DUNHUANG UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK (China)

“Land of yardangs: rock protuberance shaped by wind erosion”


Celebrating Earth Heritage

Dunhuang UNESCO Global Geopark is located in the City of Dunhuang, Gansu Province, People’s Republic of China.

Located in the Anxi-Dunhuang Graben Basin, east of the Tarim plate, Dunhuang UNESCO Global Geopark is rich in geoheritage of great scientific value, as well as significant value in geo-education and geotourism. The most representative geoheritage is the Yardang-Desert-Gobi landforms, which constitute typical landforms in the extremely arid region of China and the Mogao Grottoes, a World Heritage Site, which were excavated in the Quaternary strata and perfectly embody the combination of geoheritage and culture. Among them, the Yardang landform is globally rare for its dense distribution, graceful shapes, large quantities and obvious changes in trend and complicated formation, which makes it important in studying formation and regional environmental evolution.


Sustaining local Communities

Based on the types and geographical distribution of its geoheritage, Dunhuang UNESCO Global Geopark consists of two geo-areas and two tourism areas: (1) the Yardang Geo-area, (2) the Mount Mingshashan and Crescent Moon-shaped Spring Geo-area, (3) the Natural Landscape Tourism Area, and (4) the Cultural Heritage Tourism Area.

To better popularize science, the UNESCO Global Geopark has established a geological museum (exhibition halls) and interpretation panels for geo-areas and geo-sites. Geo-education has been conducted through websites, digital Dunhuang (Scenic Areas), leaflets, guidebooks and activities in major festivals. The UNESCO Global Geopark has been promoted in the form of lectures in communities, junior and secondary schools. We popularize geosciences and cultural knowledge with the combination of geoheritage and cultural ruins, the Mogao Caves as an example. For sustainable development, the UNESCO Global Geopark cooperates with relevant corporations periodically and has made a plan for construction of infrastructure and interpretation systems, design and production of geo-tourism souvenirs and UNESCO Global Geopark restaurants and hotels, all of which have supported the UNESCO Global Geopark and promoted the local economic development simultaneously.



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