What is a Geopark?

A Geopark is an area with well defined limits, which includes a notorious geological patrimony, associated with a sustainable developing strategy.

A Geopark must own a determinant set of places of international importance, national and/or regional, that allow to tell and learn the geological history of the region. The Geo-sites are places of geological interests with scientific, aesthetic educational or economical values. A Geopark must also give attention to the protection and disclosure of archaeological, ecological, historical and cultural values of the region. 

This strategy of sustainable development rests on three main components, the Geo-preservation, the education and the Geo-Tourism. The Geo-preservation as to do with the objective of keeping save the geological patrimony of a given region for future generations; the education pretends to promote the study of Geo-sciences in cooperation with schools, and with the public in general; The third one, Geo-tourism, pretends to stimulate the creation of economical activities based on the Geo-diversity of the region, involving the local community.

 

Global and European Network of Geoparks

The European Geoparks Network (EGN) was created in the year 2000, by four Geoparks from Germany (Geopark Gerolstein/Vulkaneifel), Spain (Maestrazgo Cultural Park), France (Réserve Géologique de Haute-Provence) and Greece (The Petrified Forest of Lesvos). The four of them have built an independent organization, which counts with the support of UNESCO’S department of Sciences of the earth. This Network, can count now with 69 Geoparks, and has the main objective of sharing strategies and good common practices to preserve the environment and develop the tourism, between Geoparks.  In 2004 the GGN was created, the Global Geopark Network, initially formed by 8 Chinese Geoparks and 17 European,  that were part of EGN at the time. In 2006 Portugal entered the lists of the European and Global Network of Geoparks, with the Naturejo Park of the Meseta Meridional, followed by Arouca’s Park in 2009 and the Geopark Azores in 2013. Nowadays there are 143 Geoparks in the Global and European Network of Geoparks.   

Picture 1 - Constitution of the European Geoparks Network.

Rede Europeia de Geoparques

1

Haute-Provence Geopark

FRANCE

2

Vulkaneifel Geopark

GERMANY

3

Lesvos Island Geopark

GREECE

4

Psiloritis Geopark

GREECE

5

TERRA.vita Geopark

GERMANY

6

Copper Coast Geopark

IRELAND

7

Marble Arch Caves Geopark

IRELAND & UK

8

Madonie Geopark

ITALY

9

Rocca di Cerere Geopark

ITALY

10

Styrian Eisenwurzen Geopark

AUSTRIA

11

Bergstraße-Odenwald Geopark

GERMANY

12

North Pennines AONB Geopark

UK

13

Luberon Geopark

FRANCE

14

North West Highlands Geopark

Scotland, UK

15

Swabian Albs Geopark

GERMANY

16

Harz – Braunschweiger Land Geopark

GERMANY

17

Haţeg Country Dinosaurs Geopark

ROMANIA

18

Beigua Geopark

ITALY

19

Fforest Fawr Geopark

20

Bohemian Paradise Geopark

CZECHIA

21

Cabo de Gata – Nijar Geopark

ANDALUCIA, SPAIN

22

Naturtejo da Meseta Meridional Geopark

PORTUGAL

23

Sierras Subbeticas Geopark

ANDALUCIA, SPAIN

24

Sobrarbe - Pirineos Geopark

ARAGON, SPAIN

25

Gea Norvegica Geopark

NORWAY

26

Parco Geominerario della Sardegna Geopark

ITALY

27

Papuk Geopark

CROATIA

28

English Riviera Geopark

UK

29

Adamello - Brenta Geopark

ITALY

30

GeoMôn Geopark

WALES, UK

31

Arouca Geopark

PORTUGAL

32

Shetland Geopark

SCOTLAND, UK

33

Chelmos – Vouraikos Geopark

GREECE

34

Novohrad – Nograd Geopark

HUNGARY & SLOVAKIA

35

Magma Geopark

NORWAY

36

Basque Coast Geopark

SPAIN

37

Cilento, Vallo di Diano e Alburni Geopark

ITALY

38

Rokua Geopark

FINLAND

39

Tuscan Mining Park Geopark

ITALY

40

Vikos – Aoos Geopark

GREECE

41

Muskauer Faltenbogen / Łuk Mużakowa

GERMANY & POLAND

42

Sierra Norte de Sevilla Geopark

SPAIN

43

Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark

IRELAND

44

Katla Geopark

ICELAND

45

Massif des Bauges Geopark

FRANCE

46

Alpi Apuani Geopark

ITALY

47

Villuercas-Ibores-Jara Geopark

SPAIN

48

Chablais Geopark

FRANCE

49

Central Catalonia Geopark

SPAIN

50

Bakony-Balaton Geopark

HUNGARY

51

Azores Geopark

PORTUGAL

52

Karavanke/Karawanken Geopark

SLOVENIA & AUSTRIA

53

Idrija Geopark

SLOVENIA

54

De Hondsrug Geopark

NETHERLANDS

55

Sesia Val Grande Geopark

ITALY

56

Kula Geopark

TURKEY

57

Molina and Alto Tajo Geopark

SPAIN

58

El Hierro Geopark

SPAIN

59

Ore of the Alps Geopark

AUSTRIA

60

Monts d’Ardèche Geopark

FRANCE

61

Odsherred Geopark

DENMARK

62

Terras de Cavaleiros Geopark

PORTUGAL

63

Lanzarote and Chinijo Islands Geopark

SPAIN

64

Reykjanes Geopark

ICELAND

65

Pollino Geopark

ITALY

66

Sitia Geopark

GREECE

67

Troodos Geopark

CYPRUS

68

Causses du Quercy Geopark

FRANCE

69

Las Loras Geopark

SPAIN

70

Beaujolais Geopark

FRANCE

71

Famenne-Ardenne Geopark

BELGIUM

72

Origens Geopark

SPAIN

73

Courel Mountain Geopark

SPAIN

74

Vis Archipelago Geopark

CROATIA

75

Trollfjell Geopark

NORWAY

 

 
   
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