The second international conference on the Asia Pacific Geoparks Network will be held in Hanoi from July 16-24.

For the first time, the conference is hosted by the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment with the participation of 350 domestic and international delegates, said Deputy Minister Nguyen Linh Ngoc at a press briefing on March 15.

Ngoc stressed Vietnam ’s resolve to support UNESCO’ initiatives to foster the Global Geoparks Network (GGN) and preservation work and maintain heritage values, especially geoheritages.

Vietnam is also expected to propose the country’s initiatives at the conference, contributing to heightening the country’s position in the world arena and boosting cooperative relations as well as mutual understanding with other countries in the field, Ngoc said.

The event will create favourable conditions for Vietnam to learn experiences from other countries worldwide in managing and developing the geoparks network and popularising the localities across the country, Ngoc added.

Vietnam now has its first geopark, namely Dong Van stone plateau in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang , which has been admitted to the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.

With the theme “Geopark and Geotourism for Sustainable Development”, the event will include two plenary and several themed sessions focusing on a wide range of topics such as policies and connection in the development of the geoparks network, geotourism and geoparks in limestone areas - opportunities and challenges, according to Tran Tan Van, Deputy Director of Vietnam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources.

The delegates will also discuss ways to encourage the involvement of the entire society in the field, promote geoheritage, geoparks and geotourism and introduce new geoparks or aspiring geoparks, Van said./.