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    Protecting our natural heritage for future generations National Parks of Japan
    Staff and Initiatives

    Staff

    Main body

    National parks are protected by the efforts and cooperation of various people and parties.
    Japan's national parks have adopted a region-centric natural park system. Consequently,
    regions play a critical role in supporting national parks in terms of environmental preservation as well as management and operation.

    Park Rangers

    Shiretoko National Park: Installation of Signboard with Bear Warning

    Shiretoko National Park: Installation of Signboard with Bear Warning

    The Ministry of the Environment employs some 300 park rangers who work across the nation, managing national parks and protecting wild flora and fauna. In addition to handling approval and other procedures in accordance with the Natural Parks Act, rangers formulate plans with guidelines for park protection and usage, patrol the parks and conduct nature surveys, maintain facilities and provide information to attract visitors to the parks, manage land that falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Environment, and perform various other tasks.

    Active Park Rangers

    Active Park Rangers offers explanation during nature walk

    Active Park Rangers offers explanation during nature walk

    Park rangers also take on various outdoor and on-site tasks such as national park patrols, inspections and nature observations. When park rangers cannot attend to certain on-site tasks in protected nature sites, the Ministry of the Environment hires active park rangers to provide support with management of such areas in national parks.

    Park Volunteers

    Litter Cleanup Activity Alongside River

    Litter Cleanup Activity Alongside River

    National parks aim to expand the range of activities that take place on their grounds by inviting members of the general public to provide explanations to nature observation groups, take part in cleanup activities, conduct nature surveys, and help with simple maintenance and repairs of visitor facilities. People who contribute to such activities on a voluntary basis with the aim of expanding the protection of the natural environment are registered as park volunteers. Active in 25 national parks, park volunteers currently provide assistance with activities tailored to the characteristics of each area.

    Natural Park Advisers

    Lecture on How to Deal with Bees

    Lecture on How to Deal with Bees

    Volunteers registered with the Ministry of the Environment help support the protection of nature and ensure appropriate usage of resources by engaging in activities such as the protection of plants and animals, cleanup, visitor guidance (accident prevention), and distribution of information. At present, some 2,800 recruited volunteers are active around the country. The former Ministry of Welfare started recruiting temporary national park volunteers in 1957, but these were renamed natural park advisers in 1966.

    Park Management Organizations

    With a view to further promoting voluntary protection and management of natural landscapes through private organizations and citizens, the government also enlists the help of institutes, foundations or NPOs with expertise in certain fields. The latter are appointed by the Minister of the Environment for national parks, and by prefectural governors for quasi-national parks.

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