A geopark is defined as a designated area that contains one or various sites that have geological importance. The Geopark Global Network is a network assisted by UNESCO that was first established in 1998 and is responsible for protecting, conserving, and educating the public about the geological sites. There are various geoparks around the world, and Asia has a total of 57 geoparks. China is the leading country in Asia that has the most number of geoparks at 37. Below is a brief description of some of the geoparks in Asia.
Geoparks in Asia
Cao Bang Geopark
This site is situated in the eastern and northern districts of Cao Bang province in Vietnam. The Cao Bang Geopark covers a total area of 3,000 square kilometers and a significant percentage of this land (90%), is covered by mountainous landforms. The is made up of beautiful forests, endemic floras, and faunas supported by the favorable climatic conditions experienced in this area. The region also consists of a sophisticated drainage system that is made up of 47 lakes and five main rivers.Besides, it contains sedimentary rocks that are believed to have existed there as early as 500 million years ago. The Cao Bang Geopark offers various archaeological and historical sites that are rich in cultural heritage thus making it a significant tourist attraction in Vietnam.The geopark was first established in 2015 and in 2016, it was submitted to UNESCO to be recognized as a geological site.
This park is located in Satun province in the Southern parts of Thailand. The geopark includes a wildlife sanctuary and two national parks. It is sometimes referred to as the Land of Paleozoic Fossils due to the high number of fossils found in this place. Satun Geopark is also under UNESCO; the organization is responsible for promoting the sale of products found in this province via activities such as the Satun Fossil Festival. This historic site is described as a peaceful and beautiful place with various religious and cultural groups.
Toya Caldera and Usu Volcano Geopark
Toya Caldera is a Japanese lake while USU Volcano is a mountain in the same location and was created as a result of volcanic activities that occurred around 20,000 years ago. UNESCO recorded this site as the first Geopark of Japan in 2009.
Batur Global Geopark
This site is situated in the northeast of Bali, and it is the most famous tourist site in Indonesia. It consists of two major volcanic calderas. This mountain is said to have erupted a maximum of 22 times leading to the formation of the stratovolcano. The Batur Global Geopark was made part of the Global Geoparks Network in 2012, and since then it has been used to promote the economic development of this area and provide public awareness about volcanic eruptions.
Zhijindong Cave Geopark
This park is located in the western plateau of Guizhou in China. It is made of three major scenic sites, i.e., the Zhijindong Cave, Dongfenghu Lake Scenic Area, and the Qijiehe River Scenic Area. Zhijindong Cave Geopark is most famous geological park because it is the only one with more densely distributed chambers in the whole world. Since its designation as part of UNESCO, this site has played a significant role in enhancing the cultural diversities of this park through activities such as science polarization.
Importance of Geoparks
Since the establishment of UNESCO, various geoparks have been discovered and given the recognition they deserve. These sites have been used to reduce some of the effects caused by climatic changes by studying these sites effectively. Also, employment opportunities have been created through UNESCO.