UNESCO and Global Geoparks Network GGN assists Geopark initiatives in Africa and the Arab States

UNESCO and the Global Geoparks Network (GGN) have launched a joint initiative to promote the Geopark concept in Africa and the Arab States. The UNESCO/Global Geoparks Network Grant, or short: GGN grant, is a tailor-made consultancy service specifically dedicated to support local teams to develop a UNESCO Geopark project. The grant includes several steps and actions. GGN Experts will advise and accompany the granted territory from the initial idea to the official application as UNESCO Global Geopark. All services provided through the grant will be free of charge for the territory.

UNESCO and GGN launched a first call for proposals in March 2021 and received 24 proposals which all were accompanied by a preliminary plan for development of a Geopark: 3 from Morocco, 2 from Egypt, 1 from Tunisia, 1 from Qatar, 1 from Saudi Arabia, 3 from Mali, 1 from Soudan, 1 from Madagascar, 2 from Uganda, 1 from Kenya, 2 from Tanzania, 1 from Eswatini, 1 from Zambia, 2 from South Africa and 1 from Cabo Verde.

After due consideration against clear criteria, a panel of international experts retained the projects for the grant from:

  • Madagascar (Isola National Park)
  • Kenya (Baringo)
  • Eswatini
  • Tunisia (Dahar)

All other territories will also be contacted and receive feedback and guidance as appropriate. All 24 applicants received an invitation to participate for free in the 2021 Digital Intensive course for UNESCO Global Geoparks (7-20 June) and all of them accepted this opportunity, which provides an excellent basis for future cooperation.

Thanks to the success of this first call, UNESCO and GGN committed to launch a new call each year: UNESCO / Global Geoparks Network grant for geoparks in Africa and the Arab States 2022