General Background

Considering the amazing geology of Chile, which are the subject of study by scientists from various regions of the world, and in many venues match sites of great interest and beauty, populated settlements that are looking for ways to improve their local economies, it is intended that the creation of Geoparks can contribute to achieve their goals.

 



The National Network of Geoparks , GeaChile , is created with the aim of promoting the country in establishing Geoparks , a new concept of territory that is promoting the United Nations Educational , Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO ) at world . Well defined these territories , generally correspond to rural areas that have attractive geological representing highlights in the history of the Earth, which are used for the benefit of the citizens through the development of geotourism and related products, educating geosciences and geological heritage conservation . In these territories aspects of biodiversity , archeology, local history and culture are also highlighted.

To begin this task, originally set out to create the first Geopark in Chile Conguillío National Park, where the Llaima volcano, which is one of the busiest in South America is located. However, considering that Geoparks I require the participation of citizens, including communities, schools, authorities and business , eventually expanded the territory covering the communes of Vilcún , Caracautin , Melipeuco and Lonquimay . In this first Geopark 8.100km2 six protected areas, five volcanoes , and great geodiversity , with different types of landscapes and geological history spanning the last 250 million years are located. This area is also part of the Biosphere Reserve Araucaria with high biodiversity globally recognized , and its inhabitants are many Mapuche communities - Pehuenches having their own world , which highlight the divine nature of volcanoes and knowledge related to use of medicinal plants .

It is hoped that this first Geopark Chile achieved the goal of improving the quality of life of its inhabitants, contributes to the dissemination of Earth science at local, regional and national levels , and consequently encourage the establishment of new Geoparks in country . Finally , is expected to be GeaChile pass an initiative of government agencies, a nonprofit foundation private, similar to what happened recently with the Sendero de Chile Foundation manner. The National Network of Geoparks aims to adopt the proposal of the Global Geoparks Network , which promotes the formation of networks of national or regional Geoparks , in order to encourage the exchange of experiences and ideas for improving their management strategies and the impact of each one of its members . Thus, it is also expected to contribute to the creation of the Network of Geoparks in Latin America and the Caribbean.
 




The project leading to the creation of the first Geopark Chile born in 2008 , when worldwide the International Year of Planet Earth held to promote earth science in society. The motivation for this effort globally, was the realization that the modern geoscientific knowledge is essential for balanced human development. The XXI century is conditioned by a growing population , concentrated mainly in large cities , and a growing demand for energy and natural resources , which has consequently caused climate change that hits directly to the population . This knowledge more necessary in geologically active areas is even , as is the case of Chile, located in the area of convergence of the Nazca and South American plates , where there is an extremely active volcanic lace, intense seismic activity, which occur occasionally mass removals , natural phenomena that affect a country's inhabitants recurrent manner. In this regard, it is essential that development policies related to land use and have used the geoscientific knowledge, which requires authorities and an informed and empowered civil society.

Effective teaching and to disseminate knowledge related to earth science to the general public tool is through Geoparks , which have had a positive impact in many areas of the world, mainly due to promoting geotourism as part of the industry special interest tourism , dissemination and preservation of geological heritage.

In this context, at the beginning of 2008 , the National Service of Geology and Mining presented the project " Model Geopark in Chile, Stage I" National Contest "Building Public Goods for Innovation in Tourism Industry Special Interest " conducted by Innova Chile CORFO . This project, to be developed between 2009 and 2012 , evaluated was the best of the competition , winning a $ 258.3 million financing corresponding to monies derived from the Innovation Fund for Competitiveness ( FIC) of the Regional Government of the Araucanía. The partners provide other amount assessed $ 266.3 million .




The main objective of this project is to create the first Geopark Chile in the Andean territory of Araucanía, in order to improve the quality of life of its citizens through the development of geotourism , geoscience education , and conservation geological heritage .

The secondary objectives are :

    
Promote the appreciation of geological heritage , education in the earth sciences , and encourage the development of geotourism at local and national level .
    
Create GeaChile Foundation with the mission to promote the establishment of new Geoparks in the country, responsible for the certification of territories seeking this designation nationally, and support applications to UNESCO Geoparks that meet the demands required level international .

 




The " Model Geopark in Chile, Stage I" began in July 2009 and ends in July 2012 , and four stages are: Design , Implementation , Monitoring and Transfer, and Diffusion stage that develops during the three years duration of the project , alongside the other 3 .

Currently , it has completed the design phase , during which the name and extension of the territory defined : Kitralcura Geopark will be comprised of the towns of Vilcún , Melipeuco , and Lonquimay Caracautin . Another important development was the completion of the first inventory , characterization and evaluation of the major sites of geological interest ( Geosites ) mainly focused on the Conguillío National Park area . This information will be used in the interpretation of the landscape, diverse tourist routes now in progress in the Geopark , but they did not have far geoscience information . During this stage, also has made ​​a significant effort in socializing this initiative among the local community through presentations and participatory activities . Finally , funding was achieved through a project submitted to the Explore Program CONICYT , to work with 100 children Llaima near the volcano , in the communes of Caracautin , Lonquimay Vilcún and schools. This project aims to promote the development of educational programs in the Geopark , with emphasis on aspects related to volcanic processes and hazards, along with general aspects of biodiversity and archeology of the area.

Step Inside Broadcasting , major advances are organizing the Symposium I Geoparks and Geotourism in Chile, the creation of our web page and promotional material , and the name and likeness for National Geoparks Network : GeaChile .