Geoparks are natural areas that aim to protect and make sustainable use of the Earth’s heritage.
The entirety of Hakusan City, Ishikawa Prefecture, is designated as the Hakusan Tedorigawa UNESCO Global Geopark.
Beneath the symbol of Mt. Hakusan people and nature live together,
in scenery that hides the Story of the Land.
The mountains, the rivers, the sea, and snow.
Find the Journey of Water which brings life,
and the Journey of Stone that follows.
Experience the workings of the Earth here, in the Hakusan Tedorigawa Geopark.
Geology and Terrain
History, Culture and Industry
These three elements make up not only the natural landscapes, but also the landscapes that we see and exist in through our everyday lives. In the Hakusan Tedorigawa Geopark, the relationship between these three elements can be seen and experienced first-hand.
In geoparks you can experience the connection between the land (Geology), the plants and animals (Ecology), and the lifestyles, culture, history and industries (People) that have grown within them.
A geopark is a type of natural park, and it highlights geological heritage, from which we can learn about activities of the Earth such as land formation, geology and topography. It also includes and highlights sites of natural and ecological, as well as archaeological and cultural value. Linking geoheritage to the lives of people and wildlife, history and industries, and natural disaster prevention, the initiative offers educational opportunities and promotes regional development in a holistic manner. Global Geoparks have been supported by UNESCO since 2004 and became “UNESCO Global Geoparks” in November 2015. By applying to and receiving designation by UNESCO, geoparks can earn the title of UNESCO Global Geopark in their name.
Within Japan there are also geoparks registered as a Japanese Geopark, who conduct activities similar to those of UNESCO Global Geoparks, and are aiming for UNESCO Global Geopark designation.
The Japanese Geoparks Network (JGN) was established in 2009 to support regional activities related to the promotion of geoparks. In JGN there are regular members certified as Japanese Geoparks and associate members trying to be certified as such. They are actively working on promoting Geoparks not only in Japan but also to the world. UNESCO Global Geoparks are located in 48 countries and 195 regions, mainly in Europe and China. In Japan, including the Hakusan Tedorigawa Geopark, 10 areas are designated as UNESCO Global Geoparks. 36 other areas are actively raising public awareness as Japanese Geoparks.（As of May 2023）
World Heritage sites place much value on protection and conservation as part of the World Heritage Convention, whereas geoparks put emphasis on protection and conservation as well as utilization, such as popularization of education and science, and local development. Every geopark region is doing their best to support local people’s activities, such as geo-tourism, which through regional revitalization and local economic development, can be expected to nurture culture and the environment, and lead to the protection and conservation of heritages.
The Three Main Purposes of Geoparks
1. Protection of geological heritage
2. Popularization of education and science utilizing geological heritage
3. Promotion of sightseeing and geo-tourism utilizing geological heritage
|UNESCO Global Geoparks
|World Heritage Sites
|World-class Earth heritage (matter)
World-class activities (people)
|Unique world value (matter)
|Protection and utilization
(popularization of education and science, and local development)
|Re-examination once every four years
|Relationship with UNESCO
|a UNESCO program
|World Heritage Treaty