VISIT OKINAWA JAPAN Official Okinawa Travel Guide

Amami-Okinawa added to the World Natural Heritage List!!

2021.7.28
  • Posted : July 28, 2021

Amami-Okinawa added to the World Natural Heritage List!!

Northern Okinawa Island image

On July 26, 2021, Amami Oshima, Tokunoshima, Northern Okinawa Island, and Iriomote Island (collectively called Amami-Okinawa) of Nanasei Shoto, a chain of islands that stretch across Kagoshima to Okinawa prefectures, were officially added to the World Natural Heritage List by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

To be inducted as a World Natural Heritage Site, candidate sites must meet one or more of the following criteria: natural beauty, topography/geology, ecosystem, and/or biodiversity. Amami Oshima, Tokunoshima, Northern Okinawa Island, and Iriomote Island were recognized to “possess outstanding universal value in the unique topographical and geological features, ecosystems, and natural habitats of endangered flora and fauna.”

Shiretoko, Shirakami-Sanchi, Yakushima, and Ogasawara Islands are already registered as World Natural Heritage Sites in Japan. The induction of Amami-Okinawa area is the fifth World Natural Heritage Site in Japan, added to the list after ten years since the last selection.

To pass on the rich nature of our proud islands to future generations, let’s be grateful for the gifts of nature and respect the rules of the area to protect it.