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About World Natural Heritage

The World Heritage is an irreplaceable asset of mankind as a whole and is a treasure to be handed over to future generations. In Japan, Shiretoko, Shirakami-Sanchi and Yakushima have been inscribed as the natural heritage.

With the new inscription of Ogasawara Islands in June 2011, there are four World Natural Heritage sites in Japan in total.

Japan Natural Heritage

Criteria

To be inscribed on the World Heritage List as a natural site, it must meet one or more of the four criteria.

To be inscribed

Value of the Ogasawara Islands

The Ogasawara Islands are important areas that provide precious information on the evolution of the Earth and organisms. The nomination of the Ogasawara Islands was made based on the three criteria: "topography / geography and geology", "ecosystem", and "biodiversity"

Among these, it was recognized that the ecosystem of Ogasawara meets the criterion.

Value of the Ogasawara Islands

Topography, Geography, & Geology

The Ogasawara Islands are the only place in the world where a formation process of an oceanic island arc can be observed form its birth, juvenile phase to the on-going young phase. Thus, the Ogasawara Islands are an outstanding example of the history of the Earth, providing the evolutionary record of how an oceanic crust formed.

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Ecosystem

On the Ogasawara Islands, we can observe the processes of species diversification to adapt to various types of environments. Thus, the Ogasawara Islands are an outstanding example of on-going biological processes.

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Biodiversity

The Ogasawara Islands have maintained unique island ecosystems and serve as habitats for a large number of globally important endangered species. Thus, these Islands are considered as important areas for biodiversity.

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Management System

The Regional Liaison Committee has been held to facilitate the smooth and proper conservation and management of the natural environment. Close cooperation and coordination between the government and administrative bodies, island residents, and other concerned bodies have been achieved through the committee. Furthermore, a wide range of expert advice is obtained from the Scientific Council.

Management System