Aya-cho

Aya-cho
UNESCO eco-park status in offing for Miyazaki (Miyazaki/Saitobaru, Hyuga, Aya, Nishimera) forest

A UNESCO panel of experts has recommended that Japanfs 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fs fifth eco-park. Among Japnafs 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.

In July, 2012, the whole Aya-cho including the laurel forest zone largest in Japan was registered with the UNESCO Eco park.