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