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Geopark Guides to become "Story Masters"

Geopark Guides to become Story Masters

UNESCO Global Geoparks are not just about geology. They exist to explore, develop and celebrate the links between geological, natural, cultural and intangible heritage. Two years ago, Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark started the "Same Roots, Same Origins" project to explore, preserve and promote the history and intangible cultural heritage of local geopark communities. The project has borne fruit in story rooms and publications, and the valuable information and stories gathered have become fascinating interpretation material for geopark guides.

To reflect the upgrade of geopark guides capable of delivering the much enriched interpretation material in engaging stories, Hong Kong Geopark is working with the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TIC) to provide an enhanced certification system, named "Story Master (Geopark)". Besides being experts in traditional geological interpretation, Story Masters will be highly knowledgeable about intangible cultural heritage, including Chinese traditions and Hakka culture, Hakka herbal medicine, folk religions, and temple architecture and decorations. They will also hold either a valid Tourist Guide Pass or a Tour Escort Pass issued by the TIC.

The new "Story Master" system will further enhance the label and branding of geopark guides when it is rolled out in mid 2020.

10 December, 2019

Hong Kong Geopark "Same Roots‧Same Origins" Project

Hong Kong Geopark

According to the operation guidelines of UNESCO Global Geoparks, a geopark should conserve not only its geological and ecological heritage, but also the cultural heritage of the geopark communities, including the traditional knowledge, skills and cultural legacy of the indigenous people. These initiatives should embrace the long-term goal of sustainability and aim to improve living conditions in local communities within the geopark.

In 2017, Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark launched "Same Roots‧Same Origins", a project that preserves the heritage, history and collective memories of geopark communities. The project is strongly supported by the geopark communities. As a result of close cooperation over the past two years, two new visitor centres that incorporate education and tourist services were set up in Ap Chau and Kat O ― the Ap Chau Story Room and the Kat O Story Room .

The "Same Roots‧Same Origins" project enjoys warm support from both local residents and villagers who have migrated overseas. The project has recently made significant progress. A number of villagers from Siu Tan and Mui Tsz Lam of the Hing Chun Alliance of Sha Tau Kok district who now live in Europe, have provided valuable information to fill in some of the gaps in the local history.

5 December, 2019

Joint Training Programme by Hong Kong Geopark and Mainland Authorities

Joint Training Programme by Hong Kong Geopark and Mainland Authorities

Rapid social and economic development takes a heavy toll on nature. Over-exploitation of natural resources and degradation of the natural environment are causing concern around the globe. To address issues related to the deteriorating environment, China has designated more than 11,000 diverse, multi-functional nature protected areas, supervised by the Forestry and Grassland Administration of the Ministry of Nature and Resources. Representatives of Hong Kong Geopark visited the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA) on 22 November 2019 to hold discussions with its representatives about launching a training programme and increasing the visibility of China geoparks. It was agreed that a five-day course will be jointly organised in Hong Kong in April 2020 to serve as a platform for frontline managers in protected areas on both sides to exchange insights and optimise management and planning. To gain wider exposure for China geoparks and strengthen communication with other geoparks, Hong Kong Geopark will collate the latest news of all global geoparks in China and publish it on Asia Pacific Geoparks Network (APGN) social media platforms.

On the day of the meeting, Hong Kong Geopark representatives also visited the Science Popularization Base Management Office. In a fruitful exchange session, the topic and schedule for the 5th Geoscience Capacity Building Programme were agreed. The training course will be held in Hong Kong in March and April 2020. The aim of the programme is to take the management standard of Chinese science popularization bases, as well as the know-how and skills of science popularisation professionals, to new heights.

3 December, 2019

The 5th International Training Course on UNESCO Global Geoparks Management and Development in Beijing

International Training

The 5th International Training Course on UNESCO Global Geoparks Management and Development jointly organized by China University of Geosciences Beijing, Songshan UNESCO Global Geopark and Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences with the contribution of the Aegean University, Greece, was held in Beijing, from 28 Oct to 3 Nov 2019.

The theme of the training course was "Earth Heritage Interpretation and Sustainable Development". Over 80 participants from different countries all over the world, including African counties, DPR of Korea, Kyrgyz Republic, Saudia Arabia, Syria, Uzbekistan and Vietnam attended the training.

The training aims to give geopark managers a better understanding of the philosophy of UNESCO Global Geoparks and to improve their ability in management and earth heritage interpretation. Participants from global geoparks and aspiring geopark expressed that the training was extremely useful and practical.

4 November, 2019

Two new video introducing how to explore the local geopark communities

New travel video

As the new ferry routes are in service, the accessibility to some local geopark communities are greatly improved. Two new video introducing how to explore the local geopark communities by the new ferry routes operating between Ma Liu Shui to Ap Chau, Kat O and Lai Chi Wo, have recently been completed. The "A day in Geopark" series of short films introduce the two travel routes for you and give an overview of the local villages' attractions, culture and history. When visiting the geopark community, you can know more about their local customs and traditions, and support the sustainable development of the region.

| Web: Ap Chau and Kat O |
| Video: |

| Web: Lai Chi Wo |
| Video: |

28 September, 2019

Same Roots.Same Origins Series – The Story of Robinson Island

The Story of Robinson Island

About 100 years ago, a group of fishing families gradually settled on Ap Chau (Robinson Island) in the northeast part of the New Territories to build a community and improve their life. We invited some of the villagers to share their simple and plentiful memories of the old days. Their memories help put together an oral history of life on Ap Chau and its development over the decades.

