Praised for its “geological heritage”, the UNESCO Global Geoparks List is a comprehensive listing of some of the world’s most beautiful natural sites.
Distinguished by their scenery, ecology, and local communities, these protected areas are scattered all over the world, from the tropical islands of Indonesia to the volcanic peaks of Peru.
And because conservation is now more important than ever, eight new objects have been added to the list. The full list includes 177 locations in 46 different countries.
“This is much more than just a mark,” says Christophe Vandenberghe, head of geosciences and geohazard risk reduction at UNESCO.
“This is truly a recognition of geological sites of international importance to celebrate their unique heritage and unique landscapes.”
What is a global geopark?
UNESCO Global Geoparks are unified territories that combine conservation and development. Through sound management policies and community involvement, these properties strive to preserve their unique heritage while reaping the economic benefits of sustainable tourism.
“Geoparks exist not only for conservation and preservation but also for the development of geo Tourism or ecotourism,” Vandenberge says.
“This means that the locals not only make a living in the area but also feel the pride associated with their management of the park itself.”
Vandenberge hopes the new additions to the list can benefit from the growth in tourism while encouraging local communities to get involved in local conservation projects.
“You can’t put everything in monetary terms,” he continues, “A lot of that has to do with identity, and now people are realizing how connected they really are to their landscape.”
Where are the new UNESCO Global Geoparks located?
Eight new UNESCO Global Geoparks are located in seven different countries.
From the rainforests of Brazil to the cold climates of Scandinavia, each location boasts a unique ecosystem and heritage.
Eight new UNESCO Global Geoparks:
- Serido Global Geopark, Brazil
- South Canyon Paths UNESCO Global Geopark, Brazil
- Salpausselkä UNESCO Global Geopark, Finland
- Rieses UNESCO Global Geopark, Germany
- UNESCO Global Geopark Kefalonia-Ithaca, Greece
- UNESCO Global Geopark Mellerdall, Luxembourg
- UNESCO Global Geopark Buzau Land, Romania
- Plateaubergens UNESCO Global Geopark, Sweden
Read More About UNESCO Sites