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The Tourism Department of Leye-Fengshan UNESCO Global Geopark of China has a Sustainable Development


in the typical block karst area of leye-fengshan unesco global geopark of china, there are two large underground river systems, a mature high mountain cluster landform, the largest tiankeng group in the world (dashiwei tiankeng group of leye county), the most centralized distribution of fengshan cave hall and skylight group, the largest span natural bridge, typical cave sediments, the most complete skull fossil of the small species of the early giant panda, as well as the diversity of animal and plant preserved in the unique ecological environment of tiankeng, such as tiankeng plant community, the forest community of buliu river valley, the hometown of chinese orchids, the cave animal community and so on.

these landscapes have an important scientific value and high aesthetic appeal. the leye-fengshan global geopark has a subtropical monsoon climate with clear wet and dry seasons. the wet season is from may to october, with an average annual rainfall of 1356.4-1550.7 millimeters per year. the average annual temperature is 16.4 - 19.2, july being the hottest month and january the coldest. the average annual relative humidity is 79% - 83%.

the variation of the terrain within the geopark is great and the large mountain help impede the invasion of the cold air so that the actual annual variation in temperature is small. in summer, the climate in the geopark is very cool and pleasant and thus suitable for the development of tourism.

as part of this tourism development plan, investigation and research of the unique geographical climate environment and human activities surprisingly found results that helped the geopark capitalize on resulting improvements to the transport network to increase access to further geological tourism sites

 the research showed an association between human health and longevity to the unique geographical and climatic characteristics of the geopark. furthermore, the research showed that the three basic criteria for establishing longevity were exceeded in leye county such that it could actively be declared the hometown of the world's longevity".

there are 33 centenarians among the 173,900 people in leye county, the proportion of the total population of the household registration is 18.98/ 100,000, 8.98/ 100,000 than the standard of 1/ 10,000. there are 17,535 elderly people over the age of 60, and 2,785 elderly people over the age of 80 in leye county, the elderly over 80 account for 15.88% of the elderly over the age of 60, 1.88% higher than the standard of 14%. the expectancy average life of leye county is 77.24 years, 0.44 years higher than the standard of 76.8 years old. leye county was awarded the title of the hometown of the world's longevity” by united nations summit on sustainable development for ageing.

there are several reasons for the high percentages of longevity in leye park of leye-fengshan global geopark:

1) the ecological environment is livable and comfortable, including fresh air, pure mountain springs, warm sunshine, fertile land, and special geomagnetism;

2) the natural resources are rich and unique, and the food is organic;

3) the protection for the longevity and health. the folk customs of happy family and life, respect the elderly and the young are widely accepted by the people in leye county.

in addition to these, the local government attaches great importance to the work of the elderly and promotes the traditional virtues of respecting the elderly e.g.; establishing the elderly service network for the elderly in counties, townships, and villages; ensuring that the elderly have medical treatment when they are ill, ensuring that they have the support of the relatives when they are old and have a place to live. all these policies provide a strong guarantee for the health and longevity of the elderly. 

there are some similarities for the secret of longevity in the centenarians in leye county:

1) they all have regular living habits and healthy eating habits. typical living habits are; they focus on doing exercise, most of them like working in the land, go to bed and get up early. most of them can take care of themselves. their diet is generally low calorie and organic food based. all kinds of natural seasonal vegetables, such as corn, soybean, sweet potato, edible fungus and tea, are the commonly seen on their table.

2)  they have a harmonious family and good posterity. they also have a normal and optimistic attitude towards life.

3)  the ecological environment of their living places is good. the climate and environment is suitable, the air is fresh and unpolluted.

these are all common factors that answer the secret for the many centenarians in leye county. in order to give the centenarians a better life, the government of leye county has raised their living allowance from 300 yuan / month in 2016 to 1000 yuan / month at the time of writting. in some outlying mountain areas, the department of civil affairs also allocates doctors for the elderly, allowing the elderly to enjoy regular physical examination.

the successful declared for the hometown of the world's longevity”, has attracted a lot of visitors to leye-fengshan unesco global geopark, benefiting the park. upgrading the transport network (particularly the road infrastructure) e.g. the recently completed of the road from leye county to naliang, the building of expressway from leye county to baise city, the grade two road from fengshan county to tiane and leye county and leye general airport, has helped to make accessing sites in the geopark more convenient, and thus increases the prospects for the development for geological tourism