Written by Yutong Phoenix Feng, China.
Longyan Aspiring UNESCO Gloabl Geopark, located in Fujian Province, China, is a wonderland abundant with biodiversity, geological and cultural heritage. At the end of 2019, I came to this charming place during my winter break with other Chinese volunteers for the same goal: enhancing the popularity of Longyan Geopark and further fostering public concern for nature.
It is conceivable that if we expect others to love nature, we should help them learn nature at first. The challenge is, compared with other fields related to nature, the geological one is more challenging for the public to understand, also harder to attract individuals without any geospatial background. Fortunately, thanks to the training provided by Longyan Geopark Administration Committee, Longyan Forestry Bureau, Longyan Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark Leading Group and GEOPARKER, we successfully started a communication campaign on social media.
We selected Weibo, one of the prevalent social media platforms in China to increase spread our voices. Our strategies were to transfer scientific knowledge to our personal experience, for example, how we were attracted by the nature’s masterpieces in the geopark, also how we spared no effort in communication and popularization. Hence, every time we had leisure during the tight schedule, we would send posts to our Weibo topic (# Longyan Geopark Science Popularization Volunteers). The Weibo topic served as a platform consolidating our contributions to Weibo discussion and could receive more previews as a whole topic than scattered posts updated individually.
After a four-day field trip in Longyan Geopark, our Weibo topic reached over 2.32 million reviews on the Internet by virtue of all the volunteers’ joint effort. While we engaged in investigating the landforms, rock types, biodiversity and culture in Longyan Geopark, 318 media press reported this training program and our activities by December 26, 2019. I felt exhilarated since never could I achieve this on my own, and our success proves the power of collection in environmental communication.
In the following year, all of us would continue our communication and popularization work for Longyan Aspiring Global Geopark in different places in the world. This experience inspired me to call for collective action to spread our voices as a whole in my future career as a young environmentalist.