"It is true inscribing a site attracts more attention to it, and this can be a threat to preserving fragile environments," she said. "But this is part of sharing unique cultural and natural sites with the rest of the world. National and local authorities have to find the balance between preserving their unique treasures and making them accessible."
The Danxia landform in the Longhu Mountain, Jiangxi Province (CFP)
Following the successful application, protection of the heritage has become the focus of future work for these six sites, said Wang Zhiguang, director of the application office for the Danxia landform.
Information from the Guizhou Provincial Housing and Urban-Rural Construction Department shows, since the beginning of the China Danxia application, the Chishui scenic spot, one of the six sites in the joint application, has carried out overall environmental repairs. So far, signs in the scenic spot have been all standardized. Planting and sowing of grass are in progress.
Zhen Jianbo, deputy head of Taining County, another site of the joint application, said after the inscription, in order to keep the natural features of the Danxia landform intact, the county will strictly control the visitor flow to the scenic spot, making the development of tourism accord with the naturalness sought for the world heritage.
What is Danxia
In China, Danxia is a word to describe a unique type of landform which develops both internally and externally through erosion, having the appearance of "rosy clouds." First put forward by Chinese geologists in the 1920s, the term derived from the Danxia Mountain in Guangdong Province, the most typical representative of this kind of landform.
The landscape is characterized by steep cliffs of red sandstone and conglomerate. The six sites that have applied jointly for world heritage status fully illustrate the evolutionary process of the landform. Up to now, 780 sites typical of Danxia landform have been found in China. Called "red bed" in other countries, the landform is widely distributed in other areas of the world except Antarctica.
The successful inscription of the six sites in China on the world heritage list, given the name of "China Danxia," means the recognition by international academic circles of the concept of Danxia Chinese scholars put forward.