The "Toratau" Geopark hit the list of 16 candidates for inclusion in the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network in 2021. The Head of Bashkortostan, Radiy Khabirov, on his social media, recalled that the Toratau application was filed in November 2020. It was among hundreds of others from all over the world. Among all applications from Russia, it was the only one that passed the preliminary selection.
“We are extremely grateful to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and personally to Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov for the support and participation in the promotion of our Geopark before international agencies. The results will be available by the end of the year, after the arrival of international experts to our beautiful Geopark "Toratau", Radiy Khabirov posted.
As a reminder, on July 10, 2020, at the 209th session of the UNESCO Executive Board, the Yangan-Tau Geopark was the first in Russia and the entire post-Soviet space to be included in the list of UNESCO Global Geoparks. It is a complex of objects of geological, biological, historical, and cultural heritage.
The "Toratau" Geopark was created by the decree of the Head of Bashkortostan in December 2018. It is planned to create in it two eco-trails with stairs on the Toratau and Yuraktau Shikhans in the territory of Ishimbaysky and Sterlitamaksky districts. It is planned to build a permanent visit center for 336 million rubles and six temporary visit centers. 100 million rubles will be required for the construction of engineering infrastructure facilities on the Usolka River embankment. In total, 500 million rubles will be allocated for the Geopark development in 2021-2022.
In general, 920 million rubles of budget funds should be invested in developing the Toratau and Yangan-Tau Geoparks in 2021–2022, of which about 435 million rubles for Yangan-Tau, the rest for Toratau.