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Dabieshan park seeks UNESCO status

By Camilla Tenn | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-13 08:46

Dabieshan park seeks UNESCO status

A view of top of the mountains of Tiantangzhai, a scenic spot in Huanggang's Luotian county. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Unique geology provides global scientific significance, business opportunities for locals, Camilla Tenn reports.

Huanggang Dabieshan Geopark's application to be recognized as a UNESCO Global Geopark has hit a critical juncture, as United Nations experts will descend on the picturesque and scientifically significant area this month.

First established in 2007, the geological park in eastern Hubei province covers 2,625.54 square kilometers, encompassing the extensive Dabie Mountain range, Luotian and Yingshan counties, Macheng city and dozens of scenic spots of outstanding natural beauty. The park abounds with precious geological relics, cultural heritage sites and a vast, diverse range of animal and plant species, giving the area the name of "Central China's green pearl".

Liu Jinsong, director of the Huanggang bureau of land and resources, said the park's UNESCO application first got underway in 2015. The park and its application have benefited from considerable investment. The Huanggang government, including the park's two counties and Macheng city, altogether put in over 100 million yuan ($14.65 million). Bureau officials have visited the park many times to show their support, he added.

According to Liu, the project and investment focus on protecting the park's geological relics and intangible cultural heritage; instilling appreciation and responsibility among the local residents; helping protect the nonrenewable natural relics and improve the inhabitants' awareness of the wonders that surround them; and improving the park's infrastructure, management and tourism industry to achieve this.

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