The GGN assists in the development of models of best practice and quality-standards for territories that integrate the protection and preservation of geoheritage sites in a strategy for regional sustainable economic development. Networking within the Global Geoparks Network is encouraged to strengthen the capacity of human resources through collaboration and co-operation.
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. A UNESCO Global Geopark uses its geological heritage, in connection with all other aspects of the area’s natural and cultural heritage, to enhance awareness and understanding of key issues facing society in the context of the dynamic planet we all live on, mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing the impact of natural disasters. By raising awareness of the importance of the area’s geological heritage in history and society today, UNESCO Global Geoparks give local people a sense of pride in their region and strengthen their identification with the area. The creation of innovative local enterprises, new jobs and high quality training courses is stimulated as new sources of revenue are generated through sustainable geotourism, while the geological resources of the area are protected.
This bottom-up approach is becoming increasingly popular through the positive and effective running of the Global Geoparks Network(GGN) under UNESCO’s ad hoc support with individual Member States as appropriate.
UNESCO’s work with Geoparks began in 2001. Ever Since, Geoparks through the GGN have grown to include 120 sites in 33 counties. They have become an increasingly important tool for UNESCO to engage Member States and their communities in the Earth Sciences and geological heritage.
Now the UNESCO supports Member States’ efforts to establish UNESCO Global Geoparks all around the world especially in the developing territories without a Geopark, in close collaboration with the Global Geoparks Network.
Global Geoparks Network
Global Geoparks are territories with geological heritage of international significance that implement strategies for holistic heritage management, promotion and sustainable development that are innovative, integrated, and respectful of local traditions and desires. The Global Geoparks Network (GGN), of which membership is obligatory for UNESCO Global Geoparks, is a legally constituted not-for-profit organisation with an annual membership fee. The GGN founded in 2004 is a dynamic network where members are committed to work together, exchange ideas of best practise, and join in common projects to raise the quality standards of all products and practises of a UNESCO Global Geopark. While the GGN as a whole comes together every two years, it functions through the operation of regional networks, such as the European Geoparks Network that meets twice a year to develop and promote joint activities.
Now the GGN continues to expand, drawing in new expertise and knowledge from all parts of the world and different cultures. And it’s always developing models of best practice and setting high quality standards for territories that integrate the preservation of geological heritage into strategies for regional sustainable economic development.
The network involves: local communities, institutional decision-makers, researchers, professionals and citizens.
- facilitating the dissemination of information, documents, proposals and results of scientific research
- protect geodiversity
- promote geological and cultural heritage, tangible and intangible
- promote in all citizens the awareness necessary to protect all ecosystems
- complex work of management
- improve the network communication