Update on Evaluation and Revalidation missions to UNESCO Global Geoparks in 2020

The functions and quality of UNESCO Global Geoparks are evaluated on a regular basis as part of a revalidation process, while aspiring geoparks are also evaluated as part of their submission process. The current health crisis has had an impact on the organization of such evaluation and revalidation missions. In all cases, the priority is always the safety and wellbeing of the experts and the respective territories.

On behalf of UNESCO’s International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme and the Global Geoparks Network, evaluators, aspiring UNESCO Global Geoparks and UNESCO Global Geoparks that are up for revalidation received an email earlier this month informing them on the upcoming evaluation/revalidation missions. In light of the current evolution of the pandemic, we propose that no missions are conducted in August 2020. An update will be given in early September. Postponing all missions to next year would pose logistic and statutory challenges, but the option will be considered if needed, in due time.

The International Geoparks Conference has been postponed to September 2021. As a consequence, the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council will not be held in Jeju, Republic of Korea this year. If a sufficient number of missions can be completed, and the circumstances allow, the Secretariat will consider holding the next Council meeting in November 2020 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, or as a virtual meeting if needed. An update on dates and modality of this Council meeting will follow as soon as there is more clarity on the situation.

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