Is a UNESCO Global Geopark only about geology?

Whist a UNESCO Global Geopark must demonstrate geological heritage of international significance, the purpose of a UNESCO Global Geopark is to explore, develop and celebrate the links between that geological heritage and all other aspects of the area’s natural, cultural and intangible heritage.

Is there any legal status attached to the UNESCO Global Geopark label?

A UNESCO Global Geopark is not a legislative designation – though the defining geological heritage sites within a UNESCO Global Geopark must be protected under existing, local or national legislation as appropriate. UNESCO Global Geopark status does not impose restrictions on any economic activity or land-use practice including planning, development and farming.

Is it a case of once a UNESCO Global Geopark, always a UNESCO Global Geopark?

UNESCO Global Geopark status is awarded for a period of four years after which the functioning and quality of each UNESCO Global Geopark is thoroughly re-examined during a revalidation process.

How will the UNESCO Global Geopark benefit the local area?

UNESCO Global Geoparks are focused on making areas better places to live, work and visit, providing economic, social and environmental benefits for all. They bring about multiple benefits including:

  • Improving the local economy through sustainable tourism; employing local workers and using local services, products, and supplies.
  • Fostering community involvement and enhancing local pride as residents celebrate their local area and help make decisions about how it is managed.
  • Improving health and well-being by creating recreational opportunities and encouraging local communities and visitors alike to experience the natural landscape responsibly. 
  • Enhancing educational opportunities for our young people through learning and caring for the environment and understanding how the earth around us works.
  • Developing partnerships that highlight the importance of the area on the global, national and local stage.