Yuanyuan Zheng, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (China)
Min Wang, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (China)
Guangxiao Hu, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (China)
Yanjun Wang, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (China)
1.The Status Quo of Geoheritage Resources in China
Geoheritage proves to be a kind of resources that differ from traditional mineral resources, featuring three traits as follows: 1. They are nonrenewable. 2. They are the sole resources existing in this world. 3. They bring about immense economic, social and ecological benefits and are thus termed "the secondary resources" in pushing ahead the regional economy in China.
(1) China boasts rich geoheritage resources of various types. 138 national geoparks have been established, of which 20 ones are members of GGN. Restricted by local economy, quite unbalanced protection and exploitation of geoheritage resources occurs in this country. Three cases are often seen as follows: meanwhile benefiting from exploitation of the related geoheirtage, efficient protection has been done to them, as in some geoparks; secondly, some of the geoheritage are seriously damaged due to the improper mining and unauthorized construction; the last case is some of geoheritage are not fully recognized.
(2) As unique natural tourism resources, geoheritage now meets with a huge social demand and in recent years it has been producing remarkable economic efficiency. Geoparks have lent scientific connotation to tourism activities. In 2007, geoparks of China attracted over 102 millions visitors, the related revenue was over 22.5 billion RMB yuan, vigorously pushing ahead the local economy.
(3) In recent years, investigation on geoheritage resources has been implemented in some provinces. However, reconnaissance work in connection with geoheritage on the country's basis has not yet been conducted, with insufficient efforts made to the researches into the origins of geoheritage and related preservation models.
2. Important Significance of Researches on the Protection and Exploitation of Geoheritage
(1) With facts-finding investigation of geoheritage resources and analysis of the status quo of their protection and exploitation, basic data and information for the researches and their exploitation can support researches and popularization of Earth sciences, and actual evidence and sites are made available for the major geologically hypothetical problems.
(2) The establishment of China's sensibly-laid-out platform in relation to protection and exploitation of geoheritage resources has avoided the indiscriminate development of geoheritage resources, thus benefiting local economy with sustainable development. Researches on the formative mechanism and conservation models of typical geoheritage sites can provide technical support for the protection and exploitation of geoheritage, facilitating local government's management and planning.
(3) An orientation has been pointed out for seeking after and hunting for new geoheritage resources in China.