"Okinawa Ikimono Lab" Is the official website to inform the world about the biodiversity of Okinawa as an <Okinawa Brand>

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Introduction

Thank you for visiting our website. Okinawa Prefecture is part of the Ryukyu Archipelago, islands with a long history of repeatedly separating from and combining with the Asian mainland, resulting in the unique evolution of the life forms inhabiting them. To this day, a great diversity of life fostered by the warm, humid climate thrives on the islands.

Residents of the prefecture have also used this diverse flora and fauna since ancient times as food and building resources, and we know from historical documents that while taking advantage of these blessings of nature, they took great care to use them wisely, and avoid overconsumption.

Nevertheless, with the modernization of life on the islands, our opportunities to come into direct contact with these life forms have waned, and we have also missed out on chances to learn the wise ways of our predecessors. The prefecture’s abundant natural beauty is a treasure to its residents, and to continue to receive its blessings far into the future, each and every one of us must reconsider our connections to the special features and living creatures of our natural environment in the areas where we live so that we may properly appreciate them once again.

With that in mind, Okinawa Prefecture established this website to provide its residents with a variety of information about the life forms that inhabit the islands, including information about the geographical distribution and special characteristics of life forms that are representative of the region, the names they are known as in the local dialect, and the relationship between those life forms and us.

This website is part of an effort to brand the idea that our engagement with information about the life forms distinct to our region, and with our natural surroundings directly, has an inherent value to the residents of the prefecture.

For the most part, the website is still in the development phase, but we will continue to enrich the information provided here, and starting in April 2019, we plan to publish what we call Biodiversity Conservation and Utilization Guidelines (tentative name).

This year we have already begun publishing photographs and other visual media. Please enjoy viewing these vivid photos of the flora and fauna of Okinawa. Additionally, all image content on this website is available for non-commercial use. There are a few restrictions on its use, however, so please review our “Terms of Use (Image Data)” page linked at the bottom of the gallery page for more information.

We hope that the residents of Okinawa continue to use this website for many years to come and that it may inspire a deeper interest in our natural surroundings so that we may continue to preserve them for future generations.

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