Bakten, Kyrgyzstan, September 18-21 2021
On September 18-21, an international seminar on “UNESCO Global Geoparks in Central Asia: areas for geotourism promotion and sustainable management of geological heritage, natural resources and disaster risk reduction” was held in Batken, Kyrgyzstan, supported by UNESCO. The meeting was hosted by Batken state university and organized by the Tien Shan Geological Society and the government of Batken region, in cooperation with the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Economy and Finance. As a result, a roadmap for the establishement of a national geopark in the Bakten region was endorsed by the Governor of the region.
This meeting is closely linked to IGCP Project 727 . Read more about the establishment of the Bakten Geopark.
Uzbekistan, 12-16 November 2021
On 12-16 November 2021 an international seminar "UNESCO Global Geoparks in Central Asia: Opportunities and Potential" was held in Uzbekistan.
The event started with, a 3-day field trip to the potential Kitab Geopark of Uzbekistan followed by a seminar on 16th of November, held in Tashkent. The meeting was organized by UNESCO office in Almaty, supported by the IGGP Secretariat, in close partnership with the State Committee on Geology and Mineral Resources, and the Ministry of Tourism and Sport of Uzbekistan.
Held in online and offline mode, the seminar brought together about 50 representatives from academia, government institutions, tourism sector, protected areas, as well as local government representatives, and community members from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia and Germany. Representatives from UNESCO Global Geoparks in Iran and Turkey and from IGCP Project 727 were also present. The seminar aimed at discussing opportunities and challenges to establish and promote geoparks in the Uzebekistan and Central Asia regions.
During the field trip, organized in Qashkadarya region of Uzbekistan, the participants visited various sites with significant geological features, as well as cultural and ethnographic value. One day of the field trip was devoted to the Kitab national geological park, which the Uzbek authorities have been promoting as the main site of scientific value since 1989, and that has been ratified by the International Union of Geological Sciences. Other sites, illustrating the impact of geological hazards, focusing on geo-tourism perspectives, ethnography and local traditions, were visited, as well as meetings with local community members.
After the field trip, a working group meeting was held in Tashkent, followed by an official plenary session on the Geoparks, in which the deputy chairman of the Geology Committee of Uzbekistan, as well as the Ambassador, Permanent delegate of Uzbekistan to UNESCO participated and expressed high interest in the promoting geoparks in the country. During the seminar, participants exchanged experiences, discussed and expressed their intentions for further cooperation in promoting UNESCO Global Geoparks in Central Asia and Armenia.
As a result of the meeting, participants of the seminar proposed a number of recommendations for advancing UNESCO Global Geoparks in Central Asia and neighboring countries. All participants agreed to promote networking and cooperation between existing UNESCO Global Geoparks, aspiring UNSECO Global Geoparks and geopark projects in Central Asia and neighboring countries.