From November 11th to 12th, 2019 Annual Conference of Geotourism and Geopark & Fujian Longyan Geopark Construction and Tourism Development Seminar was successfully held in Longyan. This annual conference was jointly sponsored by Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Longyan Municipal People's Government, and Geotourism and Geopark Research Branch of Geological Society of China , and was held in the form of “symposium + field investigation”. About 150 representatives from research institutions, colleges, and national geoparks, etc. participated in the event.
During the opening ceremony, Mr. Zhang Chaoyang, Deputy Mayor of Longyan, Mr. Wu Zhenhan, Vice President of Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Mr. Liu Yuan, Inspector of Department of Natural Protected Areas Management of National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Mr. Li Tingdong, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Mr. Lu Yaoru, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, delivered speeches respectively. The opening ceremony was chaired by Mr. Jiang Jianjun, former Director of Department of Science, Technology and International Cooperation of Ministry of Land and Resources.
Zhang Chaoyang, Deputy Mayor of Longyan, delivered a welcome speech on behalf of the municipal government and extended a warm welcome to the leaders and guests present at the event and heartfelt thanks to the leaders, experts and participants who have supported the construction of Longyan Geopark for a long time. In his welcome speech, Mr. Zhang Chaoyang said that Longyan Geopark, located in the inland area of South China, owns rich geological heritage resources, making it the most critical area to study the mesozoic tectonic evolution in southeast China. The biodiversity and world-class ecological resources of the Geopark, make it an ideal base for studying classification of animals and plants, ecology and plants communities. Longyan Municipal People's Government will uphold the concept of "Celebrating Earth Heritages, Sustaining Local Communities" of the UNESCO Global Geoparks, and make every effort to accelerate the construction of Longyan Aspiring Global Geopark.
Symposium：a feast for the exchange of ideas
A symposium was held immediately after the short opening ceremony. Experts and scholars discussed topics such as the protection and development of Global Geoparks, sustainable popular science education in geoparks, how to improve the quality of geotourism, as well as the scientific value, cultural connotation and sustainable development of Longyan Geopark, etc.
More than 20 experts, scholars and graduate students made academic reports respectively in this symposium. Participants fully discussed the content of the reports, and experts and scholars proposed amendments to related papers. The academic atmosphere on the scene was strong, and the participants had extensive academic interactions.
The opening ceremony and the symposium were broadcast live on the Red Land Network of Longyan TV Station. According to statistics, a total of 87,000 people has watched the live broadcast.
In the interview, Mr. Li Tingdong, academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences spoke highly of Longyan's development and changes. Ms. Xie Youyu, senior counselor of the State Council and researcher at the Institute of Geographic Resources of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, fully affirmed this annual conference.
Field investigation: an educational and entertaining research tour
On November 12, the participants went to the Guanzhaishan Mountain National Geopark, Longyan Geopark Museum and the Site of Gutian Conference for field investigations.
Guanzhaishan Mountain was approved as the National Geopark in 2011. The Danxia landform in Guanzhaishan Mountain took on a more typical form, with a more complete type series and a picturesque landscape, which is a representative of monocline Danxia landform of the rockwall and valley. Participants went to Shimenhu Lake, Liyubei, Longevity Pavilion and other scenic spots in Guanzhaishan Mountain, and inspected the Danxia landform, ecological environment, biodiversity, and culture like cliff carvings. The visitors were impressed by the stunning natural landscape, unique geomorphology, and thoughtful and effective management services of Guanzhaishan Mountain National Geopark. And the experts and scholars put forward valuable suggestions for the development of this Geopark.
Longyan Geopark Museum is a necessary condition for Longyan Geopark to apply for the Global Geopark. In the museum, the participants visited different exhibition halls such as Overview of Longyan Geopark, Earth Exploration, Geological Treasure, World Biological Gene Bank, Interactive Games, etc. They fully affirmed the museum's infrastructure and popularization of geological knowledge. Meanwhile, they put forward suggestions for the deficiencies.
Longyan Geopark not only retains the unique and rich natural landscape, but also combines the Hakka culture and Red culture. As the last stop of the trip, the participants went to the Site of Gutian Conference at the southern foot of Meihuashan Nature Reserve to learn about the history of Hakka and experience the Red culture. Under the guidance of the tour guide, the participants first visited the site of Gutian conference, and then went to the statue of Chairman Mao to hold a worship ceremony.
The success of this conference will inject strong new vitality into Longyan's application for UNSCO Global Geopark.