1st Nature and Geopark Online Academy successfully completed by the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO

We are pleased to inform you the successful delivery of 1st Nature and Geopark Online Academy, between the 26 to 28 April, 2021 in cooperation with the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO and the Turkish Association for Protection of Geological Heritage (JEMİRKO an NGO focusing on the geological heritage) in Turkey. During this 3-day- online training course, UNESCO experts delivered presentations on the topics related to UNESCO’s International Geosciences and Geoparks Programme (IGGP) and UNESCO designated sites. Over 60 participants from Municipalities and Development Agencies in Turkey attended to this first online event in Turkey focusing on the UNESCO Global Geopark concept.

After the opening remarks and brief information about the meeting by the President of UNESCO National Commission to Turkey Natural Sciences Committee, Prof. Nizamettin KAZANCI, the President of the National Commission, Prof. M. Öcal OĞUZ explained “UNESCO ideals and mandate and the relation between culture and nature”, this was followed by the presentation of the Secretary General of the National Commission, Dr. Şule ÜRÜN who explained “UNESCO natural sciences programmes and conventions”.

Nature and Geopark Online Academy lectures started with the presentation of Prof. Zeki KAYA (Vice-President of the Natural Sciences Committee) who explained “Nature and designated sites: Ramsar Sites, Biosphere Reserves and Natural World Heritage Sites by providing national and international examples” which was followed by Prof. Nazire ÖZGEN ERDEM (Member of the Geological Heritage and Geoparks Committee) who explained “Nature conservation and protection and related legal frame in Turkey and their connections with geotourism and rural development”.

On the second day of the training, April 27, 2021, Dr. Özlem ADIYAMAN LOPES from UNESCO Earth Sciences and Geohazards Reduction Section explained “Earth sciences at UNESCO and their connections with the Geopark concept and its general principles” and Prof. Nizamettin KAZANCI presented “Geopark site: definition, selection, theme and importance of geological features”. In the afternoon session of the second day, Prof. Nazire ÖZGEN ERDEM and Prof. Nizamettin KAZANCI explained “Essentials of geoparks; history, culture and social life” and “Establishment and management of geoparks”. The second day of the course has ended with extensive Q&A session with experts and participants.

On the last day of the Academy Prof. Nizamettin KAZANCI presented “Geoparks territory selection and preparation for the evaluation visit” and Prof. Tuncer DEMİR (Member of Geological Heritage and Geopark Monitoring Group) explained “UNESCO Global Geoparks application process and preliminary preparations” as well as “Procedures for Preparing Application Files for the International Geoparks”. Prof. Tuncer DEMİR explained UNESCO Secretariat’s self-evaluation checklist based on the quality criteria for UNESCO Global Geopark candidates (aUGGp) set out in the Operational Guidelines for UNESCO Global Geoparks, section 3 (viii) and Self-Evaluation Checklist Explanatory Notes for Aspiring UNESCO Global Geoparks (aUGGp) and he provided exampled from Kula-Salihli UNESCO Global Geopark.

Participants acknowledged that the course provided them an opportunity to discover how UNESCO Global Geoparks can make an impact in their local communities to meet UN 2030 agenda and thanked UNESCO for the organization of this first online course.

The Turkish National Commission for UNESCO will continue their efforts to promote UNESCO Global Geoparks concept in Turkey and neighbor countries in collaboration with UNESCO Secretariat.



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