1st DIGITAL COURSE ON UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARKS UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARKS: Territories of Resilience June 10th – 26th 2020
COURSE FOLLOW UP Monday 31st August 2020 at 13.00 GMT

The success of the Digital Course on UNESCO Global Geoparks 2020 on “UNESCO Global Geoparks: Territories of Resilience” led the GGN Executive Board to establish a follow-up event which is scheduled on Monday 31st August 2020 to discuss issues related with the course, to clarify issues and exchange ideas and experiences.

The Digital Course on UNESCO Global Geoparks 2020 on “UNESCO Global Geoparks: Territories of Resilience” was co-organised by UNESCO and the Global Geoparks Network and with the collaboration of 28 Geopark experts all around the world.

The Course was held from 10th to 26th June, 2020 through the digital platform GoToMeeting. 

It was hosted and delivered by the University of the Aegean – Department of Geography and the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest at Lesvos Island UNESCO Global Geopark, North Aegean Region, Greece.

The Course was attended by 133 participants from 42 different countries, including Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Zambia, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Tanzania, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA and Vietnam. 

The Intensive Course on Geoparks 2020 focused on UNESCO Global Geoparks as Territories of Resilience.

Resilience is a fundamental concept already enclosed inside the whole Geopark concept and is related to any kind of environmental and humanitarian crisis: earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, droughts, economic crisis, epidemics, terrorism, war, refugees and of course the COVID-19 pandemic. The Global Geopark Network (GGN) launched the new initiative “UNESCO Global Geoparks: Territories of resilience” in 21st April 2020.

The course provided the opportunity to discover how UNESCO Global Geoparks can make a real impact in local communities and on society as a whole during COVID-19 pandemic but also provided conceptual issues on UNESCO Global Geoparks.

During the Course discussed the following main topics:

  • UNESCO Global Geoparks 
  • UNESCO Global Geoparks: Global Network – Regional Networks
  • Geological heritage
  • Cultural heritage management
  • Natural heritage management
  • UNESCO Global Geoparks – Territories of Resilience
  • Sustainable Development
  • Education
  • Geotourism
  • Geohazards and Climate change
  • Partnership
  • Community participation
  • Community participation & Indigenous population
  • Communication
  • How to build a successful geopark (virtual exercise)
  • Validation/Revalidation procedures
  • UNESCO Global Geoparks and UNESCO Chairs Programme

During the Digital Course, the participants attended lectures by internationally renowned scientists and experts from UNESCO and UNESCO Global Geoparks, who presented good practices on UNESCO Global Geoparks as territories of resilience, the procedures of becoming and operating successful Geoparks, the evaluation and revalidation procedure as well as the guide lines of the UNESCO Global Geoparks.


Kristof Vandenberghe
UNESCO Earth Sciences and Geohazards Risk Reduction Section Chief
Secretary of the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme (IGGP)

Dr. Ozlem Adiyaman – Lopes
UNESCO Earth Sciences and Geohazard Risk Reduction Section
Programme Specialist on the International Geosciences Programme

Dr. Margarete Patzak
UNESCO Earth Sciences and Geohazard Risk Reduction Section
Programme Specialist on UNESCO Global Geoparks.

Denise Gorfinkiel
UNESCO Montevideo Office  


Dr. Guy Martini
UNESCO Global Geoparks Council Chair, GGN General Secretary,
EGN Advisory Committee

Prof. Xiaochi Jin
Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, China,
GGN Vice-President, APGN Coordinator

Prof. Ibrahim Komoo
University Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Malaysia,
Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark Scientific Advisor,
GGN Vice-President, APGN Vice-Coordinator

Dr. Kristin Rangnes
Gea Norvegica UNESCO Global Geopark Director, Norway,
GGN Treasurer, EGN Coordinator, UGG Council Member

Prof. José Patricio Pereira Melo
University of Cariri, Brazil,
Araripe UNESCO Global Geopark Scientific Coordinator,
GGN Executive Board member, GEOLAC Coordinator

