19/04/2018 10:16 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Vietnam, France set link-up to develop global geoparks

Vietnamese and French localities have signed a cooperation agreement on managing and developing geoparks after Vietnam’s Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark in Cao Bang province was named a UNESCO global geopark on April 12.

The agreement was recently signed between the management boards of the Non Nuoc Cao Bang Global Geopark and the Haute-Provence Global Geopark of France in Digne-les-Bains city, the southern province of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.

Chairman of the People’s Committee of Cao Bang province Hoang Xuan Anh led a delegation to visit France to learn from Haute-Provence Geopark’s management board’s experience in preserving and exploiting natural heritages.

According to Anh, being recognised as a member of the UNESCO Global Geopark Network will open new opportunities for Cao Bang.

Cao Bang has identified tourism as a spearhead target, especially culture and community-based tourism and ecotourism, Anh said.

He stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation, especially as ecotourism and community-based tourism are strengths of Haute-Provence geological park, while Cao Bang lacks experience in exploiting natural heritages for development.

Patricia Granet, Mayor of Digne-les-Bains, said the number of visitors to Haute-Provence has increased markedly since it was recognised as a global geopark.

She expressed her hope that the cooperation will help Cao Bang better manage and develop Non Nuoc Cao Bang Global Geopark, thus benefiting residents in the park and those across the locality.

During their stay, Cao Bang’s delegates visited popular tourism sites in Haute-Provence Geopark   - the first global geopark recognised by UNESCO in 2000, which is considered a model for the preservation and promotion of the value of geoparks.

France has so far seven members in the UNESCO Global Geopark Network. However, Haute-Provence Global Geopark has always been a model park in developing and exploiting tourism and promoting conservation and sustainable development.

A large-scale art road project was launched in 2000 in the park to help visitors explore cultural and historical heritages and century-old-ramparts.

Thanks to the bountry of nature, along with traditional skills, traditional trades are strongly developing in Haute-Provence Geopark. Farms producing honey and olive oil, lavender fields and ceramic villages have become attractive destinations for tourists.

Non Nuoc Cao Bang is about 300km from Hanoi. It covers more than 3,000 sq.km. in the districts of Ha Quang, Tra Linh, Quang Uyen, Trung Khanh, Ha Lang and Phuc Hoa and part of Hoa An, Nguyen Binh and Thach An districts.

The geopark is home to fossils, ocean sediment, volcanic rocks, minerals and karst landscapes, which can give researchers an insight into a more than-500-million-year history of the Earth. It is also well known for rich biodiversity and many indigenous fauna and flora species.
VNA/VNP