Effective Protection and Rational Utilization of Geological Heritage

Wudalianchi Management Committee
Published: 14 November 2015
Last edited: 02 October 2020
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Summary

Environmental protection and development are a pair of eternal contradictions. Seeking balance between protection and sustainable utilization of natural resources is the key to achieve effective protection. In Wudalianchi Geological Park (“the park”), the new-period basaltic volcanic cones of intracontinental tectonic setting, barrier lakes and lava land form have superb geological scientific value. However, in the past, locals relied heavily on agriculture, fishing and farming, which all had negative impacts on the environment. In order to solve the problem, the government provides support and guidance in accordance with the laws and regulations formulated by it, local residents can choose to engage in different industries or conduct different businesses that have the minimum impact on the environment to ensure a sustainable world that benefits all. In addition, the local government gives priority to provide employment opportunities for local residents to improve their livelihood.

Classifications

Region
East Asia
Scale of implementation
Global
Local
National
Ecosystem
Forest ecosystems
Freshwater ecosystems
Pool, lake, pond
Temperate deciduous forest
Wetland (swamp, marsh, peatland)
Theme
Cities and infrastructure
Culture
Geodiversity and Geoconservation
Indigenous people
Local actors
Outreach & communications
Science and research
Sustainable financing
Other theme
Sustainable Livelihoods, Policy and Legislation
Challenges
Earthquake
Volcanic eruption
Physical resource extraction
Changes in socio-cultural context
Poor governance and participation
Unemployment / poverty
Business engagement approach
Direct engagement with a company

Location

Wudalianchi, Heihe, Heilongjiang, People's Republic of China | Heilongjiang
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Challenges

  1. The development of agriculture, fishing, grazing and mineral water exploitation has put certain pressure on the park;
  2. Even though there is no extreme environmental pressure on the park, there is pressure on air quality from domestic heating activities, on surface water quality from sewage discharge and crop fertilization,  on ground water from solid wastes;
  3. There are possible natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes that are hard to predict and prevent;
  4. Tourism brings economic benefits to the locals, but over-crowding of tourists is a potential challenge, so is the good management of the tourists.

Beneficiaries

  • Local residents who enjoy the park
  • All visitors to the park
  • All who get the business opportunities because of the park
  • All who get the employment opportunities from the park

 

How do the building blocks interact?

Good management of a PA is base on clear laws and regulations, fair and impartial enforcement, and effective supervision and monitoring mechanism. It must also rely on external cooperation and exchange in academic and management. For the practice to be successful, support and adaptation from local residents/communities and all stakeholders are essential.

The park enacted necessary laws and regulations, developed master plans, annual work-plan as the specific action plan of the year is made based on the master plans and in compliance with the laws and regulations. Comprehensive evaluations are done on a regular basis to ensure good practices are followed to achieve effective management. All the deficiencies raised by the evaluation will have corresponding improvement measures formulated within the scope of capabilities.

Aware of its lack of capacities, the park actively seeks for partners, engages experts/professionals to empower itself to the best extent.

The practices of the park make the locals realize all the actions promoted and taken by the park are not only good for the environment, but also brings benefits to them, thus the locals take the initiative to participate in the actions, and it is approved the most effective way.

Impacts

  1. Strictly abide by the Protection Ordinance and the Master Plan of the park, the park invested around 1.3 billion RMB between 2012 and 2014 to either construct or improve the infrastructure in the park to ensure the comprehensive protection of geological relics. The completed tasks include: built 98km2 of roads around the lakes and platforms, 58km of various protection tunnels, 3500m of hiking trails, more than 20,000m of protective trails, etc.
  2. The local government and the park vigorously build and promote eco-tourism to improve the livelihoods of local residents and local economic growth. Actions taken include going to overseas and other cities in China to introduce and promote the park, advertising on various platforms to improve park’s visibility. The park and the local government also worked together to host various festivals to attract more visitors to the park and to expand its reputation.
  3. The Wudalianchi mineral water is a special product of the park. In 2010, the former AQSIQ approved the implementation of geographical indication product protection for Wudalianchi mineral water. Over the years, the park and the local government made all the effort to conserve the source of the water to ensure the quality of the water, as well as the sustainable use of the water. The mineral water business also provides employment opportunities to local residents.

Story

Wudalianchi

This is a wonderful place. Around 2 million years ago, a masterpiece was created by Mother Nature over this vast expanse of fertile land which left behind the precious geological heritages. This place bristles with magnificent volcanoes and vast lava platforms. Lakes are connected as strings of pearls. Mineral springs dot the land like stars. This is Wudalianchi.

With volcanoes standing proudly; lava platforms rolling out spectacularly, and hundreds of mineral springs bubbling out naturally, Wudalianchi has long been known as a world-famous volcanic attraction.

In the years 1720 A.D. and 1721 A.D., Laohei Volcano and Huoshao Volcano erupted in succession. They are the youngest volcanoes in China. Fortunately, these events were recorded in detail in the books of Wu Zhenchen’s Brief Account of Ninguta and Xiqing’s External Epoch of Heilongjiang.

Volcanic activities make a great contribution to the abundant diversity of natural landscape and ecological environment in this area. During the past 2 million years, more than ten volcanoes went through the process of eruption, dormancy, and extinction. With the recovery, immigration, and occupation of plant life in this process, a unique ecological succession was carried on with the change of the volcanic environment.

Wudalianchi is a shining pearl; it boasts miraculous volcanoes, awe-inspiring rocks, tranquil lakes and magical springs.

As a classic volcanic landscape, Wudalianchi is also a well-known resort for sightseeing, recreation, and healthcare tourism.

Wudalianchi—she belongs to China as well as to the world.

Wudalianchi won 2016 Michel Batisse Award.

Contributed by

Zhang Jiabo Wudalianchi National Park

Other contributors

Wudalianchi Geological Park