YUNTAISHAN UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK – CHINA
The Yuntaishan UNESCO Global Geopark of China in Henan Province, is located in north of Jiaozuo City, in the southern foothills of Taihangshan Mountains and is considered hikers and nature enthusiasts’ heaven. It is among the first 8 territories in China ratified as Global Geopark by UNESCO in 2004.
The Geopark is characterized by its rifting tectonics, and spectacular landscapes formed by hydrodynamic processes, in combination with its natural ecologic and cultural relic scenery.
The Geopark consists of a series of geological relics that have unique scientific significance and aesthetic values as the record of local geological history.
The Yuntaishan UNESCO Global Geopark is located on Huabei palaeocontinental crust exposed over a long period of time with stabilized tectonics, and has developed a series of relatively complete and representative platform-type sedimentary rocks.
It completely preserves the sedimentary heritages in Mesoproterozoic, and Paleozoic Marine environment, especially the Cambrian – Ordovician epicontinental sea environment. Yuntai Landform, which was formed in the presence of the Giant East Asian Rift, is the typical study site of neotectonic movement and is of great significance in researching neotectonic movement and rift evolution.
The unique topographic landforms of the Yuntaishan UNESCO Global Geopark have combined the grand panorama of the north and the exquisite beauty of the south.
The Geopark also serves as a nature reserve for China’s northernmost population of macaque monkeys.
The Yuntaishan UNESCO Global Geopark is divided into five unique scenic areas. Tourist attractions include the hanging springs and waterfalls of the Yuntaishan area, the gorges and mountain streams of the Qinglongxia area, the towering rock walls of the Fenglinxia area, the crystal clear waters of the Qingtianhe River, the Dragon Crest Ridge of the Shennongshan Mountain. All of these provide the spectacularly scenic views for tourists to enjoy during their visit to the Yuntaishan UNESCO Global Geopark.
Since the establishment of the UNESCO Global Geopark, they conducted research on Earth Science in cooperation with Henan Institute of Geological Survey. They tangibly develop the science education activities.
To make the UNESCO Global Geopark more accessible, the Geological Museum is open to the public for free throughout the year, and pupils and middle school students can explore the UNESCO Global Geopark for free during the summer holidays.
The Yuntaishan UNESCO Global Geopark participates actively in the communication and cooperation between the UNESCO Global Geopark members, especially in 2013 when we participated in the training workshop for the managers from African aspiring Geoparks.
Local inhabitants benefit from the UNESCO Global Geopark and their initiatives of UNESCO Global Geopark conservation have increased.
Yuntaishan and Lesvos UNESCO Global Geoparks signed a twinning agreement in 2017 which contributes to a closer collaboration among both territories aiming the protection and enhancement of the geological heritage, the promotion of both territories as sustainable geotourism destinations and the sustainable local development.