ZHIJINDONG CAVE UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK (China)

“Karst wonderland”


Celebrating Earth Heritage

Zhijindong Cave UNESCO Global Geopark is located in the west of Guizhou Plateau, and in the Zhijin County and Qianxi County of Bijie City, Guizhou Province. The UNESCO Global Geopark is composed of three scenic areas: Zhijindong Cave Scenic Area, Qijiehe River Scenic Area and Dongfenghu Lake Scenic Area, respectively matching with three karst geomorphic units with the same names.

Since the Late Triassic, under the influence of several intense tectonic movements, the bulge throughout the whole territory of Guizhou province became land and has gradually risen upwards to form the inland plateau. After that, the regional crust was raised upwards several times, many dispersive and independent underground rivers and surface rivers have captured and diverted constantly, thus constituting three independent multilayer geomorphic units, namely, Zhijindong Cave, Qijiehe River and Dongfenghu Lake. At the same time many beautiful and precious karst landforms of different shapes and types have formed. Among which, the caves, gorges, natural bridges and sinkholes are typical representatives and outstanding sceneries in the world geological heritages of the same kind. The elevations of these three geomorphic units reduce successively, with developmental modes transforming from subsurface karst to surface karst gradually, systemically recording the evolution process of karst landform of Guizhou Plateau.


Sustaining local Communities

Since the UNESCO Global Geopark was set up, geological science popularization education has been an important activity of the UNESCO Global Geopark. In recent years, the daily science popularization activities carried out in the UNESCO Global Geopark include: Zhijindong Cave UNESCO Global Geopark science popularization lecture for local people, teaching and practice of relevant colleges in Zhijindong Cave, special science popularization activities to ordinary tourists, elementary school students and middle school students in the region. During construction of the UNESCO Global Geopark, plenty of popular science readings have been published to introduce the geoheritages to the public. During 2008 to 2012, the annual tourists and the comprehensive tourism income of the UNESCO Global Geopark has respectively increased from 385,241 to 762,840, and from 2.4 million dollars to 4.36 million dollars. The accumulative number of tourists has reached 3 million, while the total income sums up to 192 million dollars. It has greatly improved the local people's living conditions and strengthened sustainable development in the area.



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