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. They apply a bottom-up approach, combining conservation with sustainable development while involving local communities. The UNESCO Global Geoparks Council is responsible for assessing revalidated and new UNESCO Global Geopark nominations, which are then submitted to UNESCO’s Executive Board for endorsement. At its fourth statutory meeting held in Lombok, Indonesia, from 31 August to 2 September 2019, the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council assessed 13 new applications for UNESCO Global Geoparks, five previously deferred applications, one extension request larger than 10% of an existing UNESCO Global Geopark, resulting in a new application, and 38 revalidations.
As a result of this thorough examination, in presence of observers and representatives of several Member States, the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council proposes to forward the nomination of 15 new UNESCO Global Geoparks to the Executive Board of UNESCO, for its endorsement during the 2020 Spring session.
In accordance with Section 2.10 and 5.5 of the Operational Guidelines for UNESCO Global Geoparks the Council shall present a report on its work and its decisions to the UNESCO Global Geoparks Bureau and will circulate that report to Member States and Associate Member States of UNESCO.
Should UNESCO’s Executive Board of UNESCO endorse the outcome of the Council during its spring 2020 session, then the designation of these new sites would bring the total number of sites in the Global UNESCO Geoparks Network to 161, in 44 countries, including sites in Nicaragua, The Russian Federation and Serbia.
The following sites are proposed for endorsement:
- Cliffs of Fundy (Canada)
- Discovery (Canada)
- Xiangxi (China)
- Zhangye (China)
- Lauhanvuori-Haemeenkangas (Finland)
- Hantangang (Korea Rep. of)
- Granada (Spain)
- Maestrazgo (Spain)
- Dak Nong (Vietnam)
- Rio Coco (Nicaragua)
- Black Country (UK)
- Djerdap (Serbia)
- Toba Caldera (Indonesia)
- Estrela (Portugal)
- Yangan Tau (Russian Federation)