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Briefing Taiwan's Geoparks
The Geoparks and Geoparks Network in Taiwan aim at fulfilling the core values of landscape conservation, environmental education, community development, and recreation and tourism. Taiwan governments are undertaking vigorous geopark planning and promotion. Examples are Caoling Geopark (featuring landslides), Penghu Marine Geopark (featuring basaltic landforms and marine ecology), Yanchao Geopark (featuring mud volcanoes and badlands), and Liji Geopark (featuring mudrock badlands).
Landscape Conservation Taipei Declaration 2011
The International Conference of Landscape Conservation was held in Taipei, Taiwan on October 4 and 5, 2011. All delegates affirmed the following declaration:
1. Landscape conservation should be placed among the most important national agendas. Landscape conservation not only values territorial security and environmental integrity, but also emphasizes national responsibility for the global environment. This comprehensive concern is legitimate because landscape conservation has both physical and human socio-cultural aspects.
2. Strategies for sustaining landscape conservation to benefit future generations include: (1) maintaining a network for sites of scientific interest, (2) networking of regionally important geo-sites, (3) developing technologies for landscape conservation, (4) improving inventory monitoring, (5) promoting public awareness for understanding the environment, and (6) participating international networks.
3. Landscape conservation can be implemented from various perspectives and in different ways. We must prioritize its procedures to benefit society as we proceed. The implementation of the Geopark concept is an excellent way to achieve natural landscape conservation and to sustain human socio-cultural heritage and economic life.
4. The Geopark concept values integrated treatment of both geological and human geographical environments. By integrating the natural and human environments, our society, socio-cultural life and economic livelihoods can be sustained by the distinctive environment and geology of each place.
5. Due to the diverse and challenging economic, social and educational context of Taiwan in the global era, landscape conservation, demands support from not only national and local initiatives, but also global experience. Such multi-layered initiatives will ensure sustainable landscape conservation.
6. A Taiwan Landscape Conservation network with legislative and administrative support is needed to ensure the implementation of both natural and human conservation as a sound environmental and social base for a sustainable Taiwan.
7. Landscape conservation should serve as an engine for the mobilization of local people to become involved in local environmental conservation and to plan their own socio-economic future in a sustainable way. Integrating all stakeholders through effective communication guarantees good practices of landscape conservation.
8. By networking among sites, local communities become proactive in identifying their own niche in geo-conservation. Geo-conservation will then become a crucial means in enhancing geo-diversity and a force in preventing geo-hazards.
9. Educational programs are significant. Through these programs, landscape conservation networking becomes one platform for learning and sharing, so that all sites can learn from each other and share experiences to make landscape conservation a success.
10. Maintaining the momentum of Taiwan landscape conservation by contributing to global landscape conservation is crucial. It is the best way not only to keep updated, but also to share experience and to contribute to global society.
Caoling Geopark manifests volatile geo- logical landforms and dynamically various geomorphologic processes.
Penghu Marine Geopark is famous for its mesas and basaltic landforms. Magnificent basaltic cliffs are found everywhere. Various geologic structures and landforms, combined with artifacts of 4000 years of human activity, make it geologically and geographically valuable.
Yanchao Geopark is distinguished for its mudrock and badland. Mud volcanoes are pseudo-volcanoes where underground natural gas and mud are pressured and erupted along earth fractures. The mud is a mixture of water and mudstone with a temperature close to the air temperature, making it accessible for the tourists.
Liji Geopark features mudrock badland. Its areal communities are renowned for badland fruits, bays and ports, and aboriginal traditional cultures. For this rarely inhabited land of Taiwan, Geoparks network could be a means to a sound and bountiful future.
There are more sites in Taiwan to be promoted as Geopark, for the sake of a sustainable local economy and environmentally sound oceanic state. A case in hand is the Northern Coast Geopark. Not only does it have outstanding natural beauty, but also it has great public demand, due to its proximity to densely populated metropolitan areas.
There are now nine geoparks in Taiwan ( May 2016), including Penghu Marine Geopark, North Coast Yehliu Geopark, North Coast Bitou-Longdong Geopark, Tsaoling Geopark, Yenchao Geopark, Lichi Badland Geopark, Matsu Geopark, Southwest Coast Geopark and East Coast Geopark.
As a major initiative group for Taiwan Geoparks Network, we are proud of Taiwan’s natural beauty and socio-cultural legacy. We are ready to welcome worldwide visitors to share our experience and to contribute to the global community.