Geological heritage in China
In 1985, Chinese geologists proposed the establishment of geoparks in geologically significant territories in order to enhance their conservation and improve geoscientific research. In July 1987, the former Ministry of Geology and Mineral Resources (MGMR) issued the ‘Circular on Establishing Geological Natural Reserves (Proposed)’, this being the first time that the geological heritage protection was proposed in the form of ministerial regulations. In May 1995, the MGMR promulgated the ‘Regulations of Protection and Management of Geological Heritage’, in which the establishment of geoparks is regarded as a way of protecting geological heritage reserves. In December 1999, the setting up of National Geoparks was further advanced in the National Geology-Geomorphology Protection Conference held by the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) in Weihai, Shandong Province. On 3 April 2000, Tian Fengshan, Minister of the MLR, approved the report made by the Department of Geological Environment of MLR for the launch of geoparks in China. In August the same year, the ‘Circular on Leading Organization and Staffing of National Geological Heritages (Geoparks)’ was issued, and at the same time, the Review Committee of National Geological Heritages (Geoparks) was formed. In September 2000, the MLR issued the ‘Circular on the Nomination of National Geoparks’, with an attached series of documents on the requirements and procedures for geopark application, establishment, organization and management. The documents included:
1. A National Geopark nomination form 2. An outline of the report on integrated investigation of National Geoparks 3. Guidelines on the overall planning of National Geoparks (proposed) 4. Organizational and operating regulations of the Review Committee of National
Geological Heritages (Geoparks) 5. Review standards of National Geoparks.