UNESCO Bestows Global Geopark Title on Vietnam’s Second Geopark

The Central Highlands province of Dak Nong on November 24 received a certificate recognising its geopark as part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.

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The Dak Nong Geopark is the latest member of the global network and the third to obtain this title in Vietnam. Photo: VNA

The province of Dak Nong in the Central Highlands was recently awarded a certificate by UNESCO for its geopark, officially establishing its inclusion in the prestigious UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.

The Dak Nong Geopark is the most recent addition to the global network, and is the third location in Vietnam to be awarded this prestigious title.

The area covered by this site exceeds 4,700 km2, which represents over 40% of the province’s total natural area. It spans across six out of the eight districts and cities within the locality.

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Young volcanic activities about tens of thousands of years ago (Late Pleistocene-Holocene) have resulted in spectacular craters, majestic waterfalls and Southeast Asia’s most extensive system of hundreds of magnificent volcanic caves. Photo: VNA

The geopark is easily accessible via multiple transportation options, both by land and air. It is conveniently located near two international border gates with Cambodia. The region boasts a distinctive climate, characterized by sub-equatorial tropical monsoon and plateau conditions. It is adorned with a well-connected network of rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs. The area is home to a diverse community of approximately 416,000 individuals, representing 40 different ethnic groups. The local population primarily engages in activities such as agro-forestry, trade and services, and small-scale industries.

The Geopark boasts numerous archaeological, historical, and cultural treasures, along with captivating scenic landscapes, all of which are carefully preserved and recognized. Additionally, the vibrant festivals and traditions of the local ethnic cultures, including the esteemed UNESCO-recognized “Gong Culture Space” intangible heritage, further enrich the Geopark’s inherent value.

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The park covers an area of more than 4,700 km2, accounting for more than two fifths of the natural area of province and spanning over six out of eight districts and cities of the locality. Photo: VNA

According to both domestic and foreign scientists, the geopark boasts approximately 65 heritage sites showcasing a diverse range of geomorphology. This includes a fascinating assortment of craters, volcanic caves, and breathtaking waterfalls.

The geopark is home to the largest volcanic cave system in Southeast Asia. Spanning over 10,000 meters, it comprises of 50 caves. Additionally, the geopark showcases the diverse cultural heritage of indigenous ethnic minorities including the M’Nong, Ma, and Ede communities.

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Young volcanic activities about tens of thousands of years ago (Late Pleistocene-Holocene) have resulted in spectacular craters, majestic waterfalls and Southeast Asia’s most extensive system of hundreds of magnificent volcanic caves. Photo: VNA

According to VOV, during the event, Michael Croft, UNESCO Chief Representative to Vietnam, emphasized the importance of preserving the natural beauty and unique cultural heritage of indigenous people in Dak Nong Global Geopark amidst economic and tourism development.

He urged local authorities and individuals to actively participate in the conservation effort, emphasizing the importance of their contributions. Additionally, he announced UNESCO’s commitment to collaborating closely with the local authorities in order to responsibly develop the geopark’s tourism opportunities.

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Characterized by sub-equatorial tropical monsoon and plateau climate, the area features an evenly distributed network of rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs. Photo: VNA

According to the Vietnam News Agency, on July 7th, the Programme and External Relations Commission of the 209th UNESCO Executive Board approved the proposal of the Global Geoparks Council to acknowledge the Dak Nong Geopark as a global geopark.

The Dong Van Karst Plateau in Ha Giang province and the Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark in Cao Bang province, situated in northern Vietnam, have recently been recognized as members of the prestigious Global Geoparks Network.

Vietnam is currently in the process of establishing four additional geoparks in the provinces of Quang Ngai and Phu Yen in the central region, Gia Lai in the Central Highlands, and Bac Kan in the northern region.