Vietnamese and Japanese Geoparks Strengthen Collaboration

The two Geoparks have reached an agreement to collaborate and enhance their development based on the criteria set by the UNESCO Global Geopark Network. They will share their initiatives and experiences in safeguarding geological heritage and implementing a comprehensive educational program for young people. Additionally, there will be a joint promotional campaign to raise awareness about the two Geoparks.

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A ceremony was held in the northern province of Ha Giang on November 10 to sign a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between UNESCO Global Geopark Dong Van Karst Plateau and aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark Mine-Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau of Japan, VNA reported.

Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Duc Quy said through the cooperation programme, both sides will assist each other in all aspects, thereby promoting the sustainability of both geoparks.

He suggested that they should cooperate in investment and sustainable economic development, such as tourism and production of traditional handicraft products in which both sides have strengths.

Takahiro Koda, Director of the Mine – Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau, described Japan as one of the top destinations for Vietnamese tourists and Vietnam as a preferred destination for Japanese travellers.

Vietnamese, Japanese Geoparks Boost Cooperation
At the signing ceremony. Photo: UNESCO Global Geopark Dong Van Karst Plateau

Via the programme, the two geoparks will facilitate tourism cooperation activities, exchange of delegations, and promote marketing efforts to attract tourists.

Miné-Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau Geopark has been collaborating with Dong Van Karst Plateau UNESCO Global Geopark in Vietnam since 2019.

At the signing ceremony, both sides discussed effective measures to tap the potential advantages and support each other in developing sustainable tourism.

They will step up tourism training activities aimed at improving the quality of products and services. Dialogues involving university students, interns and student exchanges will be organized.

Various cultural exchanges, festivals, events, investment promotion activities, market surveys, and tourist exchanges between the two destinations are also planned.

Vietnam is currently home to three geoparks, namely Dong Van Karst Plateau in Ha Giang province and Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark in Cao Bang province, both in the north of Vietnam, and Dak Nong Geopark in the Central Highlands province of the same name. They received official recognition by UNESCO in 2010, 2018, and 2020, respectively.

Vietnamese, Japanese Geoparks Boost Cooperation
Dong Van Karst Plateau – a global geopark.

Dong Van Karst Plateau was recognized by UNESCO as a Global Geopark in 2010, boasting unique cultural, historical, geological values, and majestic landscapes.

The number of visitors to Ha Giang, which was only 2,000 in 2010, has increased rapidly, reaching 2.2 million in 2022, and is expected to exceed 3 million this year.

At the 10th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geopark held in Morocco in early September, the Dong Van Karst Plateau was continued to be recognized as a UNESCO Global Geopark for the third time by the UNESCO Global Geopark Council.

On September 6, Ha Giang was honored to be named the top emerging destination in Asia at the World Travel Awards.

Mine-Akiyoshidai Karst Plateau Geopark is located in Mine city in the western part of Yamaguchi prefecture of Japan. The most attractive site of the area is the karst plateau “Akiyoshidai” largest in Japan in our area central part. Because limestone is dissolved by acidic water, a limestone pillar and a doline (conical hollow) develop in the Akiyoshidai.

The limestone which forms the karst plateau originated from coral reef of oceanic island. The oceanic island moved with an oceanic plate and accreted under a continental plate finally.

Hannah Nguyen