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China's Geological Parks

Today China has 44 national geological parks, thanks to a pilot program begun in 1999 by the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources in cooperation with UNESCO to find a way to protect geological sites of importance while encouraging both tourism and scientific research. Zhangjiajie Gritstone-peak Forest, China's best preserved cluster of volcanoes and geological features in Hunan Province, in 2001 became among the first nationally designated geological parks. In February 2004, UNESCO announced the World Network of Geological Parks as well as its first geology park conference to be held in Beijing from June 27-29, 2004. Of the 28 UNESCO world geoparks, eight are in China. They include:

-- Shilin Geopark in China's Yunnan Province, featuring a carbonate peak forest landform, which brings about the formation of various karst landscapes, such as stone teeth, corroded gullies and corroded funnels.

-- Huangshan Geopark in Anhui Province, famed for its grand and steep mountains, with 72 peaks of over 1,000 meters high. The geopark is picturesque with green and straight pines, jagged rocks of grotesque shapes, wide and imposing cloud sea, as well as many gushing warm springs.

The other six world-class Chinese geology parks are Lushan Geopark in Jiangxi Province, Yuntaishan Geopark and Songshan Geopark in central China's Henan Province, Danxia Geopark in Guangdong, Zhangjiajie Geopark in Hunan, and Wudalianchi Geopark in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

UNESCO World Heritage List of Natural Sites in China

(See Culture Chapter for China's World Heritage List of Cultural Sites)

With outstanding universal value from the point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty

 

Category

 

Date

Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan

Natural

2003

Mount Wuyi

Natural & Cultural

1999

Mount Emei and the Leshan Giant Buddha

Natural & Cultural 

1996

Wulingyuan Scenic Area             

Natural

1992

Scenic Wonders of Huanglong Scenic Area

Natural

1992

Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area 

Natural

1992

Mount Huangshan

       Natural & Cultural 

1990

Mount Taishan

Natural & Cultural 

1987

 

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