Beijing: The world's first desert geopark has opened in China, authorities said. The geopark was opened on Monday in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, reported a newspaper.

Geoparks are places where rare geological landforms are preserved in an undisturbed state and where low impact recreation, scientific research, and educational activities can be pursued.

The Alxa desert geopark has a total planned area of 630.37 square km, a statement said.

The park will function as a museum and a scientific research area, allowing tourists and scientists to examine the formation and evolution of the Alxa desert.

In August 2009, the park was added to the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network (GGN), where it was listed as the world's only desert geopark.