2nd Doctoral presentation. Yi Du (MNHN)

Applied research in UNESCO’s Natural Protected Areas (Biosphere Reserves and Geoparks): Morocco – France – Spain)
International UNESCO Centre of Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves


2nd Doctoral presentation. Yi Du (MNHN) – Supervisor: Yves Girault – (24th May)

Abstract :

“In the context of this symposium, this presentation reviews social science research in the emerging field of geoheritage interpretation and geoscience mediation, with a particular focus of UNESCO Global Geopark programme. It begins with discussion of the nature of problems related to heritage interpretation and geoscience education, distinguishing the different challenges presented in the global context. It then reviews recent development in China with regards to geoheritage and geoscience popularization, and the extent to which work in the social sciences has advanced our knowledge of these issues. The presentation concludes with some reflections on perspectives for further research.”


She started her explanation talking about the concept of “interpretation”. She explained that this word is largely used for a lot of people in spite of its several interpretations.

When somebody talks about Geoparks, nobody is interested in the same topics. In her case, she is interested about the several interpretations of the concept “Geopark”. For that reason, she has prepared a corpus of sixty books and articles -divided in four groups- where she has found several interpretations about the concept “Geopark”. She explained that in the literature we can find concepts with several interpretations and, if we study one of these concepts we realize that it has several interpretations depending on the area.

During the presentation she stressed the several interpretations about the concept of “Geopark”, especially between Europe and China. She mentioned that comparing different territories (with different interpretations about the environment and culture) we realize that there are several interpretations about the concept “Geopark”.

When talking about Geoparks we sometimes find and opposite speech about the role of human societies. Some people defend the idea that human societies have changed the earth, but other people (like UNESCO) stand for the idea that earth has changed the societies.

She hopes that her interpretation about the concept “Geopark” contributes to understand unit one of the concepts Geopark, and enhance the interaction between human, social and environmental sciences.


Opening questions to Yi Du presentation :

Fayssal Lemjidi (UCA): “Why are you interested in studying Chinese and European Geoparks if we can find Geoparks in the five continents?”

Yves Girault (MNHN): “China accumulates a lot of Geoparks. Therefore, her work in this field is really important including because she can analyze  the Chinese literature twitch is not accessible for us.”

Cinthia Pereira (ICTA-UAB): Cinthia thought about the rupture between the culture and nature. Quoting the words of Ramon Margalef, she exposed that nowadays we are out of the system. This kind of doctoral thesis has to afford to reintroduce the human societies into the nature and recover the balance between human societies and nature.

Yi Du (MNHN): “I absolutely agree. We also learn a lot from native populations. I would like to add that it is always interesting to know if we are in or out of the system. We have to strengthen the relation between environment and nature.”

Ouidad Tebbaa (UCA): “Thanks for letting us see how things look in china. Do you think you need to contextualize the concept of Geopark. What criteria are used to create a Geopark? Do we start from a local or global approach? What is going to be your approach?

Yi Du (MNHN): “I will answer this question in the following meeting,”


The text were designed for Antoni Mas Ponce and Adriá Costa Ribes, all together PhD student.
Copyright photos : Fayssal Lemjidi, PhD student.

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