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Travel topics > Natural attractions > UNESCO Global Geoparks Network

UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development.

BackgroundEdit

Geoparks are definitely not just about geology, but they want to protect and show the link between the geological heritage (geoheritage) of our Planet and related natural heritage (biosphere) and cultural heritage (tangible elements as monuments and intangible too, as traditions). This way, they are in close connection and coordination with other national and international projects (like national parks), and they are especially related to fellow UNESCO programmes:

As of 2020, there are 147 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 41 countries; they are members of the Global Geoparks Network. Several geoparks worldwide are applying for the label, they are the so-called aspiring geoparks. In some countries like China, Japan or Germany, there is an extensive network of national geoparks too, that follow similar guidelines, but without UNESCO labeling (so far). The UNESCO Global Geopark title is given for 4 years and then re-evaluated to ensure the quality of protection, education and development objectives in the area.

Geoheritage and its connection to biodiversity and cultural heritage appears in many forms. The so-called geosites are the exact “physical location” where important elements of geology can be found: landforms, caves, mines, quarries that illustrate well certain geological processes. They have or they are in coordination with museums, interpretation centers where people can learn about the geology of the geopark. Finally, they offer numerous activities and products, such as tours, or even food inspired by geology!

Their mission is to:

  • inform people about the sustainable use and need for natural resources
  • raise the awareness on geological hazards, like volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides
  • show visitors how climate change can affect our environment, as geoheritage often hold records of past climate changes
  • through education (both for children and adults!), spread awareness of our geological heritage and its links to natural, cultural and intangible heritage
  • promoting active scientific research in the Earth Sciences in their territory
  • conserve the geoheritage with necessary protection measures, monitoring, discouraging sale of geological products (minerals, fossils, etc.)
  • celebrating the links between our communities and the Earth, like building materials, landforms in mythology
  • involve and promote local and indigenous knowledge
  • sustainable development and forms of green tourism (e.g. walking paths, local-focus in products, employees)

AfricaEdit

Canary Islands (Spain)Edit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
1 El Hierro UNESCO Global Geopark Canary Islands 595 2014
2 Lanzarote and Chinijo Islands UNESCO Global Geopark Canary Islands 2500 2015

MoroccoEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
1 M'Goun UNESCO Global Geopark High Atlas, Drâa-Tafilalet 5730 2014

TanzaniaEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
2 Ngorongoro-Lengai UNESCO Global Geopark Northeast Tanzania 11886 2018

AsiaEdit

ChinaEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
1 Alxa Desert UNESCO Global Geopark Inner Mongolia 630.37 2009
2 Arxan UNESCO Global Geopark Inner Mongolia 3653.21 2017
3 Dali-Cangshan UNESCO Global Geopark Yunnan 933 2014
4 Danxiashan UNESCO Global Geopark Yunnan 933 2014
5 Dunhuang UNESCO Global Geopark Gansu 2067 2015
6 Fangshan UNESCO Global Geopark Beijing, Hebei 954 2006
7 Funiushan UNESCO Global Geopark Henan 1522 2006
8 Guangwushan-Nuoshuihe UNESCO Global Geopark Sichuan 1818 2018
9 Hexigten UNESCO Global Geopark Inner Mongolia 1750 2005
10 Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark Hong Kong 150 2011
11 Huanggang Dabieshan UNESCO Global Geopark Hubei 2625.54 2018
12 Huangshan UNESCO Global Geopark Anhui 160.6 2004
13 Jingpohu UNESCO Global Geopark Shandong 1400 2006
14 Jiuhuashan UNESCO Global Geopark Anhui 139.7 2019
15 Keketuohai UNESCO Global Geopark Xinjiang 2337.9 2017
16 Leiqiong UNESCO Global Geopark Hainan 3050 2006
17 Leye Fengshan UNESCO Global Geopark Guangxi 930 2010
18 Longhushuan UNESCO Global Geopark Jiangxi 996.63 2008
19 Lushan UNESCO Global Geopark Jiangxi 500 2004
20 Mount Kunlun UNESCO Global Geopark Qinghai 7033 2014
21 Ningde UNESCO Global Geopark Fujian 2660.34 2010
22 Qinling Zhongnanshan UNESCO Global Geopark Shaanxi 1074.85 2009
23 Sanqingshan UNESCO Global Geopark Hubei 229.5 2012
24 Shennongjia UNESCO Global Geopark Qinghai 1022.72 2013
25 Shilin UNESCO Global Geopark Yunnan 350 2004
26 Songshan UNESCO Global Geopark Henan 464 2004
27 Taining UNESCO Global Geopark Fujian 350 2004
28 Taishan UNESCO Global Geopark Shandong 158.63 2006
29 Tianzhusan UNESCO Global Geopark Anhui 413.4 2011
30 Wangwushan-Daimeishan UNESCO Global Geopark Henan 986 2006
31 Wudalianchi UNESCO Global Geopark Heilongjiang 720 2004
32 Xingwen UNESCO Global Geopark Sichuan 156 2005
33 Yandangshan UNESCO Global Geopark Zhejiang 298.8 2005
34 Yanqing UNESCO Global Geopark Beijing 620.38 2013
35 Yimengshan UNESCO Global Geopark Shandong 1804.76 2009
36 Yuntaishan UNESCO Global Geopark Henan 556 2004
37 Zhangjiajie UNESCO Global Geopark Hunan 398 2004
38 Zhijindong Cave UNESCO Global Geopark Guizhou 174 2015
39 Zigong UNESCO Global Geopark Sichuan 1630.46 2008

IndonesiaEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
40 Batur UNESCO Global Geopark Bali 370.5 2012
41 Ciletuh-Palabuhanratu UNESCO Global Geopark Pelabuhan Ratu 1260 2018
42 Gunung Sewu UNESCO Global Geopark Gunung Kidul, Wonogiri, Tulungagung 1802 2015
43 Rinjani-Lombok UNESCO Global Geopark Lombok 2800 2018

IranEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
44 Qeshm Island UNESCO Global Geopark Hormozgan 2063 2017

JapanEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
45 Aso UNESCO Global Geopark Kumamoto 1198 2014
46 Itoigawa UNESCO Global Geopark Niigata 750 2009
47 Izo Peninsula UNESCO Global Geopark Shizuoka 2027 2018
48 Mt. Apoi UNESCO Global Geopark Hidaka 364.3 2015
49 Muroto UNESCO Global Geopark Kōchi 248.2 2011
50 Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark Shimane 673.5 2013
51 San'in Kaigan UNESCO Global Geopark Kyoto, Shin'onsen, Tottori 2458 2010
52 Toya-Usu UNESCO Global Geopark Abuta 1181 2009
53 Unzen Volcanic Area UNESCO Global Geopark Nagasaki 459.52 2009

MalaysiaEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
54 Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark West Coast, Langkawi 478 2015

South KoreaEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
55 Cheongsong UNESCO Global Geopark Gyeongbuk 845.71 2017
56 Jeju Island UNESCO Global Geopark Jeollanam-do 1847 2010
57 Mudeungsan UNESCO Global Geopark Jeollanam-do 1051 2018

ThailandEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
58 Satun UNESCO Global Geopark Southern Thailand, Satun 2597 2018

VietnamEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
59 Dong Van Karst Plateau UNESCO Global Geopark Northern Vietnam, Hà Giang 2356 2015
60 Non nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO Global Geopark Northern Vietnam, Cao Bằng 3000 2018

EuropeEdit

AustriaEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
3 Steirische Eisenwurzen UNESCO Global Geopark Styria 586 2004
4 Karavanke/Karawanken UNESCO Global Geopark Styria, Upper Carniola 1067 2013
5 Erz der Alpen UNESCO Global Geopark Salzburg 211 2014

BelgiumEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
6 Famenne-Ardenne UNESCO Global Geopark Wallonia 915 2018

CroatiaEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
7 Papuk UNESCO Global Geopark Požega-Slavonia 524 2007
8 Vis Archipelago UNESCO Global Geopark Split-Dalmatia 6661 2019

CyprusEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
9 Troodos UNESCO Global Geopark Limassol 1147 2015

CzechiaEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
10 Bohemian Paradise UNESCO Global Geopark Hradec Králové 742 2005

DenmarkEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
11 Odsherred UNESCO Global Geopark Sjælland 355 2014

FinlandEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
12 Rokua UNESCO Global Geopark Oulu 1326 2010

FranceEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
13 Haute-Provence UNESCO Global Geopark Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur 2300 2000
14 Luberon UNESCO Global Geopark Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur 1953 2004
15 Massif des Bauges UNESCO Global Geopark Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes 856 2011
16 Chablais UNESCO Global Geopark Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes 872 2012
17 Monts d’Ardèche UNESCO Global Geopark Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes 2280 2014
18 Causses du Quercy UNESCO Global Geopark Occitanie 1855 2017
19 Beaujolais UNESCO Global Geopark Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes 1550 2018

GermanyEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
20 Vulkaneifel UNESCO Global Geopark Rhineland-Palatinate 1220 2000
21 TERRA.Vita UNESCO Global Geopark Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphaila 1560 2001
22 Bergstrasse-Odenwald UNESCO Global Geopark Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse 3500 2004
23 Swabian Alps UNESCO Global Geopark Baden-Württemberg 6688 2004
24 Harz - Braunschweiger Land - Ostfalen UNESCO Global Geopark Lower Saxony, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt 11500 2004
25 Muskau Arch UNESCO Global Geopark Brandenburg, Saxony, Lubusz 578.8 2011

GreeceEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
26 Lesvos Island UNESCO Global Geopark North Aegean 1636 2000
27 Psiloritis UNESCO Global Geopark Crete 1159 2001
28 Chelmos – Vouraikos UNESCO Global Geopark Achaea 647 2009
29 Sitia UNESCO Global Geopark Crete 517 2015
30 Vikos-Aoos UNESCO Global Geopark Western Macedonia, Epirus 1200 2010

HungaryEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
31 Bakony-Balaton UNESCO Global Geopark Veszprém 3244 2012
32 Novohrad – Nograd UNESCO Global Geopark Nógrád, Banská Bystrica Region 1587 2010

IcelandEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
33 Katla UNESCO Global Geopark South Constituency 9542 2011
34 Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark Southern Peninsula 825 2015

IrelandEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
35 Copper Coast UNESCO Global Geopark Waterford 50 2001
36 Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark Ulster 180 2001
37 Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark Ulster 530 2011

ItalyEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
38 Madonie UNESCO Global Geopark Sicily 400 2004
39 Rocca di Cerere UNESCO Global Geopark Sicily 1298 2008
40 Beigua UNESCO Global Geopark Liguria 392 2005
41 Adamello-Brenta UNESCO Global Geopark Trentino 1188 2008
42 Cilento e Vallo di Diano UNESCO Global Geopark Campania 1841 2010
43 Tuscan Mining Park UNESCO Global Geopark Tuscany 1087 2010
44 Apuan Alps UNESCO Global Geopark Tuscany 494 2011
45 Sesia - Val Grande UNESCO Global Geopark Piedmont 2023 2013
46 Pollino UNESCO Global Geopark Basilicata, Calabria 1925 2015

NetherlandsEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
47 Hondsrug UNESCO Global Geopark Drenthe 1000 2013

NorwayEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
48 Gea Norvegica UNESCO Global Geopark Telemark, Vestfold 3000 2006
49 Magma UNESCO Global Geopark Vestlandet, Sørlandet 3000 2006
50 Trollfjell UNESCO Global Geopark Trøndelag 10082 2019

PolandEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
51 Muskau Arch UNESCO Global Geopark Brandenburg, Saxony, Lubusz 578.8 2011

PortugalEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
52 Naturtejo UNESCO Global Geopark Centro 4624.4 2006
53 Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark Norte 327 2009
54 Azores UNESCO Global Geopark Azores 12884 2013
55 Terras de Cavaleiros UNESCO Global Geopark Norte 700 2014

RomaniaEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
56 Hateg Country Dinosaurs UNESCO Global Geopark Hunedoara 1024 2005

SlovakiaEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
57 Novohrad – Nograd UNESCO Global Geopark Nógrád, Banská Bystrica Region 1587 2010

SloveniaEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
58 Karavanke/Karawanken UNESCO Global Geopark Styria, Upper Carniola 1067 2013
59 Idrija UNESCO Global Geopark Gorizia 294 2013

SpainEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
60 Cabo de Gata - Níjar UNESCO Global Geopark Andalusia 500 2006
61 Sierras Subbéticas UNESCO Global Geopark Andalusia 320 2006
62 Sobrarbe UNESCO Global Geopark Aragon 2202 2006
63 Sierra Norte de Sevilla UNESCO Global Geopark Andalusia 1774.84 2011
64 Basque Coast UNESCO Global Geopark Basque Country 89 2010
65 Villuercas-Ibores-Jara UNESCO Global Geopark Extremadura 2544.4 2011
66 Central Catalunya UNESCO Global Geopark Catalonia 1300 2012
67 Molina and Alto Tajo UNESCO Global Geopark Castile-La Mancha 4520 2014
68 Las Loras UNESCO Global Geopark Castile - León 950.76 2017
69 Conca de Tremp–Montsec UNESCO Global Geopark Catalonia 2050 2018
70 Courel Mountain UNESCO Global Geopark Galicia 577.85 2019

TurkeyEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
71 Kula Volcanic UNESCO Global Geopark Aegean Region 300 2013

United KingdomEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
72 Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark Ulster 180 2001
73 North Pennines UNESCO Global Geopark North East England 1938 2004
74 North West Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark Scottish Highlands 2100 2004
75 Shetland UNESCO Global Geopark Shetland 1468 2009
76 Fforest Fawr UNESCO Global Geopark Wales 763 2005
77 GeoMôn UNESCO Global Geopark Wales 1800 2009
78 English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark Devon 104 2007

North AmericaEdit

 
Geoparks in North America

CanadaEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
1 Percé UNESCO Global Geopark Quebec 555 2018
2 Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark New Brunswick 2500 2010
3 Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark British Columbia 7822 2014

MexicoEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
1 Comarca Minera UNESCO Global Geopark Hidalgo 1848 2017
2 Mixteca Alta UNESCO Global Geopark Oaxaca 415,4 2017


South AmericaEdit

 
Geoparks in South America


BrazilEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
3 Araripe UNESCO Global Geopark Northeast 3441 2006

ChileEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
4 Kütralküra UNESCO Global Geopark Araucanía 8053 2019

EcuadorEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
5 Imbabura UNESCO Global Geopark Andean Highlands, Imbabura 4794,34 2019

PeruEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
6 Colca y Volcanes de Andagua UNESCO Global Geopark Southern Coast, Arequipa 6010.9 2019

UruguayEdit

Official name Location Area
(km2)
Year Geodiversity
7 Grutas del Palacio UNESCO Global Geopark Central Interior, Flores 3611 2013