Okinawa 1988-1991

Okinawa 1988-1991

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Northern dispute pits environment against private land & forest owners

The northern region of Okinawa has many natural wonders and world heritage sites.

Private landowners are threatening those wonders, and that heritage status, with individual decisions to cut down trees and strip the hillsides. The Yambaru area is vital to Okinawa’s World Heritage Sites status, government officials point out, and want the forests to remain intact.

Private land owners say it’s their land, and they’re within their rights to do what they want with it. Most of the forests are public lands, but there are enough private forests to cause concern. Concerned about the situation, some communities say they’ll take measures within the year to create designated natural environment areas. Governments in the Motobu and Nakijin areas, the Motobu peninsula and Conic Karst area are leading the environmental charge, but know they’ve an uphill battle against private land owners.

One private forest owner says “making these areas state owned designated parks is all right, and we’re glad to hear that. But what about me? The state has never...


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