Three Chinese scenic areas classified by UNESCO as "Geoparks" have been given a "yellow card" warning. Among the reasons given by UNESCO, the parks were criticized for "inadequately disseminating knowledge of earth sciences to the general public".
It's supposed to be a relaxing place for tourists. But the park runners have been feeling the heat over the possibility of losing the World Geopark membership.
Xiang Liangqun, Mgmt. Office Director of Zhangjiajie National Park, said, "Zhangjiajie received a yellow card during the assessment. Frankly, we are very surprised. We don't understand."
For a Geopark to qualify in UNESCO's network, providing means for teaching geoscientific disciplines and broader environmental issues is a MUST.
Zhu Dong' E, Mgmt. Office Director of Lushan Mountain Geopark, said, "We admit that we have to improve the training of our staff, and update our road signs."
The three sites warned by UNESCO -- Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Lushan Mountain and Wudalianchi Pond -- all enjoy fame going beyond geological interests.
"Many come to Lushan Mountain to enjoy the natural beauty, or for legends and fairy tales. No one is here because of some fourth century glacier movement."
The three Geopark sites have two years to improve on the problems identified by UNESCO before their membership from the World Geopark Network is revoked.
In the same UNESCO inspection, one site which had formerly received a "yellow card" was upgraded to a "green card".
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