September 30, 2011
Second Japanese Geoparks Network Conference 2011 in Toya-Usu Global Geopark
We express our deepest regrets for those who passed away by the Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster on March 11, 2011 and show our deepest sympathies for those who still continue to struggle daily toward the disaster recovery.
Both this unprecedented disaster and the eruption of Mt. Shin-moedake in Kirishima Geopark, Kyushu since January, 2011 firmly reminded us that such movements are a part of the power of the planet Earth we humans live on and that natural phenomenon such as earthquakes, tsunamis, eruptions, and typhoons are an inevitable part of our life.
We are pleased hosting the Second Japanese National Geoparks Network Conference between September 29 and October 1, 2011 in our Toya Caldera and Usu Volcano Global Geopark area, where we had experienced four eruptions during the twentieth century. Those worked in various Geoparks all over Japan and the many interested attendants gathered on the conference. The main theme was "Creating sustainable tourism through geotourism - living together with the changing planet earth in harmony." The convention discussed the progress made in Japanese Geoparks thus far and the significance of and future perspective visions of Japanese Geoparks.
We strongly felt that all participants are ready to leave the conference, feeling that Geoparks are really important resources that should be used for further sustainable development of the areas and human resources, and for effective educational tools those give us ability to understand better and live on the earth with harmony. All gained a renewed understanding of Japanese Geoparks with proud that the scenic landscapes, geology, and geological phenomenon all over Japan reflect their historical context and a valuable heritage of the earth's dramatic activity, so we should pass on those treasures to our future generations.
The Global Geoparks Network, supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), stands on the fundamental concepts of the relationship between the earth and humans, coexistence with the earth, and the creation of sustainable development of the communities. We believe these principles represent precisely the ideals that Japan should work together towards.
As Japanese Geoparks, founded as a specified nonprofit organization approved officially by the National Government, our activities should be dedicated to the long-term future of our planet even over coming one hundred years or one thousand years, and we acknowledge the important roles Geoparks play further in Japanese societies. Today, we declare the following items:
- To create a sustainable development of communities with adequate economical and man power resources through geotourism.
- To increase awareness of environmental impact and knowledge of natural hazards through various educational activities.
- To understand the historical lessons of our ancestors had been experienced in their long life through the changing environments and contributed to the creation of our precious culture both nationally and internationally.
- To develop and expand various further activities of Geoparks by cooperating closely among the national and international Geoparks.