General Meeting of Geopark Working Groups
On November 15th, 2018 the Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark Promotion Committee held a general meeting all working groups. Participants came from the Oki Management Office of the Ministry of Environment, Oki High School, the Okinoshima Town Tourism Association, the Oki Islands Tourism Association, the Nishinoshima Island Tourism Association, Oki Shizenmura (NPO), Oki Fisheries High School, the Okinoshima Town Tourism Division, the Nishinoshima Island Tourism and Resettlement Division, the Okinoshima Town Board of Education, the Geopark Tour Desk, and the Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark Promotion Committee, and Dr Yeung from Hong Kong UGGp was invited as a special guest lecturer.
Dr Yeung spoke about local engagement in Geopark activities. Hong Kong UGGp encourages local community involvement in environmental protection, cultural preservation, and geotourism. In addition, to promote geopark activities, it also works with schools, NPOs, and businesses. This summer when the Geopark suffered great damage from Typhoon Mangkhut Hong Kong UGGp was able to draw upon the networks they built up through geopark activities and gather volunteers from partner organizations and cooperating schools to help with cleaning, repairs, and relief supplies. Hong Kong UGGp’s example can teach us more about how geoparks can be utilized in disaster relief.
After Dr Yeung’s presentation, a workshop on the revitalization of Oki thorough geopark activities was held. In the workshop, participants were split into groups, where they discussed problems facing Oki and brainstormed possible solutions that could be achieved through the geopark. In closing, each group presented their ideas, leading into wider discussion and exchange of opinion with feedback and advice from Dr Yeung.
We would like to thank everyone who participated, especially Dr Yeung, who came all the way from Hong Kong. Thanks to you all we were able to hold a productive meeting.