UNESCO eco-park status in offing for Miyazaki forest

Kyodo

A UNESCO panel of experts has recommended that Japan’s largest evergreen broadleaf forest, in Miyazaki Prefecture, be registered as an eco-park, the culture ministry announced Wednesday.

The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization will officially decide on registering the 14,580-hectare Aya forest at its July 9 to 13 meeting in Paris. Eco-parks are designated to promote preservation and human use of nature.

The government asked UNESCO in September to approve the 14,580-hectare forest as the nation’s fifth eco-park. Among Japna’s other sites, Yakushima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture was awarded the designation in 1980.

UNESCO started designating eco-parks in 1976, and 580 areas in 114 countries had been recognized as such as of last July.