SARAJEVO, August 29 (FENA) – In July, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee passed a decision declaring the Janj rainforest near Šipovo a natural asset of outstanding universal value within the extension of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
By including the Janj rainforest on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the first natural asset from Bosnia and Herzegovina was inscribed on this prestigious List. Janj Rainforest is a strict nature reserve, with an area of 295 hectares, of which 58 hectares have been set aside in which the use of forests and any human activity is prohibited.
The natural asset of universal value “Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe” has been expanded with sites from six other countries signatories to the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of Natural and Cultural Heritage from the Czech Republic, France, North Macedonia, Poland, Switzerland and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Among the 15 new protected areas within that serial nomination is the Janj rainforest near Šipovo.
In a statement for FENA, Head of the UNESCO Office in BiH, Siniša Šešum, says that the registration of the Janj rainforest, as an additional element of the World Heritage serial property “Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe” is of great importance for Bosnia and Herzegovina, as it is the first natural heritage site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
“Each World Heritage site represents a significant development potential, and not exclusively from the point of view of tourism. What is important to keep in mind is that at no time should the unique universal values for which Janj is inscribed on this prestigious list be endangered, especially through the use of the site for development purposes,” Šešum underlined.
He points out that the inscription of a certain area on the UNESCO World Heritage List is the moment when Bosnia and Herzegovina must start fulfilling all the obligations it undertook with the nomination.
Speaking about the nomination of the Vjetrenica cave, and the possibility of candidacy of the Perućica rainforest for inscription on the UNESCO list, Šešum emphasizes that the preparation of the Vjetrenica nomination is in the final phase.
Forest engineer Rosa Rakita, head of the working unit for the care of the Janj rainforest within the Forest Farm “Gorica” Šipovo, points out in a statement for FENA that the decision of the Government of Republika Srpska on the protection of the Strict Nature Reserve “Janj Rainforest” protects this natural asset in Šipovo municipality with the highest category Ia, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classification.
“Rainforest Janj is now part of an international network of protected natural sites. UNESCO will provide long-term protection, and access to international funds will be facilitated,” said forest engineer Rosa Rakita.
Visits to the Janj Rainforest as a protected area can be realized with the obligatory presence of an expert – guide. All information about the rainforest and how to visit can be found on the site prasumajanj.com.