Yanbaru National Park becomes official today
The land area covering 13,622 hectares over Kunigami, Ogimi, and Higashi villages plus a 3,670ha area of the ocean are formally registered today as the 33rd national park in Japan.
The Yanbaru National Park is the first in the nation since the national park around Kerama Islands was registered in 2014, and the third since Iriomote National Park in Yaeyama archipelago was established in 1972.
Sep. 15 is considered the anniversary of the discovery of Yanbarutenagakogane beetle (Cheirotonus jambar), an endemic species of Yanbaru. The three above mentioned villages in Yanbaru are all covered with subtropical evergreen forests, and are home to animals and plants, including endangered species, found nowhere else.
The government aims to register the park as a World Natural Heritage Site of UNESCO, in order to establish a system to control the development projects and protect its environment.
The park contains land areas designated as “special protection areas” and “special areas” where deforestation activities and even entry are restricted.