UNESCO Put Three Geoparks in China on Notice for Lack of Educational Effort

UNESCO has issued a warning to three Global Geoparks in China that they may lose their international recognition if they do not step up their efforts in earth science education.

The three parks are Zhangjiajie in Hunan Province, Mt. Lu in Jiangxi Province, and Wudalianchi in Heilongjiang Province. UNESCO conferred the title of Global Geoparks on the three sites in 2004, recognizing the parks’ geological significance. Earlier this month the three parks were given notices that their educational programs are inadequate. The parks were asked improve their performance in a year or face the possibility of being removed from the UNESCO list.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, part of the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, is known for the hundreds of pillar-like peaks resultant from land erosion. Mt. Lu is another well-known tourist attraction in China, which rises abruptly to the height of 1,474 m in a region that is generally flat lying just south of the midsection of the Yangzi River. Wudalianchi, located in the northeastern corner of China, centers around five connected lakes created by a volcanic eruption that took place in 1720.

There are a total of 27 UNESCO Global Geoparks in China.