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UNESCO reviews Dong Van geopark development

Update: November, 15/2014 - 08:24
Imposing rock walls inside the Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark in northern Ha Giang Province. The complex has been recognised again as a member of the Global Geoparks Network in the 2015-18 period. ­— VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Ha
HA NOI  (VNS) — Strategies were needed to sustainably develop the Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark in Ha Giang Province without damaging the natural heritage, a conference attended by UNESCO heard.

The comment was made at the get-together held in Dong Van District this week to review four years of plateau development aimed at promoting the site for the next three years.

Participants said the first four years of development were the start-up stage and that local authorities should work with scientists to discover the real potential value of the karst mountains.

During the one-day event, attended by officials from the Viet Nam National Commission for UNESCO, local officials said the Dong Van Karst Plateau would continue to be a member of the Global Geoparks Network (GGN).

Chairman of the provincial People's Committee Dam Van Bong said "that the Dong Van plateau is recognised again as a global geo-park is not only a great honour for Ha Giang Province but Viet Nam in general".

"It gives the province the heavy responsibility of conserving, developing and promoting the heritage site."

On October 1, 2010, the natural complex was recognised by the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) as a global geo-park.

In the past four years, the province has received a rising number of visitors, which has benefited local tourism.

Promotion has been carried out in different ways. For instance, residential areas around the site have had to agree to protect the plateau. Leaflets and posters have been handed out and information centres acting as mini museums have been set up.

The efforts paid off when the UN body again recognised the Dong Van Plataeu as a Global Geoparks member at the sixth International UNESCO Conference on geoparks in Canada in September.

An official from the Viet Nam National Commission for UNESCO told Viet Nam News that "to continue receiving that honour, a heritage site must be always conscious of conservation and making local people aware of its importance.

The official said criteria had been set for each type of heritage and experts were appointed to make sure sites preserve their original values.

In August, a delegation from Global Geoparks from Malaysia, France and Brazil conducted a survey of the development of the Dong Van Karst plateau.

They spoke highly of the efforts by the province to uphold the heritage values of the region.

Covering 2,300sq.km in the districts of Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van and Meo Vac, the plateau is evidence of the history of the earth crust. It has picturesque landscapes and unique cultures.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung gave the go-ahead for a master plan to conserve, embellish and uphold values of the Dong Van Plateau for the 2012-20 period with a vision to 2030. — VNS

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