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The Second Asia TransKarst Conference was held in Lichuan, Hubei successfully

Date:2015-11-12 Author:IRCK Secretary

    The Second Asia Trans-Karst Conference took place in Lichuan, Hubei Province, China from November 6-8, 2015. It brought together more than 180 experts and scholars related to karstology from 22 countries in Asia and Europe, focusing on the topics ranging from karst environment, formation of caves, methods of cave exploration and survey, karst landscape development, protection and management, as well as karst biodiversity and ecosystem.

    The conference, sponsored by International Union of Speleology and China Geological Survey, was organized by IRCK, IKG, and Lichuan Municipal Government in Hubei Province. It was co-organized by 13 organizations, including the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, the Speleology Committee under Geological Society of China, China University of Geosciences, the Korean Society of Cave Environment Science, and the Speleological Society of Japan, among others. Present at the symposium were some leaders and experts, such as Mr. Kyung Sik Woo, president of International Union of Speleology, chairman of IUCN’s Earth Science Committee and professor from Kangwon National University, South Korea; Mr.Wang Xiaolie, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences; Mr.Bai Xingbi, Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Land and Resources, China; Mr. ZhangTao, Mayor of Lichuan City, Enshi Prefecture, Hubei Province; Prof. Yuan Daoxian, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS); Prof. Lu Yaoru, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE); Mr. Andy Eavis, Honored President of International Union of Speleology; and Mr. Liu Tongliang, Director of the Institute of Karst Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (IKG).

    The opening ceremony was chaired by Mr. Liu Tongliang, Director of IRCK. During the speech at the opening ceremony, Mr. Wang Xiaolie noted that among many subjects of karstology, the development, use and protection of karst landscape resources is the one that has attracted the most public attention and can generate the largest social benefits. He also hoped that the conference can provide an opportunity to promote the international cooperation in karstology.

    During the conference, nearly 50 scholars from China and other countries presented their latest findings on karst and cave study in Asia and other regions. Their topics ranged from karst landscapes and caves in China, development and protection of special landscapes including karst in China, S&T issues regarding the protection and management of World Natural Heritage sites in South China Karst and their response options, and statistical analysis of tourism caves in China. In addition to the academic presentations, a training course was also held on cave exploration technologies, such as paperless cave surveying, climbing with rivets in cave exploration, and cave photography. Following the conference, the participants visited Tenglong Cave, Sanlongmen Cave and Yulong Cave in Lichuan and provided valuable comments, which can help the local area develop its karst cave resources and promote the further growth of its tourism industry.

    The Asia Trans-Karst Conference is a local conference focusing on karst-related research areas. It is held every four years, with the first session held in Indonesia in 2011.

    Prior to the opening ceremony of the conference, Mr. Wang Xiaolie met with Profs. Kyung Sik Woo and Andy Eavis, and exchanged ideas on how to conduct international cooperation in karstology.

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Group photo of the Second Asia Trans-Karst Conference held in Lichuan, China

Mr. Wang Xiaolie, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, gives a speech

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Scholars participating in the conference

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Prof. Kyung Sik Woo, President of International Union of Speleology, delivers a keynote speech

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Prof. Chen Weihai from IRCK gives an academic presentation

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Participants visit Tenglong Cave

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