Saturday, June 25, 2011

Global Geoparks Network (GGN)

A Geopark is defined by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in its UNESCO Geoparks International Network of Geoparks programme as follows:
A territory encompassing one or more sites of scientific importance, not only for geological reasons but also by virtue of its archaeological, ecological or cultural value.
The Geoparks initiative was launched by UNESCO in response to the perceived need for an international initiative that recognizes sites representing an earth science interest.[1] Global Geoparks Network program aims at enhancing the value of such sites while at the same time creating employment and promoting regional economic development.For the purposes of the program the organization developed the new internationally recognized label 'UNESCO Geopark'. The idea of UNESCO is to label up to 500 Geoparks worldwide. The UNESCO Geopark Program works in synergy with UNESCO's World Heritage Centre and Man and the Biosphere (MAB) World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
The International Network of Geoparks (INoG) is a UNESCO programme established in 1998. According to UNESCO, for a Geopark to qualify in the INoG, it needs to:
- have a management plan designed to foster socio-economic development that is sustainable (most likely to be based on agritourism and geotourism)
- demonstrate methods for conserving and enhancing geological heritage and provide means for teaching geoscientific disciplines and broader environmental issues
- have joint proposals submitted by public authorities, local communities and private interests acting together, which demonstrate the best practices with respect to Earth heritage conservation and its integration into sustainable development strategies.

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