::: Monthly News

The First Geopark of Taoyuan City Has Been Established With the Opening of Caota Sand Dunes Scenic Footpath

Taoyuan City Mayor Mr. Wen-Tsan Cheng has today (6/16) attended the opening ceremony of the Guanyin Caota Sand Dunes Scenic Footpath and made formal declaration of the Caota Sand Dunes as the first Geopark of Taoyuan City. 


Mayor Cheng says that there are four major ecological highlights along the coast of Taoyuan, namely, Xucuogang Wetland, Caota Sand Dunes, Guanxin Algal Reefs and Xinwu Century-old Stone Weirs. Among which the Caota Sand Dunes is a classic coastal sand dunes formation with a height of 10 to 15 meters, it runs in north east and southwest directions extends to 8.1 kilometers. It is the widest and most complete coastal sand dunes in Taiwan which is a very rare and unique natural landscape.  Due to its unique beauty like the Sahara Desert, the Taiwan Environmental Information Association has rated it as one of the nine most beautiful coastal spots worthwhile for protection in Taiwan, attracting many photographers and internet celebrities coming to take shoots.


Therefore, to allow a complete conservation, protection and reasonable usage of the unique sand dunes scenic spot resource of Taoyuan, the Taoyuan City government has in accordance with Article 81 of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, Article 4 of the Regulations Governing the Review of Designation and Abolition of Natural Landscapes and Natural Monuments, declared in June of this year designating the Caota Sand Dunes as Taoyuan City’s first Geopark becoming the world’s first geopark with sand dunes as its subject of protection. The range of protection starts from the north, the southern river mouth of the old street of the Dayuan District to the coastal area of the river mouth of Dajyue River in Guanyin District covering an area of 284 hectares. The coverage area is divided into core area, rehabilitation area, grade management of general area, among which the core area possess the most complete sand dunes ecology. To preserve its unique land formation and geology, the core area can only be used for academic research and environmental education by application; the general area is opened to the public with free access providing a leisure area.


The city government has specially allocated a budget of NTD 37 million to create two stretches of scenic view footpaths for the Geopark Caota Sand Dunes to allow visitors to be able to experience the beauty of the Caota Sand Dunes up close and personal. The first footpath is located in the Chaoyinhai Scenic Observation Footpath on Chaoyin North Road, Dayuan District and has been opened for usage since June of this year upon completion of its construction. Facilities within the area include an observation deck, resting chairs, a square made of wooden materials, drift wood art image entrance, visitors parking area, Huangjin trail and so on.  The second footpath is planned to be built along Zhongxiao Road in Guanyin District. The construction has now been contracted to external firm and is expected to be completed before the end of this year.


In the future, it is hoped that through the establishment of the geopark, it will bring the community and local residents closer to these valuable geological scenic views increasing their understanding and thus enhance their self motivation and initiatives to strengthen protection.  At the same time, the geopark’s leisure tour and environmental education functions will bring some flourishing developments for the local economy. The establishment of the Geopark certainly has the function of promoting the local industries, tour developments, sightseeing and conservation, environmental education. However, these involve the business of many governmental departments. Therefore, it will rely on some coordination and integration among them. On top of this, there should be more communications with the local residents and organizations seeking for a common ground for those willing to collaborate with the governmental departments to promote the aforesaid areas jointly. This shall be an important milestone for the future development of the geopark. 


Mr. Li-Te Lu, Director General of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Taoyuan expresses that the Caota Sand Dunes natural landscape has completed record and trace in December 2018 in accordance with the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, has completed the Caota Sand Dunes Designated Geopark public hearing in May of last year, and its research assessment report was sent to the “Taoyuan City Natural Landscapes and Natural Monuments Review Committee” for review which has been approved. In June of this year, announcement was made to declare the Caota Sand Dunes designated as the City’s first Geopark. This is the third Geopark in the nation after Matsu Geopark and Caoling Geopark, which is also the only Geopark in the nation with sand dunes scenic resource as the highlight of the Geopark.


