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Taiwan Geoparks Network

The road to the National Geopark UNESCO initiated the concept of the Geoparks in 1997. The main purpose was to promote many places in the world with geological and topographical values but which are not included in the World Heritage List. They are places which can be used as the basis for local sustainable development. This concept has aroused the interest of all countries in the world. By the end of 2018, there were 140 global geoparks, distributed in 38 countries. Taiwan has launched its own geopark movement. Since 1999, there have been much progress. The concept of the Geopark was incorporated into the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act and in July 2016 after 17 years of hard work, which carried out the certification work of the statutory Geopark.

Timeline for Geoparks in Taiwan

Taiwan Geoparks Network was initiated in 2011 by geopark communities and related scholars. However, it had been the result of the long term efforts and preparation since 2003:
  • 2003. 12 Establish Penghu Marine Geopark Promotion Committee 
  • 2004.11.18 Establish Caoling Geopark 
  • 2005.5.27 Penghu World Heritage & Geopark Conference 
  • 2007.1 Establish Penghu Marine and North Coast Geopark 
  • 2010.1 Establish Yenchao and Lichi Badland Geopark 
  • 2011.10 Establish Taiwan Geopark Network 
  • 2012.05.27 First Taiwan Geopark Network conference 
  • 2014.10.3 Southwest Coast Geopark and Bitou-Longdong Geopark 
  • 2015.09.15 Join 4th APGN Conference Visit Japanese Geopark
  • 2016.05.20 Establish East Coast Geopark 
  • 2016.07.12 Geopark Becomes Part of Cultural Heritage Law
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Taiwan's nine geoparks as of 2018

The network consists of 9 geoparks for the time being. The purpose of the network is to promote the mutual learning among and capacity building of geoparks communities. The concept of geopark was added to a long existing national law for cultural heritage, entitled Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, in July 2016. Taiwan Geoparks Association was soon established in March 2017 accordingly. The association is mainly composed of geoparks, its community members and related scholars and experts for the purpose of resource inventorying and the assessment, evaluation, and management of geoparks. With Taiwan’s geo-diversity, bio-diversity, and culture-diversity, geopark community could exercise local power to conserve and preserve the environment for a better future. Protecting the local environment through geopark’s core values (i.e., landscape conservation, environmental education, geo-tourism and local involvement) will lay a better foundation for sustainable development.

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For the development of its Geoparks, Taiwan's Geopark system officially became a network in 2011, when six communities joined the Taiwan Geoparks network. After that, a network of nine Geoparks was gradually formed. The networks conference is held twice a year, and all partners share the programs.

Who can participate in the Geoparks network?
A Geopark is a place for sustainable development and a tool for promoting sustainable development, which involves in education, tourism, preservation of cultural assets, understanding of ecological resources, and local support. Hence, the promotion of geoparks requires the participation of different government departments and local communities, the public and the academic community. No single unit or individual can achieve the ideal of a Geopark. Therefore, the promotion of geoparks requires the cooperation and participation of relevant units and communities, instead of being just the responsibility of the competent authorities.
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