Yambaru National Park: Wild forest area in northern Okinawa designated national park

Yambaru National Park: Wild forest area in northern Okinawa designated national park

The Yambaru kuina or endangered Okinawa Rail found in the subtropical evergreen forest region in the northern part of Okinawa (Photograph provided by the Ministry of the Environment via Kyodo News Service).


September 15, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Japanese government has designated 16,300 hectares of forest covering the villages of Kunigami,

Higashi, and Ogimi in the northern part of Okinawa Prefecture as its 33rd national park. Named Yambaru National Park, its designation as a new national park became official following the designation of the Kerama Islands as national park. Representatives of the three villages celebrated the designation by putting up banners at municipal offices.

The forested Yambaru region is one of the largest subtropical evergreen forests in Japan home to endemic and rare animals and plants. In Kunigami Village on September 10 (Photograph taken by Yasuhide Matayoshi through micro wireless helicopter)

The forested Yambaru region is one of the largest subtropical evergreen forests in Japan home to endemic and rare animals and plants. In Kunigami Village on September 10 (Photograph taken by Yasuhide Matayoshi through micro wireless helicopter)

 

 

The unique park sits in the forested Yambaru region, one of the largest subtropical forests in Japan, where endemic and rare plants and animals harmoniously inhabit a diverse ecosystem. A project to review national parks, implemented in the fiscal year of 2015, deemed the region “an outstanding representation of our country.” The government aims to register the Amami and Ryukyu islands on UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. By designating the Yambaru region as a national park, the government has reaffirmed the cause of environmental conservation.

(English translation by T&CT)

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