|Name/Title||The 5th International UNESCO Conference on Geoparks|
|Venue: Country,City||Shimabara city, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan|
|Date||May, 12-15, 2012|
The 5th International UNESCO Conference on Geoparks was held in Shimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture from May 12 to 15, 2012.
The conference was held in Japan for the first time, and a large number of experts on earth science and environmental conservation were invited from about 30 countries and regions. The conference theme was "Earth Heritage and Sustainable Development." The conference was held with the aim of improving the quality of geoparks around the world that have distinctive geologies and topographies. The idea is to achieve this by discussing their conservation and utilization measures and thoroughly disseminating and exchanging information.
Mr. Patrick McKeever, head of the Earth Science Section at the Ecological and Earth Sciences Division of UNESCO, delivered the Shimabara Declaration at the closing ceremony. The declaration noted that experiencing disasters, such as the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, should be utilized for disaster mitigation education, and that geoparks should play a major role in making people understand how to coexist with nature.
At the closing ceremony, it was announced that the next conference would be held at Stonehammer Geopark, Canada in 2014.
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