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New UNESCO Global Geoparks Network to support Africa’s rich geological heritage

27 November 2019

The first African UNESCO Global Geoparks Network was launched after a declaration was signed by UNESCO, the Global Geoparks Network (GGN) and the UNESCO Global Geoparks in Africa and the Arab World. The signing ceremony was held during the 2nd National symposium of Morocco Geological Heritage, held in Rabat (Morocco). The event was key in highlighting UNESCO's mandate and stressing the importance of multilateralism in the advancement of sustainable development. Indeed, 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.

This declaration opens the path to the creation of a Global Geoparks regional Network dedicated to the African continent. With M’Goun UNESCO Global Geopark, Morocco was the first country to establish a UNESCO Global Geopark in Africa and the Arab World, followed later by Ngorongoro-Lengai UNESCO Global Geopark in Tanzania. With the creation of the African UNESCO Global Geopark Network, UNESCO and GGN create a platform to support the promotion of the UNESCO Global Geopark concept and the capacity building of the numerous Geopark initiatives and projects on a continent that boasts an extremely rich geological heritage. The African UNESCO Global Geoparks Network will be officially launched during the 1st African UNESCO Global Geoparks International Conference, which will be held in Arusha, Tanzania in May 2020.

The signing ceremony, which kicks off a dedicated strategy to develop UNESCO Global Geoparks in Africa, took place in the presence of His Excellency Mr Aziz RABBAH, Minister of Energy, Mines and Environment of Morocco, the UNESCO representative, Mr african_uggp_signatureMohammed ALAOUI, representing the Director of the UNESCO Regional Office in Rabat, the Chairperson of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council, Dr Guy MARTINI, and the representatives of the Global Geoparks Network and all its regional Global Geopark Networks: Prof Nickolas ZOUROS, GGN President, Dr Kristin RAGNES, European Geoparks Network Coordinator, Prof Ibrahim KOMOO, Vice-Coordinator of the Asia Pacific Geoparks Network, and Prof Patricio MELO, Vice-Coordinator of GeoLAC, the UNESCO Global Geoparks network for Latin America and the Caribbean.

An important historical event for the development of UNESCO Global Geoparks in Africa and the world!



IN FRENCH. Presentation of the event and interviews with Mr Aziz RABBAH, Minister of Energy, Mines and Environment of Morocco and Abdeljalil El HASSANI SBAI, President of the Association Pour la Protection du Patrimoine Géologique du Maroc (APPGM) - Infomédiaire TV