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. They apply a bottom-up approach, combining conservation with sustainable development while involving local communities. The UNESCO Global Geoparks Council is responsible for assessing revalidated and new UNESCO Global Geopark nominations, which are then submitted to UNESCO’s Executive Board for endorsement. At its fifth statutory meeting held online on 8 and 9 December lasts, the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council assessed 9 applications for UNESCO Global Geoparks, deferred from previous Council sessions in 2018 and 2019.
As a result of this thorough examination, in presence of observers and representatives of several Member States, the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council proposes to forward the nomination of 8 new UNESCO Global Geoparks to the Executive Board of UNESCO, for its endorsement during the 2021 Spring session.
In accordance with Section 2.10 and 5.5 of the Operational Guidelines for UNESCO Global Geoparks the Council shall present a report on its work and its decisions to the UNESCO Global Geoparks Bureau and will circulate that report to Member States and Associate Member States of UNESCO.
Should UNESCO’s Executive Board of UNESCO endorse the outcome of the Council during its spring 2021 session, then the designation of these new sites would bring the total number of sites in the Global UNESCO Geoparks Network to 169, in 44 countries.
The following sites are proposed for endorsement:
1. Vestjylland, DENMARK
2. Saimaa, FINLAND
3. Thuringia Inselberg-Drei Gleichen, GERMANY
4. Grevena Kozani, GREECE
5. Belitong, INDONESIA
6. Aspromonte, ITALY
7. Majella, ITALY
8. Holy Cross Mountains, POLAND
The Council also considered area extensions and new documents that should provide further clarity and consistency in the application and monitoring process and in the overall governance of the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme.
• UNESCO Global Geoparks Council