As a geopark is a formal institution that involves both human and non-human agents, its management and governance might be complicated. However, from the human agency perspective the management of geoparks can be categorized into three frontiers in Taiwan’s experience of geopark development:
The procedures for becoming a Taiwan Geopark Managerial scheme of Taiwan’s geopark from a human agency perspective
1. Local government and other department of governments, such as the National Scenic Area Authority: Those are mainly sources of funding. As the geoparks are located in scenic areas, the authority is responsible for the management of facilities, such as transportation, explanation plates and other information facilities.
2. Local communities: Local communities act as the local platform for the governments to assist the management. Some geoparks provide free guides, such as the Yenchao or Yehliu geoparks. They also produce a regular series of publications.
3. Academic teams: The academic teams help local government to carry out surveying of natural resources and publications, such as geopark guides, pamphlets and information on websites. The academic teams also call together network meetings usually twice a year and a workshop every year. The academic team plays a more active role when the geopark concept is introduced at the beginning of the establishing process. Most geoparks are at the beginning stage for management. There are some geoparks located within national scenic areas, where there is an official authority which is responsible for overseeing its progress and development, such as the geoparks at Penghu, Matsu, Yehliu, Bitou-Longdong, East Coast and Southwest Coastal wetland geoparks. The Yenchao, Tsaoling and Lichi geoparks are mainly governed by the local communities with some support from Forestry Bureau. In addition, some aspiring geoparks are located within the boundary of National Park authority. As geology has been one important foundation for geoparks, the Taiwan’s Central Geological Survey has been crucial as well.
The geoparks within the National Scenic Areas normally provide tourist information centers with regular publications, guide tours by volunteers and multi-media presentations. Interpretation and explanation boards are also ready at most of the scenic sites. These geoparks normally have regular budgets for management. Other geoparks are still at the beginning stage and need more support from the local governments. Such differences reflect the variability in the level of management of geoparks in Taiwan.
Source: Lin, J. C., Su, S. C. (2019). Geoparks of Taiwan. Their development and Prospects for a Sustainable Future