Keywords:Geopark, Operating Unit at Geopark
In this presentation we describe about the importance of the Central Operating Unit at Izu Peninsula Geopark. It is not enough to merely have geopark office/council staff working for conservation, education and research, common people (residents) and tourists also need to understand the value of geological heritage of Izu. Izu Peninsula Geopark is spread over a large area and a lot of visitors come to our geopark. So multiple visitor centers are needed to respond to the needs of the tourists. The concept behind this Central Operating Unit is that it not only becomes a center for all information about the geopark but also functions as the hub for the different visitor centers at Izu. It also aims to create a bridge between izu and researchers/scientists and provide explanations of geology, land formation processes that allow visitors to understand the long geological history. The plan to create this Operating Unit is implemented by the Task Force of administrative workers from 15 cities/towns and workshops on the concept and requirements were held among local residents and geoguides. These workshops helped us to understand the needs and opinions of local people. The Central Operating Unit will have researchers, displays, geoguides, the administrative section and library for children. A satellite research facility will be set up at the now abandoned Yugashima Elementary School. Shizuoka University has a seminar house nearby, and researchers from outside can also avail this facility during their stay and field research at Izu.