What is a Geopark

A geopark is an area that holds the key to all stories about our past, present and future. It is a designation that attracts tourists wishing to explore the connections between geology, local communities, culture, and nature. Geoparks are designed to promote tourism and celebrate a region’s uniqueness, and do not prohibit any land use.
UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development. They have a bottom-up approach of combining conservation with sustainable development while involving local communities. At present, there are 177 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 46 countries.
In 2004, 17 European and 8 Chinese geoparks came together at UNESCO headquarters in Paris to form the Global Geoparks Network where national geological heritage initiatives contribute to and benefit from their membership of a global network of exchange and cooperation.
On 17 November 2015, the 195 Member States of UNESCO ratified the creation of a new label, the UNESCO Global Geoparks, during the 38th General Conference of the Organisation. This expresses governmental recognition of the importance of managing outstanding geological sites and landscapes in a holistic manner.

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