment is necessary since the possibility of challenges arising in the future has been pointed out, such as the impact from climate change. Government officials, experts, and local stakeholders are working together to promote conservation efforts.

Protected Areas in the Property
Shirakami-Sanchi Nature Conservation Area:
14,043 ha
(Under jurisdiction of MOE)

Examples of Efforts

Patrols

Patrols

Rangers from the Ministry of the Environment and other personnel from government agencies, staff hired by the agencies, and volunteers periodically carry out patrols to ensure that the World Heritage property is being properly conserved. The patrols prevent entry to core area in which trespassing is restricted, felling of and damage to trees, the illegal harvest of plants, the poaching of fish in no-fishing areas, the disposal of trash, and open bonfires. In addition, they educate visitors about etiquette and provide instruction on procedures for visiting the mountains. Joint patrols undertaken by assembling persons involved together are carried out several times a year organized by the Shirakami-Sanchi World Heritage Area Liaison Committee.

Promoting Ecotourism

Promoting Ecotourism

In 2011, a committee was launched to promote ecotourism in Shirakami-Sanchi. The committee carries out activities to unearth local resources such as by asking local people about how they have interacted with nature in Shirakami-Sanchi since the past and conducting questionnaires related to historical culture, foods, and nature that the people can show off, value, and look on with pride. This is done with the goal of having local residents, local stakeholders, and others come together to work to address ecotourism in the World Heritage property and its surrounding regions. Promoting ecotourism will convey to tourists the appeal inherent in the local area, get them to understand its value and importance, and thereby lead to conservation.

Monitoring

Monitoring

It is essential to detect early on potential effects of global warming and air pollution on the beech forest that is so important to the Shirakami-Sanchi World Heritage property. Ongoing monitoring activities are being carried out for a careful watch over the changes at Shirakami- Sanchi by incorporating natural scientific content like climate and vegetation, and social scientific content like the number of visitors to the mountains.
Since a range of resources is required in order to continue with the surveys, they are carried out via coordination with the public, students, researchers, and government agencies.

Programs for Experiencing Nature

There are programs in World Heritage property to teach children about the wonders of nature and connections between humans and nature by having them experience nature.
With the programs, children go out into nature together with experts of the rivers and mountains who have actually lived by receiving the bounty of nature in Shirakami-Sanchi. The kids hear talks about the traditional dietary culture and hunting from Matagi, Japanese traditional game hunter, and are taught knowledge on fishing from river fishermen. Programs are also held for children to learn about the wonders of nature together with rangers from the Ministry of the Environment through forest patrols and surveys of living creatures. Environmental education is promoted in a way that uses Shirakami-Sanchi as living teaching materials.

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