Group Photo UGGp Training

Group Photo UGGp Training

UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Office Jakarta in collaboration with Japanese Geoparks Network and as local host, Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark Promotion Committee organized the “Regional training course on UNESCO Global Geoparks – perspectives for National Commission for UNESCO in the Asia and the Pacific region”, 27-30 May 2018 in Oki Island, Japan. The four-days training course was attended by 23 international participants from National Commissions and National focal points for UNESCO Global Geoparks from 13 countries (list), 25 Japanese participants from all nine Japanese UNESCO Global Geoparks, Japanese Geoparks Network, Japanese Geopark Committee and Japanese National Commission from UNESCO and four Science Officers from UNESCO Apia, Bangkok, Jakarta and Hanoi offices. Among the 59 participants, 34% were female.

After the development of the open online introduction course on UNESCO Global Geopark (, this training course was the second activity under the project “Geoparks for Enhanced Multidimensional Sustainability in the Asia and Pacific Region (GEMS)” supported by the Japanese Funds-in-Trust (JFIT). GEMS aims to raise the capacity of Asia and the Pacific region to establish new UNESCO Global Geoparks and to improve existing ones. Indeed, in 2018, only seven countries out of the 49 in the region have a UNESCO Global Geopark however the potential of the region is very high especially as UNESCO Global Geoparks are model for local sustainable development allying the celebration of Earth Heritage and the sustainment of local communities.

The training course was opened by the Director of UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Prof. Shahbaz Khan, the Secretary General of the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, Mr. Kazuaki Kawabata and the Vice-President of the Japanese Geoparks Network, Mr. Ryuzaburo Furukawa.  The training course was the occasions for international and Japanese participants to be introduced or deepen their understanding on the UNESCO Global Geopark’s concept with lectures from Prof. Zouros, President of Global Geopark Network, Prof. McKeever, from UNESCO HQ and Prof. Nakada, President of Japanese Geoparks Committee. Through workshop sessions, participants identified local challenges and discussed solutions to local challenges in establishing or improving UNESCO Global Geoparks such as funding issues, awareness raising, technical and geological aspects, community engagements and livelihoods or education challenges. Participants also discussed and exchanged on the roles of the different partners and stakeholders to be engaged and Dr. Mahito Watanabe and Dr. Anton Setyo Nugroho explained the journey in Japan and in Indonesia for UNESCO Global Geoparks to receive national government support. Finally, all participating countries presented initial roadmap for their local content on how to advance the establishment or improvement of UNESCO Global Geoparks.

Field Trip Picture

On 29 May 2018, the participants visited the amazing features of Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geoparks in Ninoshima Island and could understand better what a UNESCO Global Geopark should offer and how local communities need to be involved.

The main conclusion of the training course was that UNESCO Global Geoparks need a strong local champion and strategic planning and advocacy in order to mobilise institutions and establish supporting institutional framework. This conclusion is similar to Sustainability Science approach application for UNESCO designated sites management as also aiming for participatory and inclusive local sustainable development.


Agenda of the UGGp Training in Oki Island, Japan 27-30 May 2018

Day and Date Time Location Activity



09:30-10:00 Izumo Airport Participants departure from Izumo Airport
10:00-12:55 Oki Airport Participants arrive in Oki Airport
12:55-13:45 Itami Airport Participants departure from Itami Airport
13:45-14:00 Oki Airport Participants arrive in Oki Airport
14:00-17:30 Okinoshima Town Pre-tour
19:00-21:00 Hotel Ice Breaking Party
21:00 ~ Opening Remarks: Oki Islands Geopark Promotional Committee Chairman
Welcoming Address: Shimane Prefecture, Vice-Governor
Oki Folk Song Performance



9:00-9:30 Oki Cultural Center Remarks from Organizers
UNESCO (Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director, UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Jakarta Office)
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) (Mr. Kazuaki Kawabata, Director-General for International Affairs
Japan Geoparks Network (Mr. Ryuzaburo Furukawa, Vice President)
9:30-10:10 Global Geoparks Network (Prof. Nickolaos Zouros, President GGN)
10:10-10:30 Break
10:30-11:10 UNESCO Global Geoparks (Prof. Patrick McKeever, Chief of Section, UNESCO)
11:10-11:40 Asia Pacific Geoparks Network (Mr. Yuan Zheng, CGN)
11:40-13:20 Lunch
13:20-13:50 Geopark Activities in Japan (Dr. Mahito Watanabe, JGC)
13:50-14:20 JGC, Geoparks and Geosites (Prof. Setsuya Nakada, President, JGC)
14:20-15:30 Workshop
15:30-15:50 Break
15:50-16:10 Educational Activities and Research Support (Ms. Devona Lauritzen, Mt. Apoi UGGp)
16:10-16:40 On Conservation (Dr. Ko Takenouchi, Itoigawa UGGp)
19:00~ Hotel



9:00-9:20 Oki Cultural Center Reflection on previous day (Dr. Ai Sugiura, UNESCO Jakarta)
9:20-9:40 Local Sustainable Development and Management (Mr. Yukihiro Matsuura, San’in Kaigan UGGp)
9:40-10:00 Education utilizing geoparks, ESD, SDGs (Dr. Katsuhiko Asahi, Izu Peninsula UGGp)
10:00-10:20 Island Geoparks (Ms. Jagoda Woloszyn, Oki Islands UGGp)
10:20-10:50 Networking, Gender, and Capacity Development Activity (Ms. Kana Furusawa, JGN)
10:50-11:10 Break
11:10-11:20 Workshop (Share impressions of Geoparks)
11:20-12:30 Lunch
12:30-14:00 Workshop (What can be accomplished through Geoparks? What are the goals of Geoparks?)
Candle Island Sightseeing Cruise option



08:30-10:05 Saigo Port Departure from Saigo Port
10:05-10:30 Beppu Port Arrival at Beppu Port
10:30-17:00 Nishinoshima Town Sightseeing Cruise, Trekking, Shell Painting Activity
17:00-17:15 Farewell with paper streamers
17:15-18:30 Beppu Port Departure from Beppu Port
18:30~ Saigo Port Arrival at Saigo Port



09:00-16:30 Oki Cultural Center Recap from day two (Dr. Ai Sugiura, UNESCO Jakarta)
Role of Natcom for Geopark (Ms. Eri Hata, ADG for International Affairs, MEXT/Secretary-General for Japanese Natcom for UNESCO)
Workshop (Brainstorm solutions for real/possible problems faced by each region in carrying out Geopark activities)
Closing Ceremony
MEXT (Ms. Eri Hata, Assistant Director-General for International Affairs, MEXT)
JGN (Mr. Kazuhiro Nobe, Oki Islands UGGp Office Head/JGN)
18:30-21:00 Hotel Farewell party



10:25-12:15 Oki Airport-Izumo Airport-Itami Airport Flights to Itami
10:25-13:45 Oki Airport-Izumo Airport- Haneda Airport Flights to Haneda
14:20-15:05 Oki Airport-Itami Airport Flights to Itami


Newsflash and photo gallery of the event could be found here. Also, they can be found on Twitter and Facebook.


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