National Geopark of China
The national geoparks of the People’s Republic of China are the geoparks reviewed by experts of competent administrative authorities in China, and approved and awarded the plate by the Ministry of Natural Resources of the People’s Republic of China. They are unique natural areas that mainly consist of geosites with special geo-scientific significance at national level and high aesthetic and appreciation values, and are complemented by other natural and cultural landscapes. Founded in 2001, the national geoparks of China are designed to protect geosite resources in the country. So far, more than 200 national geoparks have been established in China.
The concept of geopark was proposed in mid-1990s, aiming to protect and enhance the values of areas with important geological significance in geological history. The geological landscapes and formations in these areas are important witness of earth’s evolutionary history, and play a vital role in our future sustainable development. The major three objectives of establishing a geopark are to: 1) protect geosites and their environment; 2) promote the development of popular science education and scientific research; and 3) rationally develop geosite resources and facilitate the socio-economic sustainable development in the local area.