A Global Geopark is a territory recognized by the Global Geoparks Network under the auspices of UNESCO. It must be opened to the public. They preserve and display geological heritage sites characterized for their international relevance or for being a mosaic of geological sites of special scientific importance, due to their rarity or to its scenic beauty. Those places are representative of the geological history of a geographical region and the geological processes that formed it. Thanks to them, Geoparks deal to tell the history of the Earth with educational tools, research and enabling their visitors to enjoy with the practice of geotourism.
Geoparks live a “bottom-up” approach expressed in the importance that they have for the society in which they are incardinated. Inhabitants are involved in the heritage conservation to which they have a sense of ownership, as an inseparable part of their identity. Their geopark is proposed as a subject of study in the educational community and considered as an economic resource to be developed through sustainable tourism.
The Global Geoparks Network (GGN) is a non profit International Association.
The objectives of the GGN are:
- To promote the equitable geographical establishment, development and professional management of Global Geoparks.
- To advance knowledge and understanding of the nature, function and role of Global Geoparks;
- To assist local communities to value their natural and cultural heritage;
- To preserve Earth heritage for present and future generations;
- To educate and teach the broad public about issues in geo-sciences and their relation with environmental matters and natural hazards.
- To ensure sustainable socio-economic and cultural development on the natural (org eological) system.
- To foster multi-cultural links between heritage and conservation and the maintenance of geological and cultural diversity, using participatory schemes of partnership and management;
- To stimulate research when appropriate;
- To promote joint initiatives between Global Geoparks (e.g. communication, publications, exchange of information, twinning).