The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has declared the Janj rainforest near Šipovo a natural asset of world importance. The Janj rainforest is among 15 new protected areas from six countries signatories to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Natural and Cultural Heritage. The natural asset of world importance Ancient and primeval beech forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe was expanded on July 28, 2021 with sites from the Czech Republic, France, Northern Macedonia, Poland, Switzerland, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Janj Rainforest is a strict nature reserve with an area of 295 hectares, of which 58 hectares are prohibited from forest exploitation and any human activity. The rainforest consists of beech, fir, maple, elm, ash and spruce trees.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site Ancient and primeval beech forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe is currently the largest serial World Heritage Site with 94 sites in 18 countries.
It covers areas in Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Northern Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine.
It all started in 2007 with Ancient and primeval beech forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe, ten areas in Slovakia and Ukraine, which is a cross-border world heritage site from the very beginning.
With the entry of Ancient Beech Forests of Germany on the World Heritage List in 2011, it was expanded by five components, in 2017, 63 areas from ten countries were added, and this was expanded by a new decision to 15 more sites from six countries.
Beech forests with a high proportion of old growth and standing and lying dead wood provide an ideal habitat for many species of flora and fauna. It is estimated that there are up to 10 000 species of animals in beech forests.
The area of the Old Bridge of the Old Town of Mostar, the Mehmed-pasha Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad and the Stećci tombstones – medieval tombstones – were previously inscribed on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List.