The Rio Coco Aspirant Geopark, located in the north of Nicaragua, culminated with its application to become part of the UNESCO World Geopark family in the Latin America and Caribbean region, becoming the eighth UNESCO World Geopark in the network.
The Rio Coco Geopark has twelve Geosites of international geological and landscape relevance. A unique territory that integrates geological, aesthetic and cultural values to promote sustainable tourism, education and research.
Any territory interested in acquiring the status of UNESCO World Geopark must, before applying, have at least one year of de facto operation.
In order to apply for UNESCO Global Geopark status, the first step is to submit an expression of interest through the official channel defined by the UNESCO National Commission or the governmental body in charge of relations with UNESCO in the country.
The application is completed following the criteria established in the statutes of the International Geoparks Programme.
The application is processed through a desktop evaluation which, when accepted, is carried out in the field where experts evaluate the Geopark from within, ensuring that the pillars of the UNESCO World Geoparks Programme are reflected in the work of the territory; Geoconservation, Geoeducation and Sustainable Development through Geotourism.
Once the evaluations are completed, the UNESCO World Geoparks Council has the final word and in case the Geopark is accepted, it is sent to the UNESCO Executive Board for endorsement.
UNESCO World Geopark status is granted for a period of 4 years.
The RioCoco Geopark has already completed the necessary steps and is waiting for the final decision. There are already eight aspiring Geopark sin the pipeline, therefore we are expecting to duplicate the amount of UNESCO Global Geoparks in LAC by the end of the year.