Culture and Nature

Being a UNESCO Global Geopark

The crucial work of UNESCO Global Geoparks begins after being designated.

Illustration Geoparks

In Germany, there are

Of over 160 UNESCO Global Geoparks worldwide, eight are located in Germany.

Securing the designation of a UNESCO Global Geopark opens the door to redesigning and further developing the quality of engagement and networking activities in a region, especially in the fields of education and research, landscape conservation, geoconservation and nature conservation, regional development and sustainable tourism as well as international cooperation.

As model regions for sustainable development, UNESCO Global Geoparks position themselves and their action in the context of the global sustainability agenda, and thus strengthen awareness of the most important social challenges of our rapidly changing planet. Geoparks are well-positioned to tackle urgent sustainability issues. As they are integrated into local and international networks, they build an important interface and enable a comprehensive discussion of questions pertaining to a sustainable future. Global issues such as climate change and finite natural resources can be linked very well with the unique characteristics of UNESCO Global Geoparks, such as geological history, climate impact, water, soil and the use of raw materials.

The UNESCO Global Geoparks do not necessarily engage across the entire portfolio of the 2030 Agenda, but rather, focus on their respective core competencies. They act as a source of inspiration and a platform for regional actors and make important contributions through networking and moderation.

The UNESCO Global Geoparks in Germany already operate with quality and carry out exemplary work, also in international comparison. UNESCO Global Geoparks are set to further significantly strengthen their quality in the coming years; from expanding education for sustainable development, to addressing current social challenges such as climate change, to partnerships with geoparks from the Global South.

Evaluation / revalidation of existing UNESCO Global Geoparks

UNESCO Global Geoparks are subject to a renewed quality check every four years. As a general rule, the geoparks are expected to raise the quality of their projects and activities proceeding each evaluation. The revalidation process, like the application process, is two-stage. After the revalidation by the National Committee, there is a revalidation process at the international level, including a field mission.

An important component of the review at the national level is an intensive consultation, which is held on site between representatives of the geopark and members of the National Committee with a view to development potential and opportunities for improvement.