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Taining included in UNESCO's geopark list
By Li Dapeng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-02-21 06:08

FUZHOU: Taining Geopark in East China's Fujian Province has been included on the second geoparks list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

So said the local government on Saturday.

Three other Chinese geoparks are also on the new UNESCO list, released at the second international conference on geoparks which was held in Paris earlier this month.

There are now 12 Chinese geoparks on the UNESCO list, up from eight.

The three other parks on the new list are the Yandangshan Geopark in East China's Zhejiang Province, the Xingwen Geopark in Southwest China's Sichuan Province and Hexigten Geopark in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

With unique geological heritage, Taining Geopark, covering 492.5 square kilometres, has been of great value in geological scientific research, said Ma Yuezheng, deputy secretary-general with the Fujian provincial government.

"This success will not only upgrade the competence of Fujian's tourism industry, but also strengthen the protection and development of the province's geological heritage and make more such heritage known to the world," said Wei Keliang, vice-director of the Provincial Land Resources Bureau.

Despite its abundant resources which would attract tourists, access to northwestern mountainous area of Fujian has been restricted for a long time because of a poor transport system.

Zeng Xianghui, magistrate of the county of Taining, said local transport will be much improved by the opening of the road connecting Beijing and Fujian at the end of this year.

Tourists will find it much easier to travel to Taining from other parts of Fujian and neighbouring provinces, Zeng added.

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