On September 20, 2017, a delegation of 11 men and women from Qeshm Island, Iran’s first UNESCO Global Geopark, arrived in Itoigawa UNESCO Global Geopark on a mission of exchange and skill development.
Representatives of Iran’s Qeshm Island UNESCO Global Geopark arrive at Itoigawa Station
The visit was done in cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is supporting Qeshm Island through the “Community Based Sustainable Development Master Plan of Qeshm Island Toward ‘Eco Island’ Project”, which looks to improve the lives of local people, preserve natural resources and promote environmentally aware and sustainable development in the Qeshm Island Free Zone.
At the Itoigawa Geopark Visitor’s Center
The 11 representatives began their visit at the Itoigawa GeoStation GeoPal, an information and welcome center located at Itoigawa Station.
Presentations and Discussion
The representatives then visited the administrative office of the Itoigawa UNESCO Global Geopark, where they presented on their respective Geoparks and asked questions about administration and ecotourism. Several delegates showed particular interest in the efforts Itoigawa Geopark has made in education.
Hiking the Salt Trail and Shiroike Pond
The representatives visited the Fossa Magna Museum, Itoigawa Geopark’s main Earth Sciences museum and the Fossa Magna Park, where an outcrop of the Itoigawa-Shizuoka Tectonic Line which divides Japan between continental plates can be seen. On the second day of their tour, they joined an Itoigawa Geopark Guide and hiked a section of the old Salt Trail, an ancient road which runs in the natural depressions atop the Itoigawa-Shizuoka Tectonic Line. This trail was used in ancient times to carry salt and other maritime produce from the sea to Japan’s inland provinces. Salt was a valuable commodity in ancient Japan used for preserving food.After leaving Itoigawa Geopark, the delegation will visit other areas around Japan to learn more about ecotourism and Geopark Management. We hope that the things they’ve learned in Itoigawa will be useful for them as they continue to develop Iran’s first UNESCO Global Geopark.