24.07.2011 - UNESCO Office in Ha Noi

Ha Noi hosts 2nd Asia-Pacific Geoparks Network Symposium

©UNESCO / The award ceremony for the "Dialogue with Geoheritage” photo contest, from left, Vu Quoc Khanh, Chair of Viet Nam Association of Photographic Artists, Katherine Muller-Marin, Representative of UNESCO to Viet Nam and Nguyen Linh Ngoc, Vice Minister of MONRE.

Ha Noi, 24 July 2011 – The 2nd Asia-Pacific Geoparks Network Symposium, "Geoparks and Geotourism for Regional Sustainable Development," took place during 16 - 24 July 2011 in Ha Noi. More than 400 national and international delegates attended the symposium to discuss contributions of Geoparks and geotourism to conservation and sustainable development in the Asia Pacific region. The symposium also sought to foster exchange and coordination among members of the Global Geopark Network, the Asia-Pacific Geopark Network and the European Geopark Network.

The nine-day event included presentations from over 80 speakers, national workshops and training courses and a photo contest celebrating Viet Nam's geological heritage. On the final five days of the symposium, participants visited Thang Long Citadel, Ha Long Bay and Dong Van Karst Plateau, recognized in 2010 as the first Global Geopark in Viet Nam.

Geoparks such as Dong Van are nationally protected areas recognized for their geological value, and present a model of sustainable development that promotes conservation, environmental education and geotourism. To date, the Global Geopark Network has recognized 77 geoparks in 25 countries.

At the symposium's opening ceremony, UNESCO Representative Katherine Muller-Marin spoke of the potential of Global Geoparks to bring sustainable development opportunities to vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. Ms. Muller-Marin also highlighted the strengthened coordination between geoparks and UNESCO's World Heritage sites and Man and Biosphere Programme in Viet Nam.

The Symposium was organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ha Giang Province People's Committee and the Viet Nam National Commission for UNESCO.

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