Yangan-Tau Geopark is the first in Russia and throughout the post-Soviet space to join the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network by unanimous decision of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council on September 1 in Indonesia. The regional branch of the Russian Geographical Society in the Republic of Bashkortostan took part in determining the boundaries of the geopark and its capacity, compiling a map of the geopark, in submitting an application and in the expert justification of the project.
Geopark "Yangan-Tau" is located in the Salavat region of the Republic of Bashkortostan. There are more than 20 geological objects, of which three (Mechetlino section, Bolshaya Luka section, Yangan-Tau mountain) are international, 10 objects are national and 21 objects are of educational importance. Many plants and animals of the park are listed in the IUCN Red List, the Red Book of Russia and the Red Book of the Republic of Bashkortostan.
A geopark is a territory with a special protected status, where the geological history of the Earth, the processes of formation of local landscapes, the formation of rocks and mineral deposits, the technologies for their development, and the remains of prehistoric animals are clearly presented. Geopark is a kind of open-air museum, the main exhibits of which are mountains, geological sections, minerals, paleontological remains, minerals, caves, landscapes.
"The main purpose of its creation is the implementation of educational activities and the development of tourism, which distinguishes it from a natural park, the creation of which is mainly aimed at preserving ecosystems. There are 119 geoparks in 33 countries of the world today. In Russia, there are currently no geoparks under the auspices of UNESCO and their creation carries great potential for the cultural, scientific and economic development of the country", said representatives of the Bashkir branch of the Russian Geographical Society.
Director of the Yangan-Tau sanatorium, member of the Board of Trustees of the Bashkir branch of the Russian Geographical Society Alfred Akbashev, and research adviser of the geopark, member of the Council of the department Larisa Belan participated in the meeting of the Council as observers from Russia. According to them, the inclusion of the Yangan-Tau geopark into the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network will preserve the rich geological, cultural and historical heritage of the territory, and will also contribute to the development of international tourism.
“The flow of tourists has doubled since we received the status of a republican geopark. In addition, we have represented the Yangan-Tau geopark in dozens of countries. World-famous scientists and experts of the highest level from around the world come to us. Our social networks conduct work in two languages daily. Now we have prepared a development strategy for the geopark, which includes the construction and repair of roads, the opening of museums, the creation of the necessary infrastructure. In five years we plan to increase the tourist flow three times", said Alfred kbashev.
Alternate head of Bashkortostan, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bashkir branch of the Russian Geographical Society Radiy Khabirov congratulated everyone who participated in the creation of the geopark and its promotion at the international level with this significant event. The head of the region emphasized that work is ongoing to create another geopark on the territory of the republic - Toratau.
Gulnaz Khairi, photos are from publicly available sources