So far, 138 national geoparks have been approved for foundation in China. The MLR (Ministry of Land and Resources, P.R.C.) has required all geoparks to report their respective work regularly, with the aim of strengthening management. The MLR, in view of the large quantity of geoparks, has decided to hold conference on the work of geoparks by three times in three different regions according to the territorial distribution.
The first conference on the work of national geoparks (in Northern Regions) was held in Shenyang, Liaoning on 12th-13th January 2008, which the representatives from 36 geoparks in twelve provinces/municipalities including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Shandong, Henan, Shannxi and Ningxia attended.
During these two days, the representatives — through pictures and corresponding texts — introduced their working progresses in geoheritage conservation, dissemination of and education in earth sciences and promotion of local economy since their geoparks were accredited as national ones, assessing the economic and social benefits gained since their geoparks were founded. At the same time, they also posed the problems virtually existing in development process of their respective geoparks and further proposed the improvement measures of next step.
Director-General Jiang Jianjun of Department of Geological Environment, MLR
Following reports, Director-General Jiang Jianjun of Department of Geological Environment, Ministry of Land and Resources summarized this conference. He said he could conclude from the reports made that, in one hand, the construction of geoparks had indeed given rise to the boosted protection of geoheritage resources and eco-environment, the accelerated scientific research and popularization, the raised local economy, the increased local employment, infrastructure construction and tourism level as well as the enhanced overall quality of people and also brought about the new modes of using and conserving resources and attracted vast investments; however, that, on the other hand, some problems remained. Consequently, he pointed out the MLR would continue to reinforce the management of geoparks in 2008 for the sake of healthier development of geoparks.
It is learned that the second and third conferences on the work of national geoparks will be convoked in Sichuan and Zhejiang provinces respectively in near future.