The Geopark label creates a space for the preservation of material (geology, biodiversity, etc.) and immaterial (traditions, etc.) heritage. It is a valuable tool for perpetuating a model of human development and in balance with its environment, around a concerted project. When the territory is labeled, it obtains access to the international network of Geoparks, facilitating the sharing of experiences.

The UNESCO Global Geopark label first of all promotes the territory as a unique place with significant geology on an international scale. The territory then acquires a certain notoriety, and necessarily integrates the international network of Geoparks.

Since the early 2000s, a network of Geoparks has been structured, on several scales (global, continental, national), which allows the sharing of information, exchanges of skills, but also twinning.

A Geopark has several missions relating to the enhancement of its heritage by developing :

  • Preservation of geosites that remain affected by natural living processes, erosive processes, etc. by mitigating these mechanisms;
  • The development and maintenance of an awareness of the geological heritage among the general public thanks to educational tools;
  • The impetus of an economic development strategy by focusing on sustainable eco/geo-tourism. This approach must associate the inhabitants as partners, actors and essential agents of the dynamism of the region concerned;
  • The promotion of a global approach where all the local, natural and cultural heritages are highlighted, in particular an obvious relationship between people and landscapes.
Logo of the Global Geoparks Network

Geopark status makes sense in the face of many challenges (climate change, population displacements, etc.). A Geopark meets the objectives of the principles of sustainable development by focusing on a balanced relationship between the landscapes and the communities that derive their resources from them..

How does UNESCO contribute to the well-being of society while supporting the earth sciences ?