LEYE FENGSHAN UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK (China)

“The territory of caves and of the world’s longest natural bridge”

©Leye Fengshan UNESCO Global Geopark, China


Celebrating Earth Heritage

Leye Fengshan UNESCO Global Geopark is located in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Southwestern China, including two administrative divisions: Leye County, belonging to Baise city, and Fengshan County, belonging to Hechi city.

The UNESCO Global Geopark is primarily sedimentary with more than 60% of 3000m thick Devonian to Permian carbonate rocks. It forms an “S”-shaped structure and a rhombus configuration in the karst areas of Leye and Fengshan counties respectively, which controlled two large subterranean rivers’ development, the Bailang and Poyue. In addition, between these two subterranean rivers the Buliuhe River was formed. Around these rivers, it formed numerous karst geosites including high karst peak clusters (fengcong), poljes, karst springs, karst windows (tiankengs), natural bridges, extensive caves, massive cave chambers and speleothems. It also features fault zones, minor folds, giant panda fossils, a Neogene stratigraphic section and other fossils. The UNESCO Global Geopark clearly displays the developmental stages of tiankengs and high fengcong karst. It contains the world’s most beautiful karst windows, the highest density of tiankengs and largest cave chambers known in the world and the world’s longest natural bridges.

©Leye Fengshan UNESCO Global Geopark, China


Sustaining local Communities

Because of its significance of geosites, extensive research on karst has been conducted in the UNESCO Global Geopark. As a result 149 papers and about 100 types of education outreach books introducing geosites, biodiversity, ecology, culture and natural landforms have been published. In order to popularize the geological knowledge, the UNESCO Global Geopark has set up different routes to satisfy various kinds of visitors and different education routes, and it also coordinates the adventure tour festivals in Fengshan every two years and the international outdoor quest in Leye every year. The UNESCO Global Geopark has made great efforts to transform its economic development patterns to be more sustainable, for example, the traditional agricultural production such as rice, corn, sweet potato, canola, sugarcane has been transformed to organic agricultural products, including walnut, chestnut, aniseed and kiwifruit to increase income depending on the added value. The tourism industries have also made a great progress with the UNESCO Global Geopark brand.



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