A Geopark has been created in Batken region – a potential UNESCO Global Geopark.
Project 727 of the UNESCO International Geosciences and Geoparks Program is the best way to improve life for local communities through the development of a UNESCO Geopark in Batken region. This project is being implemented by the Tien Shan Geological Society together with partners from the countries of Central Asia.
Project 727, was the beginning of a new collaboration between young scientists from 7 countries and especially motivated the participation of women scientists engaged in scientific research in the natural sciences.
A special role for joint cooperation and motivation for the creation of a Geopark was played by the UNESCO International Seminars on Geoparks, which took place in Batken (Kyrgyzstan) and Tashkent (Uzbekistan).
A very useful and significant event for young scientists and students was the international paleontological expedition to Madygen, an object of international importance. The expedition was attended by students from Batken University, scientists and students from Tyumen, Kazan, Freiberg, Tashkent and Bishkek.
Future specialists from the Kyrgyz State Geological University (Bishkek), together with scientists from the Tien Shan Geological Society, took part in the field expedition to study water resources and dangerous geological processes.
Stakeholders from local communities took part in trainings and seminars. Especially young people, including undergraduate and graduate students. About 50 local residents of Batken oblast were involved in trainings and seminars. In the Samarkandek village, which is the development center of a potential UNESCO Geopark, an active role in the promotion and development of the Geopark belongs to local women who are very interested in the Geopark concept and the sale of local products made by the hands of women: handmade carpets, organic food, leather goods, etc.
The IGCP 727 project is gaining momentum and becoming a hope for local communities. Thanks to the 727 project, local residents and regional authorities learned about Geoparks as a mechanism for sustainable development, which is so relevant for the Batken region.
Local residents who took part in the project and international events are increasingly involving other residents of the Batken region in the project.
As a result of scientific research in which young scientists, including local scientists, also took part, we obtained valuable material on water resources and geo-risks. The data obtained are the basis for the implementation of larger practical projects aimed at improving the situation with water resources and managing geological risks. Participants in scientific research showed local communities the beauty of their homeland.
Thanks to the 727 project, local communities and leaders also learned that the Batken region contains objects of international importance that can play an important role for the sustainable development of tourism and especially geotourism.
In the future, we hope that the project will receive a new development in 2022. We invite those interested in preserving the unique geological landscapes and cultural heritage sites for cooperation. The development of the UNESCO Global Geopark will be a new milestone in the development of tourism in the Batken region.