China has most geop­arks in world, as park sys­tem ex­pands rapidly

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA -

China is ex­pand­ing its na­tional park sys­tem in leaps and bounds, and now has the largest num­ber of geop­arks in the world with the fastest growth rate.

China now has 37 out of 140 UNESCO-listed Global Geop­arks, rank­ing first in the world, ac­cord­ing to data re­leased dur­ing the 2018 Chi­nese Vol­canic Geop­ark Fo­rum, a four-day event re­cently held in Leiqiong UNESCO Global Geop­ark lo­cated across South China’s Hainan and Guang- dong prov­inces.

UNESCO de­fines a global geop­ark as a uni­fied area with a ge­o­log­i­cal her­itage of in­ter­na­tional sig­nif­i­cance, that uses the her­itage to pro­mote aware­ness of key is­sues fac­ing so­ci­ety in the con­text of our dy­namic planet.

China has cur­rently es­tab­lished 209 Na­tional Geop­arks and 343 provincelevel geop­arks in 31 prov­inces, au­ton­o­mous re­gions and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and in the Hong Kong Spe­cial Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion, the green­, a news site run by the Na­tional Forestry and Grass­land Ad­min­is­tra­tion, re­ported on Wednes­day.

An un­named of­fi­cial with the ad­min­is­tra­tion said that China has abun­dant ge­o­log­i­cal trea­sures across a wide area, and that the coun­try’s pro­tec­tions of these ar­eas and its es­tab­lish­ment of na­tional geop­arks have greatly pro­moted the con­struc­tion of an eco­log­i­cal­lyfriendly civ­i­liza­tion, ac­cord­ing to the green­

Mean­while, Tang Xiaop­ing, an of­fi­cial with the Na­tional Park Ad­min­is­tra­tion (NPA), told the Xinhua News Agency that 60 to 200 new na­tional parks would be built in fu­ture, which are ex­pected to cover six to nine per­cent of China’s ter­ri­to­rial area.

“China’s con­struc­tion of na­tional parks started more than 100 years later than in the US, but it has a be­come a rapid process, from set­ting ex­per­i­men­tal sites to ac­tu­ally es­tab­lish­ing parks,” Tang Fan­glin, an NPA of­fi­cial, was quoted as say­ing by the Guiyang Daily.

The es­tab­lish­ment of a na­tional park sys­tem be­came a na­tional strat­egy in 2018, Tang Fan­glin said, not­ing that China’s nat­u­ral re­serve sys­tem would grad­u­ally change from de­pend­ing mainly on na­ture re­serves to na­tional parks.

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