As a Global Geoparks Network requirement, Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark welcomes any public or private partnership proposal from the community to support the sustainable development of the geopark.
Genuine and sustainable local participation
Role of Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark Geopark
Principles for partnership recommendations
The Geopark Guide System
The Association for Geoconservation, Hong Kong (AGHK), the University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TIC) have jointly developed a set of assessment principles, criteria and guidelines based on the accreditation standards of the International Ecotourism Society and Ecotourism Australia. A geopark guide system is now in place to encourage existing guides to build capacity and deepen their knowledge in line with global standards. The system comprises three grades: Basic Geopark Guide (B2G), Recommended Geopark Guide (R2G) and Accredited Geopark Guide (A2G). Guides with limited experience in ecotourism can obtain basic qualifications and reach the junior level through training. By upgrading the standards of geopark guides, we can ensure quality ecotour guide services for overseas visitors. This system provides robust support for the conservation, education and sustainable development efforts of Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark (HKUGG).
Aims of the Geopark Guide System
- To strengthen the conservation of geosites
- To popularise geology
- To increase safety awareness
- To enhance the standards of geopark guides
Roles of Geopark Guides
- To be geopark guide role models
- To advocate the conservation of Hong Kong’s natural environment, including its geological resources
- To spread and share earth science knowledge
The Three Grades of the Geopark Guide System
1.) Basic Geopark Guide (B2G)
After completing an elementary/recognised geotourism training course (or an equivalent programme), guides should have basic knowledge of all eight geosites in HKUGG and be familiar with the sightseeing code, particularly the safety and geoconservation requirements. They should also be able to provide satisfactory geotour guide services.
2.) Recommended Geopark Guide (R2G)
The AGHK proposes raising the bar for geopark guides, using more stringent criteria for awarding accredited qualifications. This would encourage guides who have completed basic training to deepen their knowledge of geology, biology and cultural heritage; learn about HKUGG’s planning and management approach; and enhance their communications skills in order to present information in an expressive and interesting way. This would result in higher quality guide services, which is particularly important when serving overseas visitors. Candidates who pass the assessment would become provisional R2Gs. They would be granted an R2G qualification upon completion of a six-month probationary period. Subsequently, all R2Gs would have to pass a re-assessment every two years to renew their qualification.
3.) Accredited Geopark Guide (A2G)
To maintain the high standard of our guided geotours and geopark guides, and to uphold HKUGG’s international image, the Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong decided to enhance the quality of geopark guides by implementing a Geopark Guide Accreditation System. Only geotours led by accredited geopark guides will be recognised as quality geotours, and geopark guides accredited by the Council can use the title Accredited Geopark Guide (A2G). This qualification is subject to re-assessment for renewal every three years.
Dos & Don’ts in Geopark Communications
- Work towards developing the UNESCO Global Geopark brand as a high quality, global-geoheritage label working under sustainable tourism principles;
- Work towards developing the UNESCO Global Geopark brand as a high quality, global-geoheritage label through effective communication;
- Explore communicating the geoheritage message through unconventional yet holistic channels as well as by more conventional methods;
- Involve non-specialists and non-geologists, while taking care to convey accurate information;
- Make it interesting and fun. In short, the message should be understood by a 12-year-old.
- Overload the public with geological jargon, understood only by specialists;
- Give the impression that Earth Science is something untouchable to non-specialists;
- Use complicated methods to convey geological messages;
- Do anything to alienate the public from geology and Geoparks;
- Damage the Geopark’s brand and reputation gained through its affiliation with UNESCO.