Wednesday - 06/01/2021 03:49

Non Nuoc Cao Bang geopark was designated as a UNESCO global geopark on April 12th, 2018 with over 130 unique geoheritage sites, many of which were of international scientific significance according to the evaluation of some famous scientific magazines. Thanks to the concern of Cao Bang Provincial Party Committee, People's Council, Provincial People's Committee, the collaboration of related departments in implementing 2020 plans, the Management Board of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp has achieved a number of outstanding achievements contributing to the tourism development of Cao Bang province; especially, the activities related to geopark propaganda and education; the activities of the global geoparks network and international cooperation; tourism infrastructure construction and development.

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Mr. Guy Martini, Chairperson of UNESCO Global geopark council, discussed with the representative leaders of Cao Bang Provincial People’s Committee the development of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp in 2020 and the action plans in 2021

UNESCO global geopark education has been implemented under the criteria and recommendations of UNESCO experts. This activity plays a decisive role in the effectiveness of building and developing Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark. Through geopark education, communities, individuals, tourism services providers, and Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark partners have been fully aware of the importance of building and developing geopark model in Cao Bang, thereby, they have been actively involved in developing Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp. In 2020, the Management Board of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp organized 5 training courses on the global geopark education and participatory tourism development planning for more than 750 officials, tourism services providers and individuals in districts in the geopark area.
After studying community education experiences of some countries in the world, Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp Management Board proposed the implementation of geopark education for schools in collaboration with Cao Bang Department of Education and Training through “Geopark ambassador club” model. In order to carry out the model effectively, Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp Management Board cooperated with Cao Bang Department of Education and Training to organize 3 training workshops to develop the framework document and the operational guiding document for “Geopark ambassador club” model, a training of trainers workshop for teachers in charge of the club of the piloted schools, and take the teachers to experience heritage sites in 3 experience routes of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp. This activity, which has not been implemented in any other geoparks in the world, was highly appreciated by UNESCO expert. The Management Board of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp also shared the model implementation with other members of Vietnamese Geoparks Network.
       Propaganda document plays an important role in the geopark propaganda activities. In 2020, Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp Management Board edited and published a number of publications serving the promotion of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp image such as: publishing 4 Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp news briefing 01 +02 +03 +04; Issuing the leaflets of 3 experience routes (6000 copies) and the guidebooks of 3 experience routes (900 copies); updating more than 160 news related to the activitites of the Management Board on the official website and Facebook of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp; cooperating with Division of Science and Education-Vietnam Television to produce "Discovery" documentary film with the objective to promote valuable heritages of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp.

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Scheduled activities of international cooperation in the global geoparks network organized under digital form

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly affected the international cooperation activities and the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network. However, being aware of the importance of international cooperation, Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp Management Board actively participated in digital international cooperation activities, meetings, seminars, events, and training courses of UNESCO Global Geoparks Network, especially the virtual review conferences of Asia Pacific Geoparks Network, Latin America Geoparks Network, the workshop on geopark development in the context of COVID-19 pandemic; appointed two officials to attend a training course on management and operation of the UNESCO Global Geoparks organized by the Global Geoparks Network. In addition, the Management Board also actively propagated and promoted the geopark on social media such as YouTube, bilingual website and Facebook. In 2020, Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp website was accessed about 300.000 times, most of which belong to oversea servers.
         In 2020, Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp Management Board proposed the Provincial People’s Committee to welcome and collaborate with UNESCO expert to survey and advice on improving the infrastructure of the 3 experience routes and developing the 4th experience route. In addition, the Management Board of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp associated with the project VIE/036-Smart use of water in agriculture and international consultant to develop a sustainable tourism development strategy in the districts in Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp area and to organize a workshop on launching the implementation of the sustainable tourism development practice booklets. In order to further promote the role of the global geopark in improving tourism service quality in the geopark area and as a basis for the implementation of tourism user fee collection in the geopark area, Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp Management Board in collaboration with UNESCO expert and Vietnam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources conducted a survey to develop an area extension project to add Cao Bang city into the geopark’s territory; organized a workshop to consult related departments about the territory extension of the geopark, and the dossier was approved by Cao Bang Provincial People's Committee and submitted to UNESCO through Viet Nam National Commission for UNESCO.

           In order to propose policy recommendations for the Provincial People’s Committee to improve the quality of tourism services, preserve and promote different types of heritages in the geopark area, Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp Management Board has actively collaborated with related agencies such as Institute For Tourism Development Research, Thai Nguyen University, and National Institute of Agricultural Planning and Projection to implement research projects on sustainable tourism development in association with the UNESCO global geopark model.

           Developing Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp firmly under UNESCO criteria plays an important role to contribute to the sustainable socio-economic development in accordance with the local practical conditions. UGGp title will contribute to the development of Cao Bang tourism brand; thereby, helping to improve income for people living in the geopark area in particular and in Cao Bang province in general; contributing to environment protection, nature conservation, reasonable use of resources, preservation and promotion of cultural, historical and traditional values, making full use of province’s potentials in all aspects such as ecotourism, cultural tourism and community-based tourism, accelerating investment attraction in key tourist sites to attract domestic and international tourists. In 2021, to further promote Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp’s values, the Management Board of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp will focus on the following missions:

           Accomplishing assigned tasks under the Directive No.14/CT-UBND dated October 20th, 2017 on strengthening the management and protection of geological, cultural heritages, natural landscapes and environment in Cao Bang province;

           Increasing the cooperation with related departments and agencies to fully implement the tasks according to 6 recommendations of UNESCO for Cao Bang; Effectively implementing the Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp development plan phase II, from 2019 to 2022 under the UNESCO criteria for a global geopark;

           Developing the 4th experience tourist route; at the same time, continuing the development and exploitation of 3 current experience routes, maximizing the advantages of natural landscape, outstanding geological and cultural heritages of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp;

           Establishing a monitoring and evaluation system to inspect heritage sites periodically so as to propose timely solutions to improve the effectiveness of heritage site protection in Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp;

           Enhancing geopark propaganda and education activities in communities and schools, continuing to implement the “Geopark ambassador club” model and replicate the model to other schools in the geopark area;

           Focusing on developing the partnership system and completing criteria for the partners of Non nuoc Cao bang UGGp and officially publishing the criteria on the mass media;

           Accelerating the implementation of supporting activities for initiatives of community tourism and ecotourism development, livelihood improvement for local people, especially the ethnic minority groups in the geopark area;
Implementing the project on expanding the territory of Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp (Cao Bang city is expected to be involved the geopark territory), as a basis for planning the operation of effective tourism exploitation, towards the development of tourism-user fee collection plan; Organizing seminars to consult related Ministries and Departments about the tourism-user fee collection plan;
Collaborating with the other members in Vietnamese Geoparks Network to implement mutual propaganda and promotion activities; actively participating in international cooperation activities, holding and joining international workshops and conferences, sharing and acquiring national and international experience of developing geoparks;
Carrying out international cooperation activities effectively, participating in annual conferences, seminars and events of UNESCO Global Geoparks Network and Asia Pacific Global Geoparks Network.

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