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What is a geopark?

A geopark refers to natural area formed based on geoheritage landscape with special geological significance, scarce natural quality and high aesthetic ornamental value as well as a certain size and distribution range as main body and combining other natural landscape and human landscape. A geopark is the place for sightseeing tour, holiday and leisure, healthcare and rehabilitation as well as entertainment with high scientific value, key protection zone for geoheritage landscape and ecological environment and base for research and popularization of geological science.

(1) Purposes of building the geopark

There are three main purposes of building the geopark: Protection of geoheritage, popularization of geological knowledge and developing tourism to stimulate local economic growth.

(2) Level of the geopark 

There are four levels of the geopark: county and municipal level geopark, provincial geopark, national geopark and global geopark.

(3) National Geopark of China

National Geopark of China refers to the one examined by experts organized by administrative department of the Chinese government and obtaining the license with the official approval. National Geopark of China is the place for protecting geoheritage and promoting sustainable development of local economy, culture and environment and for sightseeing, relaxing on holidays, healthcare, scientific research as well as science popularization and education. At present, Ministry of Land and Resources has approved 203 national geoparks. 

Logo of National Geopark of China

As for theme design for the logo of National Geopark of China, the ancient mountain words represent strange mountains and caves and other rock landscapes; ancient water words represent stratum, fault and folding; one dinosaur model represents ancient organism relics. The graph reflects the significance of geological science and embodies the great and profound Chinese culture.

(4) UNESCO Global Geopark

 

UNESCO Global Geopark refers to the natural park with geological significance, rare beauty and unique geological landscape and combining natural landscape and human landscape, and selected by UNESCO. The plan began to be carried out after 2000 and is aimed at selecting over 500 geological landscapes worth of being preserved. In November 2015, the 38th conference of "IGGP" of UNESCO included all current global geoparks into the plan as global geoparks of UNESCO. The new logo of "global geopark of UNESCO" was officially created with three inalienable elements, namely hall symbol, full name of organization and vertical dotted line. Without approval from UNESCO, any unit organization cannot use this logo. Up to 2017, 127 global geoparks have been built around the world, of which there are 35 in China.

The logo of UNESCO Global Geopark

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