It is necessary for a site to have a “notable universal value,” which is judged by whether the following three conditions are met, in order to be recognized as a World Natural Heritage site, as an important area with a unique and exclusive value in the world.
*The following is quoted from the “Japan World Natural Heritage Site” by the Ministry of the Environment
4 The property must meet one or more of the four criteria (see table).
Criteria for World Heritage
(vii) Natural Beauty
Contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance.
(viii) Geology and Geomorphology
Be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth's history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features.
Be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals.
Contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of Outstanding Universal Value from the point of view of science or conservation.
The property must fulfill the condition of integrity (e.g. include all the elements necessary to demonstrate outstanding universal value; contain adequate areas; show little influence of development; and maintain its primary natural value).
The property must be adequately protected and managed in order to maintain its outstanding universal value over the long term.
1. Do not approach or feed wildlife
Wild animals that remember the taste of human food can not only change their living places/living style and disrupt ecosystems, but can also cause crop damage in remote areas.
2. Stay on the promenades and mountain trails
Vegetation, once trampled, does not recover easily. We ask that you move, photograph, etc. only on established roads and trails so as to protect the moss, plants, and animals that create landscapes and ecosystems, and also to prevent destruction.
Some areas on mountain trails may be muddy, so equipment such as boots and outerwear are recommended.
3. Do not collect animals and plants
Natural Heritage sites are home to many unique flora and fauna, and each one carries the rich ecosystem of a Natural Heritage site and creates a beautiful landscape. The capture, collection, and damage of plants and animals is strictly prohibited.
4. Do not pollute the water of the mountains, rivers and ocean
Washing dishes or using water, other than in toilet areas, will contaminate the water of the mountains, rivers and ocean in the Natural Heritage site. When entering the Natural Heritage site, bring a portable toilet, wipe out dirty dishes with paper, and take all trash with you.
5. Take trash with you
From the beginning, reduce your amount of garbage as much as possible. Don’t forget trash bags, and be sure to take out all of the trash that you generated while within the Natural Heritage site.
6. Don’t introduce foreign species
Please take special care not to bring in any foreign species as it may affect the ecosystem of the Natural Heritage site.
In particular, the Ogasawara Islands, which boast an extremely high endemic species rate, are an ecosystem that is susceptible to external influences. Make sure that there is no dirt on your shoes that your clothes and bags are free of seeds and insects.