After Okinawa and Amami made the World Natural Heritage List, Governor Tamaki affirms they need to “Make it last 1,000 years”

After Okinawa and Amami made the World Natural Heritage List, Governor Tamaki affirms they need to “Make it last 1,000 years”

Okinawa Governor Denny Tamaki opening a Kusudama in celebration of Okianwa and Amami’s inclusion on the World Natural Heritage List – July 26, at the Okinawa Prefectural Office

July 27, 2021 Ryukyu Shimpo


The Okinawa Prefectural Office held a “World Natural Heritage List Recognition Watch Party” on July 26, to watch the moment when Okinawa and Amami would be officially recognized as a World Natural Heritage site, with Governor Tamaki among others in attendance to witness the final decision. At the moment the decision was presented over video on YouTube, Governor Tamaki happily exclaimed “Yes, we did it!” while applauding. Even after making the list, endemic species will need to be protected and tourism will need to be managed, and Tamaki emphasized, “Let’s make this valuable natural heritage last for the next hundred, next thousand years,” and expressed his interest in strengthening environmental protection efforts.

The watch party was attended online by places such as the three municipalities in Kunigami, Taketomi, the Ministry of the Environment, and Kagoshima Prefecture.

When Governor Tamaki was told “I hope the recognition on the World Natural Heritage List will strengthen the cooperation between Okinawa and Kagoshima,” by Kagoshima Prefecture Governor Koichi Shiota, Tamaki gave a big nod while watching the screen, indicating his happiness.

After the watch party, Governor Tamaki held a press conference, he explained about efforts to enact polices regarding invasive species as well as policies to protect endemic species from traffic accidents, saying, “In order to pass down this valued natural environment to later generations, we need to continuously work together with everyone here to create a sustainable region worthy of the World Natural Heritage List.”

Regarding the issue of waste being found in the former site of the U.S. military’s Northern Training Area, which was returned to Okinawa, Tamaki said, “We will request cooperation from the U.S., who is the responsible party, to do a survey and speedily dispose of the waste. I would like the U.S. government to protect the environment, to cooperate with Okinawa’s efforts to protect the environment.


(English translation by T&CT and Sam Grieb)


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