Geopark is defines as a territory encompassing one or more sites of scientific importance, not only for geological reasons but also by virtue of its archaeological, ecological or cultural value. By now, there are 77 World Geoparks(（GGN）) on earth ratified by the UNESCO scattering among 25 countries, and China owns 24. The Global Geoparks Network (GGN) (also named as the Global Network of National Geoparks) is a UNESCO programme established in 1998. It is managed by the Ecological and Earth Sciences Division, aiming to promote and conserve the planet’s geological heritage, as well as to enhance the sustainable research and development of communities concerned.
Huangshan Geopark,Lushan Geopark,Yuntaishan Geopark, Stone Forest Geopark, Danxiashan Geopark, Wudalianchi Geopark and Songshan Geopark are the first group of World Geopark ratified by UNESCO in 2004, While 2005 saw Yandangshan Geopark, Taining Geopark, Hexigten Geopark and Xingwen Geopark enlisted as the second group. In 2006, Mount Taishan Geopark, Wangwushan- Daimeishan Geopark, Leiqiong Geopark, Fangshan Geopark, Jingpohu Geopark and Funiushan Geopark were added as the third group, and the remaining 6 geoparks are selected by UNESCO during the following years.
This collection of geoparks differ in various aspects: Wudalianchi Geopark is renowned as “the encyclopedia of volcanic” or “the Volcanic Museum” due to it boasts the most complete, diversified and concentrated volcanic terrain on earth ranging from 2,000,000 to 280 years ago; Songshan Geopark,whose geological structure covering five evolving periods completely during the past 3.5billion years, living up to the name as “the textbook of stones on earth”. The co-existence of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism brings much charm to it. Zhangjiajie Sandstone Peak Forest Geopark is special for its sandstone landscape and Karst terrain. It is a hiking paradise and hot place for photography and painting. Huangshan Geopark is famous for hotspring, sunrise, bizzar rocks ,pine trees and sea of clouds, luring tourists worldwide during four seasons. Danxiashan Geopark in Guangdong Province, has the most complete, the most beautiful, varied and grandest Danxia terrain in China; Hexigten Geopark is famous for the most complete, rare and representative 1000 holes shaped by the glacier during the long years and 10 terrain landscapes such as glacier terrain, volcanic terrain, wetland terrain,ect; Leiqiong Geopark, whose ecological terrain mainly constituted by 40 volcanic covering almost all types since Basaltic volcanic, is varied and eye-dazzling. Among over 30 lava tunnels, the longest one extending as long as 2000m, it is rare seen in China. Volcanic landscape, tropical forest and ancient towns inside making this place a must-see in Hainan province.