Jan 11, 2012
On Sunday, December 18, 2011, the ‘Oita Onsen Geo-Symposium’ was held at the APU Millennium Hall under the theme of “Making greater use of Oita Prefecture’s valuable geothermal resources”. This event was hosted by Oita Prefecture and co-hosted by APU.
Keynote speeches were delivered by WATANABE Masato, Group Leader at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Geological Museum Outreach Promotion Group; and Professor TAKEMURA Keiji of the Kyoto University Graduate School of Science, Institute for Geothermal Sciences. The keynote speakers introduced the 150-strong audience to the Geo-Park project, its current progress, and the many geothermal treasures Oita Prefecture possesses including its many hot-springs and volcanoes.
This symposium was held as part of Oita Prefecture’s ongoing efforts to establish, and have recognized, a geo-park* in the region featuring the Prefecture’s abundant geo-thermal and natural resources.
A panel discussion was then held featuring APU Professor Emeritus HATADA Nobuyuki who gave his expert opinion on the promotion of geo-tourism in Oita Prefecture. He stated that “Geo-resources can be turned into tourism recourses, but in order to make the most of them, we need to develop ‘geo-guides’ that can easily explain the geo-features and stimulate tourists’ minds”. Kyoto University Professor Emeritus YUSA Yuki also spoke about the Beppu Onsen-Chikyu Museum – a project that APU Professor SANGA-NGOIE Kazadi is also currently involved in.
APU continues to support Oita Prefecture in its bid to see the globally important geo and natural recourses of the region recognized as a geo-park and shared with the world as a treasure for all to enjoy.
The term “geo-park” refers to parks including scientifically and geologically important natural heritage sites. Recognition is awarded by the Global Geo-Park Network (GGN). In Japan, recommendations are made by its subsidiary organisation, the Japan Geo-Park Network (JGN), and submitted to the GGN. Global Geo-parks in Japan include the Toyo-Caldera and Usu Volcanoes (Hokkaido), Itoigawa (Niigata Pref.), the Shimabara Peninsula (Nagasaki Pref.), the Sanin Coastline (Kyoto Pref., Hyogo Pref., Tottori Pref.), and Muroto (Kochi Pref.).
Links to more information (external sites):
Japan Geo-park Committee HP: http://www.gsj.jp/jgc/indexJ.html
Oita Pref. Life and Environment Planning Dept. HP: http://www.pref.oita.jp/soshiki/13000/
Beppu Onsen-Chikyu Museum HP: http://beppumuseum.jp/