QUẢNG NGÃI — About 550 participants, including top archaeologists, geologists, volcano researchers and historians from Việt Nam and around the world, will take part in the International Conference on the Lý Sơn-Sa Huỳnh Geo-Park in the central province of Quảng Ngãi on June 18-19.
The conference will include scientific reports and research on the Lý Sơn Islands, 30km off the coast of Quảng Ngãi Province, and ancient volcanoes that existed more than 25 million years ago.
Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyễn Minh Trí said the conference was a chance for Vietnamese and international scientists and experts to share their reports on the Lý Sơn-Sa Huỳnh terrain and cultural value before submitting them to UNESCO for recognition as Global Geo-Park status by the end of this year.
Trí said research had been conducted by Vietnamese and foreign scientists and geologists.
“The recognition of Lý Sơn-Sa Huỳnh as a Global Geo-Park will help promote the unique culture, rich biodiversity and extinct volcanoes around Lý Sơn Islands,” Trí said.
“The area, which covers 4,600sq.km, including 2,000sq.km of land, has preserved the rich values of culture, archaeology, tourism and Sa Huỳnh Culture,” he said.
He added the conference will aim to promote the value of the area and boost conservation of both culture and geology over the area of nine districts and Quảng Ngãi City.
According to the provincial department, a series of activities and events will be organised throughout June and July to promote the Lý Sơn-Sa Huỳnh Geo-Park.
Head coach of the national football team of Việt Nam, Park Hang-seo, will take part in an exchange at Trần Phú Sports Centre – host of the Lý Sơn-Sa Huỳnh futsal tournament – on June 16.
A photo exhibition on the Lý Sơn-Sa Huỳnh geo-park and other Vietnamese and international geo-parks will be held during the conference in Quảng Ngãi City on June 17-18.
The Lý Sơn Islands were born from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago, leaving a landscape filed with rocks, caves, cliffs, arches and lakes.
However, the rapid development of resorts, hotels and entertainment projects threatens to seriously damage the ancient geography of the area.
The islands and a vast coastal area in districts of Bình Sơn, Trà Bồng, Ba Tơ, Sa Huỳnh and Nghĩa Hành, and Quảng Ngãi City, covering 4,600sq.km, are under consideration as a Global Geo-Park for approval by UNESCO.
Lý Sơn Islands, known as the Kingdom of Garlic in Việt Nam, has around 21,000 inhabitants, of whom 73 per cent make their living from farming garlic and spring onions, alongside fishing.
Archaeologists from Quảng Ngãi Museum and the Archaeology Institute found six ancient tombs and jewellery dating back 2,000 years.
Experts from the Việt Nam Institute of Geo-sciences and Mineral Resources also found a unique complex of fossilised coral believed to date from 4,000 to 6,000 years ago on Lý Sơn Islands.
The islands have abundant relics related to the Sa Huỳnh, Champa and Đại Việt (or Great Việt) cultures that existed on the islands for thousands of years. — VNS