Prof. Jianping Zhang
China University of Geosciences Beijing, China,
UNESCO Global Geoparks Council Vice Chair, GGN Executive Board,
APGN Advisory Committee

Prof. Setsuya Nakada
University of Tokyo, Japan,
GGN Advisory Committee Chair, APGN Vice-Coordinator, Japan Geoparks Committee Chair

Prof. Artur Sá
Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD), Portugal,
Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark Scientific Coordinator,
UNESCO Chair on Geoparks Sustainable Regional Development and Healthy Lifestyles

Dr. Marie-Luise Frey Messel Pit WHS, Germany,
GGN Executive Board member, EGN Advisory Committee member

Dr. Maurizio Burlando
Director of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, Italy,
GGN Executive Board member

Dr. Chris Woodley Stewart
North Pennines AONB UNESCO Global Geopark Director, UK,
EGN Advisory Committee member

Ing. Joshua Mwankunda
Ngorongoro-Lengai UNESCO Global Geopark

Dr. Alireza Amrikazemi
Qeshm UNESCO Global Geopark Director, Iran

Dr. Jutta Weber
Bergstraße-Odenwald UNESCO Global Geopark Director, Germany,
GGN WG on Sustainable Development Goals

Oliver Gulas
Styrian Eisenwurzen UNESCO Global Geopark, Austria

Vesa Krokki
Rokua UNESCO Global Geopark Manager, Finland

Dr. Asier Hilario
Basque Coast UNESCO Global Geopark Scientific Coordinator,Spain, EGN Advisory Committee member, Spanish Geopark Forum Chair

Jose Maria Barrera
Villurcas-Ibores-Jara UNESCO Global Geopark, Spain,
GGN WG on Education

Dr. Charalampos Fassoulas
Psiloritis UNESCO Global Geopark, Greece,
EGN Vice-Coordinator, Hellenic Geoparks Forum Chair

Martina Paskova
Bohemian Paradise UNESCO Global Geopark Coordinator, Czechia,
National Geoparks Council of Czech Republic Chair,
UNESCO Global Geoparks Council member
Transnational UNESCO Global Geoparks

Dr. Kirstin Lemon
Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geoparks, Ireland & UK
Transnational UNESCO Global Geoparks Forum member
UNESCO Global Geoparks Council Raporteur

Melanie Border
English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark Coordinator, UK,
GGN Executive Board member, UGG Council member

Prof. Alexandru Andrasanu
University of Bucharest, Romania,
Haţeg UNESCO Global Geopark Coordinator

Prof. Manuel Schilling
Kütralkura Geopark Scientific Coordinator , Chile
GEOLAC Coordination Committee member

Prof. Jose Luis Palacio
University Autonoma di Mexico – UNAM , Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca UNESCO Global Geopark Scientific Coordinator, Mexico, GEOLAC Coordination Committee member

Sarah Gamble Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark,Canada,
National Committee of Canadian Geoparks

Kana Furusawa
Vice Secretary General, Japanese Geoparks Network, Japan,
GGN Communication Committe, APGN Advisory Committe

Javier Lopez Caballero
Villurcas-Ibores-Jara UNESCO Global Geopark, Spain,
GGN Communication Committe, EGN Coordiantion Committee 


Prof. Thanasis Kizos
Department of Geography, University of Aegean, Greece,
International Institute on Geoparks Development (IIGEOD)

Dr. Ilias Valiakos
Dep. Director of the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest,
Lesvos Island UNESCO Global Geopark
International Institute on Geoparks Development (IIGEOD), University of the Aegean, Greece

Konstantina Bentana
Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest – Education Section
Lesvos Island UNESCO Global Geopark,
International Institute on Geoparks Development (IIGEOD), University of the Aegean, Greece  


Prof. Nickolas Zouros
UNESCO Chair on Geoparks and sustainable development of insular and coastal areas
University of the Aegean, Greece,
GGN President, UGG Council Member, EGN & APGN Advisory Committee,
Lesvos Island UNESCO Global Geopark Coordinator,
Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest Director