Representatives of the JGN met a delegation from LNEF, from Hong Kong UGG of China, on 21 August to express great appreciation of LNEF’s support for regional networking over the years. LNEF is a major strategic partner of Hong Kong UGG. It was formed on 1 June 1990 with the specific mission and goal of promoting sustainable development and nature conservation. As part of its ongoing endeavours to obtain first-hand information on global geoparks to advance its implementation strategies, LNEF delegation visited Japan’s Itoigawa UGG, Mt Aso UGG and Oki UGG between 2014 and 2016. These visits and active exchanges with these UGGs and other aspiring geoparks have contributed to the promotion of the geopark concept and enhanced awareness of the value of global networking.
From 19 to 21 August, the delegation visited San’in Kaigan UGG, and from 22 to 25 August it visited Toya Caldera and Usu Volcano UGG. The major objectives of the trip were to observe transferable examples for establishing new visitor centres and to get first-hand information on local engagement initiatives. The delegation visited the Tottori Sand Dunes Geopark Center of San’in Kaigan UGG and San’in Kaigan Geopark Museum of the Earth and Sea, Toyako visitor center & Volcano Museum and Usuzan Ropeway Visitor Centre of Toya Caldera and Usu Volcano UGG. It also visited fruit farms and exchanged ideas and experience with the local people.
Ms Barbara Chan, Chair of the LNEF, remarked that the study tour had been very rewarding and that the delegation had acquired a lot of new ideas which could be adopted in new local community projects in Hong Kong UGG. She is also the supervisor of a HKUGG geopark school which visited Unzen Volcanic Area UGG earlier this year and another visit to Hokuriku is being planned.
With first-hand experience like this, accumulated through direct exchange with UGGs, and by supporting the work of the GGN and its members, the LNEF has gradually carved out a unique role in supporting the global geopark movement both locally and internationally. In the most recent International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks, LNEF facilitated the visit of five volunteers, who served as simultaneous interpreters. Lately, it supported the production of the first joint CGN-JGN promotion magazine which will be published for the coming APGN Symposium. In Japan, LNEF contributed to the Restoration of Mt Aso in 2016 and has sponsored Japanese geopark managers for regional knowledge exchange since 2014.
LNEF representatives will attend the coming APGN Symposium, which will take place in Zhijindong Cave UGG of China from September 19 to 22 to share their experience.
LNEF met representatives of JGN and exchange views about regional networking and student exchange activities
LNEF visited a Fruits Farm of Sobetsu Fruits Village inside Toya Caldera and Usu Volcano UGG to get first-hand information on local engagement initiatives.
LNEF visited San’in Kaigan Geopark Museum to observe transferable examples for establishing new visitor centres