Non nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO Global Geopark received its first revalidation

Monday - 12/12/2022 09:40
From August 13-17, 2022, the UNESCO evaluators Artur Sá and Jean Simon Pagès undertaking the revalidation field mission in Non nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO Global Geopark. The experts from Vietam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources and Vietnam NatCom accompanied the UNESCO evaluators.

Following the itinerary, on August 13th, the revalidation delegation met with the presentative leaders of Cao Bang Provincial People’s Committee (PPC), Departments and Branches and Non nuoc Cao Bang Geopark Management Board. Vice Chairman of Cao Bang PPC chaired the meeting. At the meeting, the participants listened to a general report on the development of Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark and the results of the implementation of 6 recommendations since the evaluation mission in 2017; Report on the development of Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark associated with sustainable development. Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark has been recognized as a UNESCO Global Geopark since 2018 with a total current area of ​​3,683 km2. Over the past 4 years including 2 years under impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, Cao Bang province has strictly followed UNESCO goals and criteria and evaluation recommendations in implementing sustainable socio-economic development associated with environmental protection, rational use of resources and preserving and promoting local identity, optimizing the province’s strengths and potential in the tourism sector to attract national and international tourists, and international networking, etc.

The revalidation delegation at Nguom Boc cave, Hong Viet commune, Hoa An district
Memorial tree planting at the Pac Bo Special National Monumen
The revalidation delegation visited the product showroom of Ngan Ha Biotech Ltd.Co.
Members of “Geopark ambassador club” of Cao Bang High school for the Gifted shared their club’s activities with the evaluators
The revalidation delegation on the field survey at Lang Mon ancient coral fossil
The revalidation delegation visited Dao Tien embroidery factory in Hoa Tham commune, Nguyen Binh district
The revalidation delegation conducted the field surveyed at Phja Oac granite site

From August 14-16, the delegation conducted a field survey on the 3 experience route of Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark in the districts of Quang Hoa, Trung Khanh, Hoa An, Ha Quang, Nguyen Binh, to assess the management, protection and use of the infrastructure system, panel systems, parking lots, etc, environmental sanitation, geoheritage and landscape protection, conservation and promotion of traditional cultures; bilingual interpretation at geosites... Observations from the field survey would play as the basis for UNESCO evaluators to come up with recommendations on the development of Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark in the future.

On the morning of August 17th, 2022, the UNESCO Geopark expert delegation met with Vice Chairman of the Cao Bang Provincial People's Committee Le Hai Hoa, representative leaders of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Geopark Management Board on preliminary report on the field revalidation mission in Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark. The evaluators highly applauded the efforts of Cao Bang province and the coordination among relevant Departments and Branches, local authorities in the operation and development of Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark also affirmed that there were good practices and effective models of Cao Bang should be share among network such as “Geopark ambassador club”, a tool for geopark education activities in schools, applying high technology in promoting local geo-products… Besides, through observations in the field survey, the evaluators also made recommendations for Cao Bang province for the better development of Non nuoc Cao Bang Geopark, to facilitate the local socio-economic development while conserving heritage values and protecting the environment. Specifically, the recommendations includes: Illustrating the global network of the geoparks, introducing information of other members of the Global Geoparks Network (GGN) at Geopark Information centers; Special education on issues of climate change, natural disasters and sustainable goals of the UN; Special attention to the ethnic groups and conservation of the ethnic languages; Dynamic connection with the geopark stakeholders, capacity building and promotion of geoproducts; Solutions on systematical management of Nguom Ngao cave; Strengthening the involvement of the communities, for example, establishing steering committees or monitoring groups on tourism activities at community-based tourism villages; Restoring French villa into a multifunctional space to conserve architecture, culture and attract tourists; Cooperating with related Departments and branches (for example the Management Board of Phja Oac – Phja Den National Park) to provide visitors with biodiversity information; completion of staff positions of the Geopark Management Board.

Speaking at the meeting, Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee Le Hai Hoa highly appreciated the efforts of the UNESCO Geopark experts in undertaking the revalidation mission of Non nuoc Cao Bang Geopark and acknowledged the delegation’s recommendations. He also informed the evaluators of some activities that have been or are going to be implemented such as proposing project on supporting green circular economy through agricultural value chain improvement to Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), attracting investment in planting spice crops in ethnic minority areas, activities on preserving tangible and intangible cultural heritages in accordance with the provincial program and the national target programs, investing in the construction of a provincial museum, planning foreign language education courses for those wishing to work abroad or working in tourism and service section. The Vice Chairman expected that the UNESCO Geopark experts, through their work, could connect with foreign organizations to invest in Cao Bang so that the local people can benefit from realistic projects.

The report of revalidation field mission of Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark will be presented for consideration in the meeting of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council in September, the official decision will be announced in early 2023.

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