The delegation included experts in geology field from Malaysia, France, Brazil; representatives of Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vietnam Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
Dong Van Karst Geopark in Ha Giang Province has been officially recognized as the only global geopark in Vietnam, and the second in Southeast Asia, after Langkawi Geological Park in Malaysia, by Global Network of National Geoparks since 2010. Dong Van Karst Plateau has an area of 2,356 square kilometers, containing the fossils of thousands of species of prehistoric creatures which are estimated to exist from 400 to 600 years ago. 80 percent of the plateau is limestone. It is also the home to 250,000 people from 17 different ethnic groups, who boast unique cultures that have been fostered over centuries.
The reevaluation is implemented every 4 years by experts in geology over the world. During the period of reevaluation, the delegation checks the implementation of the criteria proposed by the Network of Geoparks. Plateaus are required to meet all the criteria to keep the title of Global Geopark. Though the working session with People Committee of Ha Giang Province, experts appreciated efforts made by the provincial authorities and local people in preserving natural values of Dong Van Plateau and implementing the criteria set by UNESCO. They also suggested Ha Giang Province promulgating awareness of precious values of the attraction to students and ethnic minorities so that younger generations could understand the inherent values, thereby to protect the geological heritage.
The planning of Dong Van Karst Plateau is urgently being carried out by Ha Giang Province and related Ministries and Departments. The experts suggested that the planning and construction had to combine with conservation, restoration and promotion of natural and cultural values to develop social economy, ensure national security and improve the living standard of local people. Especially, the planning should ensure safety and efficiency; avoid fragmented construction which will have adverse impacts on the landscape and the environment.
Recently, Vietnam Institute of Archaeology has conducted a survey of 14 monuments and discovered hundreds of new ancient artifacts which have never been seen before. Those are working tools made from pebbles in rivers and streams. It brings features of the Paleolithic dating back to 20,000 years ago. It is anticipated that Dong Van Plateau is still a mysterious destination in Vietnam that hides many precious ancient artifacts that have not been found out yet.