China tops the world in number of geological parks

Photo via People’s Daily

China tops the world in the number of geological parks at 39 after two geological parks in eastern China got approved to be part of the Global Network of National Geoparks.

The two geological parks – Jiuhuashan National Geopark in East China’s Anhui province and Yimengshan Geopark in East China’s Shandong province – were recently approved to become part of the network at the 206th meeting of the Executive Board of UNESCO.

Jiuhuashan National Geopark covers an area of 139.7 square kilometers, with three sites of world-class geological relics, while Yimengshan Geopark spreads across an area of 1,804.76 square kilometers, boasting rocks that date back to 2.8 billion years as well as China’s earliest Kimberlite.

As the initiator of the establishment of national geological parks, China has had a soaring number of geological parks in recent years, marking the world’s fastest growth in geopark numbers.

Since 2000, the nation launched a campaign to set up and protect national-level geological parks, with a series of measures including educational activities to spread knowledge on geology.

The geopark-related service industry is also thriving and steps have been taken to help alleviate poverty. For instance, Chixi Village in southeast China’s Fujian province has created over 190,000 jobs in 2017 alone thanks to Taimushan Geopark, which also helped achieved an increased income of over 448 million yuan for villagers.