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South China Karst

 Kunming Attractions

And the Stone Forest in Shilin County has been designated by the National Tourism Administration as one of the AAAA scenic spots, the highest level of tourist attractions in China. On June 27th, 2008, it was chosen by an unanimous vote to be one of the World Natural Heritages by the UNESCO on the thirty-first World Heritage Conference. Consist of mainly carbonates such as limestones and dolostone, the karst topography existing in the southern part of China is characterized by large distributions, various landforms, typical structures and abundant ecological systems and life-forms.

Shilin Karst (Yunnan)

The two core zones of this cluster, which share a single buffer zone, contain examples of "stone forest" karst landscapes noted for high limestone pinnacles and towers decorated with deep, sharp karren. They have been selected as classic examples of the variety of stone forests that are found within the South China Karst. The Shilin stone forests illustrate the episodic nature of the evolution of these karst features, which span 270 million years.

Libo Karst (Guizhou)

The two core zones of this cluster, which share a single buffer zone, illustrate the geomorphological exchange and evolution between fengcong landscapes and fenglin landscapes. They provide classic examples of a diverse variety of cone and tower karst landscapes and contain a combination of numerous tall karst peaks, deep dolines, sinking streams, and long and large river caves. This cluster is also noted for its biodiversity values, which include the presence of over 314 vertebrate species, 1,532 plant species, including several endemic species and a number of plants and animals that are globally or nationally endangered.

Wulong Karst (Chongqing)

The three core zones of this cluster, each with its own buffer zone, provide an example of a karst landscape that has evolved in areas where thick sequences of pure carbonate rocks have been subjected to tectonic uplift. The Qingkou Giant Doline, some 200-250m in diameter, represents tiankeng karst. The Three Natural Bridges, which are 223, 235 and 281 m in height, illustrate the development of karst gorges and valleys. This area also includes further giant dolines.

The Furong Cave System illustrates how tectonic processes lead to the formation of large caverns and chambers that subsequently become decorated by speleothems.

Minority peoples, including the Yi (Shilin) and the Shui, Yao and Buyi (Libo), comprise the majority of residents in two of the nominated areas and in others that are being considered for future nomination within the series.

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