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DAFC attends 5th International UNESCO Conference on Geoparks (with photo)

     The Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, Mr Alan Wong, is attending the 5th International UNESCO Conference on Geoparks in Unzen Volcanic Area Global Geopark, Shimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan from today (May 12) to May 15. Hong Kong is one of 89 global geoparks in 27 countries, and is one of 11 new geoparks that joined the Global Geoparks Network last year.

     At the conference, participants from over 30 countries will share their experiences in geoconservation and discuss the role of geoparks and geotourism as a means for comprehensive conservation and wise use of geoheritage values for sustainable development.

     Hong Kong was invited to share its new initiatives such as a geopark hotel, geopark floating kiosks, a geopark gourmet and recommended geopark guides at a public panel session on geotourism after the opening ceremony today.  

     At another session tomorrow, Hong Kong will share its experience in setting up a science popularisation programme called the "Global E-classroom". With an aim to enhance co-operation and networking with other geoparks, the education programme makes use of basic Internet technology to enable presenters to give real-time presentations on their geoparks to participants continents away. It allows students to learn more about geoparks in other parts of the world and helps them broaden their horizons through exposure to these international connections.

     Together with our sister geopark, Itoigawa Global Geopark of Japan, a paper on geopark sistering partnerships will also be presented on May 15 to show how international co-operation helps promote the development of geoparks. Hong Kong has already entered into sister arrangements with five global geoparks. Under the arrangement, the sister geoparks collaborate in training, research, education, mutual promotion and exchange of specimens.

     The conference is held every two years to discuss geopark developments. The main theme of this year's conference is earth heritage and sustainable development.

Ends/Saturday, May 12, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:44


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