Author: Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark

Publisher: Cosmos Books. Ltd

3D Issue  [ Preview ]

22 August, 2019

Eleven sites and extensions in Asia, Europe, and South America receive UNESCO Global Geopark Label

New UNESCO Global Geoparks

UNESCO’s Executive Board approved the designation of eight new sites demonstrating the diversity of the planet’s geology as new Geoparks on 17 April 2019. The Executive Board also approved the extension of three existing Geoparks. With this year’s additions, the number of sites in the Global UNESCO Geoparks Network is brought to 147 in 41 countries.

Read more at:

9 May, 2019

Hong Kong Geopark School visited San’in Kaigan and Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geoparks in Japan

Hong Kong Geopark School visited geoparks in Japan

Students of the HKCWC Fung Yiu King Memorial Secondary School started their unforgettable global geopark journey in Japan during the bloom of cherry blossom in early April. The first stop of the journey was the San’in Kaigan UNESCO Global Geopark, they enjoyed the cultural exchange activities with the students of the Tottori Keiai High School. The latter guided the Hong Kong students to visit the famous Tottori Sand Dunes and its visitor centre, and the Museum of the Earth and Sea, so to know more about the rich biodiversity in the area. Besides learning geological knowledge, the students also had the chances to make their own Japanese handmade paper and visit Arid Land Research Centre of the Tottori University, to understand the unique vegetation and human activities in this kind of landform.

Leaving the San’in Kaigan Geopark, the students approached the Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark by ferry. Upon arrival, the group hiked along the Shirashima Coast, and appreciated the formation of amazing coastal landscape there. In the following two days, they visited Funagoya Traditional Boathouses which was built in Showa period, Dangyo-no-taki Waterfall, Nagu-misaki Cape and Oki Nature Museum. Moreover, they learnt how to make the Oki soba noodle and the traditional dance from the local people. At the end, it placed a nice full stop of the journey after the exchange activities on different topics with the students of the Oki High School.

Such visit and exchange are an important part of our geopark twinning agreements. Cultural exchange between students of two different regions helps broaden horizons and plant seeds of hope for the continuing sustainable development of geoparks and the promotion of earth science.

26 April, 2019

New Face of Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark Visitor Centre

New Face of Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark Visitor Centre

The Hong Kong Geopark Visitor Centre in the Lions Nature Education Centre has just undergone a major renovation. The new exhibits and interactive displays, which are both fun and educational, will surely satisfy visitors of all ages!

The oldest rocks on Earth are very rare, as they are exposed on the Earth’s surface in only very few places, with most of them broken down by erosion or melted throughout the long history of the planet. New exhibits include the oldest rock in the world and the oldest rock in China. There are also a series of hand-made 3D miniature models which are much more effective tools for science transfer.

New interactive display “The many adventures of magma” is another highlight. Instead of just showing rocks and their names, we illustrate the Rock Cycle through the story of magma in different parts of the Earth in this new interactive display, making a difficult-to-understand topic fun and accessible to visitors of all ages.

For the first time, we explore the culture and human history of the Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region of Hong Kong Geopark. Sai Kung has transformed itself from a group of scattered fishing villages to a major destination for tourists and leisure activities. It was deeply influenced by the Hakka and Lingnan cultures, before progressively developing its own unique culture and traditions.

Through our showcase of historical items used by the people of Sai Kung, visitors can get a glimpse into the daily lives of the indigenous residents and learn about the valuable intangible culture and traditions of Sai Kung.

1 February, 2019

National Geographic Photographer Matthieu Paley takes you to explore Hong Kong land and sea

National Geographic Photographer Matthieu Paley takes you to explore Hong Kong land and sea

See the amazing landforms our mighty Earth conjured up millions of years ago at Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark. Discover the great outdoors, and a dramatically different side of Hong Kong, with National Geographic Photographer Matthieu Paley.

VIDEO - Hong Kong: Land and Sea ***

WEBSITE - Hong Kong Tourism Board

Follow @discoverhk on:

24 January, 2019

HKUGGp receives an award for “My Favorite Natural Attraction in Hong Kong”

U Green Awards

On 4 January 2019, Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark (HKUGGp) received the “My favorite natural attraction in Hong Kong” award at the presentation ceremony of the “U Green Awards”. The “U Green Awards”, which are based on the results of an online public poll, is in an annual event to recognize entrepreneurs and organizations that have shown leadership and made an outstanding contribution in nature conservation and promotion. Waste reduction is the major theme this year.

In 2018, HKUGGp worked to enhance its appeal as a natural attraction by enhancing the visibility of the UNESCO Geopark brand, boosting local engagement, and increasing the accessibility of its geosites. To enhance the visibility of the UNESCO Geopark brand, a new promotion magazine was distributed and HKUGGp participated in International Travel Expo 2018 Hong Kong for the first time in June 2018. In collaboration with the villagers on Ap Chau and the Lions Club, the Ap Chau Story Room was opened in April 2018 and has become a very popular venue for tourists. Geosite accessibility has greatly improved with the introduction of a new green minibus to High Island and the launch of a new kaito ferry service in the Sedimentary Rock Region of the geopark.

In 2019, HKUGGp will further upgrade the quality of geopark guides, enhance visitor facilities, and improve accessibility. It will adopt an innovative approach to support and promote conservation and sustainable development by improving the livelihood of the rural community and the conservation of our natural and cultural heritage.

A HKUGGp representative received the award for “My favorite natural attraction in Hong Kong”, and Big Waster (大嘥鬼), the iconic character of the “Food Wise Hong Kong campaign” (「惜食香港」運動) carried out by the Environment Bureau, shared the joy with us.

11 January, 2019

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