The Yanbaru region in the northern part of Okinawa Island and Iriomote Island were recently added to UNESCO’s World Natural Heritage list. This is the first time in ten years that a nature site in Japan has been instated by UNESCO.

To be inducted as a World Natural Heritage Site, candidates must meet one or more of the following criteria: natural beauty, topography/geology, ecosystem, and/or biodiversity.  Yanbaru has an abundance of subtropical forested hills and endemic wildlife, while Iriomote Island is ninety percent covered by jungle and mangrove forests.


Okinawans are proud of the rich nature of their islands and are committed to respecting and protecting the region for future generations to enjoy.


For more information on Okinawa’s natural assets