The Geopark possess a geological landscape which has special geological significance, rare natural attributes and a higher aesthetic value as its main body, blending other natural and cultural landscapes to form an unique natural region. It has four major core values, namely, “Landscape Conservation,” “Environmental Education,” “Landscape Tour,” and “Community Participation.” The objective of establishing this Geopark is to strengthen the conservation of special geology and landscapes, and on top of that, it is in the hope that environmental education can be firmly rooted through landscape conservation and landscape tours. Thus, encourages local communities to participate and jointly create a diverse economic development. 


In the future, the government will actively collaborate with local communities to monitor the sand dunes landscapes and conduct environmental patrols, to enhance the work of landscape conservation. In June of this year, will co-propose with the Guanyin District Shulin Community Development Association to the Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration for the application of environmental education facilities certification, and there have been plans to establish a Caota Sand Dunes geological exhibition center in the Guanyin Coastal Recreation Area. It is expected to complete construction by July of next year and environmental education will be promoted in full efforts, starting from the point of view of regional revitalization. Guiding local residents to combine local landscapes features and cultural customs to develop an industry that best fit with oneself, attracting youths to return to their hometowns and thus create economic value stimulating local sustainable development.


Office of Coast Administration Construction, Taoyuan says that Caota Sand Dunes possesses three major resource features, namely, environmental education, ecological conservation and coastal protection. This acts as the best teaching venue for landform studies or for triggering interests in geological learning. It is also a coastal great wall blocking out invading sea winds and salt, protecting the inland plants growth forming a unique ecosystem, supplementing the natural sand bank of the beaches similar to the water dams, blocking coastal erosion by the waves protecting the coastal crops and houses. There are also plans to enhance protection in the natural landscape management and maintenance plans in the future, and to plan for building bike paths crossing the bridge which connects to the Xucuogong Wetland and Caota Sand Dunes, combining bird watch trips and landscape guiding tours, aiming to develop in-depth tours of deep coastal features, attracting tourists to stroll around the beautiful Taoyuan coast for a low carbon, healthy, and sustainable lifestyle.


The attendees for the event today include: City Mayor Wen-Tsan Cheng; Legislator Shih-Chieh Huang; Director Jung-Sheng Hsia of Hsinchu Forest District Office, Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan; Director Wen-Chang Chen of Taoyuan Office, Northern Region Branch, National Property Administration, MOF; Deputy Director Yun-Shuen Wang of Central Geological Survey, MOEA; Director-general Min-Fang Huang of Northern Branch, Coast Guard Administration, Ocean Affairs Council; Councilor Chi-Wan Hsu; Councilor Wu-Ho Yu; Director Fu Chin of Service Office of Councilor Mei-Ying Kuo Tsai; Chien-I Liu, Head of Renewable Energy Division, Taipower Company; Fu-Kuei Chiang, Deputy Director of Agriculture Department; Chen-Hung Wang, Deputy Director Tourism and Travel Department; Director Li-Te Lu of Department of Environmental Protection; Secretary General Cheng-Tai Hsiao of Department of Public Information; Lan-Kei Hsu, Head of Dayuan District; Ching-Yuan Hung, Head of Guanyin District; Li-Chang Lin, Director of the Office of Coast Administration Construction, Taoyuan; Professor Chun-Chuan Lin, Department of Geography, National Taiwan University; Professor Tsung-I Lin, Department of Geography at National Taiwan Normal University; Chairperson Yu-Sheng Huang of OceanHakka agricultural recreation area; Chairperson Yu-Tsai Lin of Dayuan District Alliance Association; Chiung-Lieh Tsai, Head of Beigang village; Jung-Teng Zhuo, Head of Zuntou village; Mao Hsu, Head of Nangang village, Ching-Mu Cheng, Head of Haikou village; Chin-Chang Wu, Head of Shulin village, Guanyin District; Chin-I Yuan, Chairperson of Shulin Community Development Association.

   

The First Geopark of Taoyuan City Has Been Established With the Opening of Caota Sand Dunes Scenic Footpath 

  The First Geopark of Taoyuan City Has Been Established With the Opening of Caota Sand Dunes Scenic Footpath   
   

The First Geopark of Taoyuan City Has Been Established With the Opening of Caota Sand Dunes Scenic Footpath 

  The First Geopark of Taoyuan City Has Been Established With the Opening of Caota Sand Dunes Scenic Footpath