"Yangan-Tau" can become first UNESCO Geopark in post-Soviet space
UFA, 15 April 2019. /Bashinform News Agency, Azat Gizatullin/ translated by Tatiana Aksyutina/.
On April 13, in the Salavat district, the Acting Head of Bashkortostan, Radiy Khabirov, met with the founder of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network, Patrick McKeever, and international geoparks expert Suren Gevinyan. The meeting reviewed the progress in the creation of the Yangan-Tau Geopark and the prospects for obtaining the status of a UNESCO Geopark.
“The idea of creating a geopark in the Salavat region is essential for us. And I hope that we will certainly get this significant status. As you can see, we are actively working on it. However, we do not just wait for a decision, we are moving further. Now we are considering options for creating another geopark — “Toratau,” said Radiy Khabirov.
Patrick McKeever noted that he saw such committed people for the first time in his 19-year work with geoparks. In his opinion, it predetermined the significant progress in just a few months since his last visit to Bashkortostan.
“The next session of the Council will be held in September. Thus, your report should be ready at least by August 1. This is an extensive, voluminous work. However, we do not doubt that you can handle it”, said Patrick McKeever.
The main goal of the Global Geopark program is to create a model of sustainable economic development of the territory, based on the use of geological objects of international importance in their direct connection with nature, culture and other aspects of people's life. This is its fundamental difference from the UNESCO World Heritage program, aimed only at protecting unique objects. Besides, the status of UNESCO Geopark is granted for only four years. It will be necessary to pass a serious test for its prolongation.
“A tremendous responsibility falls on you, because if the application is approved, “Yangan-Tau” will become the first UNESCO Geopark in Russia and throughout the post-Soviet space,” said Patrick McKeever. “All other territories will use and take a pattern of the Bashkir model.”