A view of Ly Son island (Photo: VNA)

Quang Ngai (VNA) – The central province of Quang Ngai is working to have Ly Son island, Binh Chau commune’s coastal area, and their vicinity included in the UNESCO list of global geoparks.

At an April 3 meeting on progress of the compilation of a dossier for the areas, rive foreign experts from the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and 13 Vietnamese scientists said the geological conditions in the areas have significant values, making them suitable to become a geopark.

Prof. Ibrahim Komoo, Vice President of the Global Geoparks Network, told the meeting that they visited seven locations in Ly Son island and Binh Chau’s beaches during the survey from March 31 to April 3, where the experts found several sites of geological values. He added that those sites need special care and are suitable for tourism.

Experts also said the nearby mainland area also boasts rarely diverse geological features and should be identified as the neighbourhood of the global geopark once it is recognised.

They stressed, however, that alongside special geological values, Quang Ngai must meet other standards regarding conservation, community education and tourism development in order to have the areas listed as a global geopark.

Dr. Nancy Rhoena Aguda at the University of the Philippines said local people are the decisive factor to the formation of a global geopark. It is necessary to call for their engagement in the geopark’s conservation and development, she said, urging local authorities to be patient and employ education activities to improve public awareness.

The experts recommended that Quang Ngai province clearly define the area to be designated as the geopark and set up a special taskforce to compile the future park’s dossier and carry out necessary legal procedures for the park’s recognition.

Vice Standing Chairman of the Quang Ngai People’s Committee Le Quang Thich said though the area of the to-be-formed geopark has not been specified, the province will expeditiously conduct communication campaigns to raise local residents’ awareness.

The People’s Committee is expected to designate the areas as a provincial geopark in the near future and then submit dossiers looking for the national and global recognition, he added.

Vietnam is currently home to the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark, which is located in the northernmost province of Ha Giang and became the first global geopark in the country in 2010.-VNA