Global Geoparks Network of UNESCO
What is a Geopark?
A Geopark is a territory containing a number of geological heritage sites of particular importance, rarity or aesthetic appeal, with high historical and cultural interest and huge biodiversity. These Earth heritage sites are part of an integrated concept of protection, education and sustainable development. A Geopark achieves its goals through a three-pronged approach:
A Geopark seeks to conserve significant geological features, and explore and demonstrate methods for excellence in conservation. The management authority of each Geopark ensures adequate protection measures in consultation with collaborating universities, geological surveys or relevant statutory bodies in accordance with local traditions and legislative obligations.
A Geopark organizes activities and provides logistic support to communicate geoscientific knowledge and environmental concepts to the public. This is accomplished through protected and interpreted geosites, museums, information centres, trails, guided tours, school class excursions, popular literatures, maps, educational materials and displays, seminars and so on. A Geopark also fosters scientific research and cooperation with universities and research institutes, stimulating the dialogue between the geosciences and local populations.
A Geopark stimulates economic activity and sustainable development through geotourism. By attracting increasing numbers of visitors, a Geopark stimulates local socio-economic development through the promotion of a quality label linked with the local natural heritage. It encourages the creation of local enterprises and cottage industries involved in geotourism and geoproducts.
UNESCO - Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences
Global earth Observation
1 rue Miollis
75732 Paris Cedex 15