Currently there is a Global Geoparks Network which is being promoted by the United Nations Educational , Scientific and Cultural Organization ( UNESCO) , which has 77 Geoparks in 25 countries , mainly concentrated in Europe and China. Geoparks are proving very popular due to the combination of conservation , sustainable development, and participation of local communities . In these areas high quality services are promoted, and the best strategies and good practice in relation to environmental preservation , tourism development , and knowledge sharing and support in various areas are shared. The management and operations of this network Geoparks are governed by the guidelines and criteria established by UNESCO ( link) .
UNESCO works for peace and security in the world through the development of conditions for genuine dialogue among nations based on respect for shared values and the dignity of all peoples and cultures . This dialogue focuses on various topics in the fields of education , science and culture.
Geoparks and UNESCO
Programs Earth Science Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences of UNESCO is the only United Nations to pay particular attention to strengthening the knowledge of the Earth system . These programs encourage interdisciplinary research in the fields of geology and geophysics , including the sustainable management of the Earth's environment, as well as mineral and energy resources. Moreover, these programs have applications in Earth observation , natural hazard mitigation and protection of geological heritage .
Consequently , the support given by the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network is a natural extension of their efforts , considering that the Geopark concept promotes a true interdisciplinary network of international cooperation for the study of the Earth system , supporting local development. This innovative initiative introduced an international network linking the socio- economic development and environmental conservation constituting , in this way, a new and vital application in conservation policies .
The Global Geoparks Network works closely with the Center for World Heritage of UNESCO, the Global Network of Biosphere Reserves (MAB ) , national and international institutions and NGOs active in the defense of geological .
Chronology of main events of this initiative :
Geological Reserve of Haute -Provence (France ) ,
Petrified of Lesvos (Greece ) Forest
Geopark Gerolstein / Vulkaneifel (Germany )
Mastership Cultural Park ( Spain );
More information at:
Ms. Margarete Patzak
Global Earth Observation Section
Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences
1, rue Miollis
75732 Paris Cedex 15
Phone : + 33 (0) 1 45 68 41 18
Fax: + 33 (0) 1 45 68 58 22