Workshop on the nomination of the Aden Peninsula as a UNESCO Global Geoparks

The UNESCO Office for the GCC and Yemen, in collaboration with the Yemeni National Commission for UNESCO, organized a workshop for the preparation of the nomination of Aden Peninsula as a UNESCO Global Geopark. The 8 days’ workshop brought together 20 Yemeni professionals and representatives from the Ministry of Water and Environment, the Environment Protection Authority, the General Administration of Nature Conservation and the Geological Survey and Mineral Resources Authority in Yemen.

The workshop aims to introduce the concept, the requirements and the process for the submission of an application dossier for the nomination of the Aden Peninsula as a UNESCO Global Geopark.

At present, there are 169 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 44 countries. These areas are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance has been identified. There are four fundamental areas that are key to becoming a UNESCO Global Geopark:

In addition, the management and development of these sites should apply a bottom-up approach, involving the local communities, in the conservation of the geological heritage and addressing key challenges facing the society, such as the impact of climate change, water scarcity, etc.

All these criteria have been examined during the workshop for the Aden Peninsula aspiring geopark. Aden is a city located in Yemen, in the southwestern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. This aspiring Geopark is a peninsula of volcanic origin that is connected to the mainland by low isthmus. The crater of this dormant volcano formed a natural harbor that was used by ancient civilizations. The city also features many important geological, historical and archaeological sites that requires a thorough scientific investigation and documentation to determine its significance at the international level.

Establishing the Aden Peninsula as a UNESCO Geopark will be the first of its kind in the Arabian Gulf. It will help improve the livelihood of the local community while promoting and safeguarding their geological, archaeological and cultural heritage.