At its sixth statutory meeting held online between the 8th and 11th of December 2021, the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council assessed 18 new applications for UNESCO Global Geoparks (submitted in 2019 and 2020) and 29 revalidation applications from current UNESCO Global Geoparks. The Council also considered name changes and area extensions as well as new documents that should provide clarity and consistency in the application and monitoring process but also in the overall governance of the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme.
As a result of this thorough examination and in presence of more than 50 observers and representatives of more than 30 Member States, the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council proposed to forward the nomination of 8 new UNESCO Global Geoparks to the Executive Board of UNESCO, for its endorsement during the 2021 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 endorse the outcome of the Council during its spring 2022 session, then the designation of these new sites would bring the total number of sites in the Global UNESCO Geoparks Network from 169 to 177, in 46 countries welcoming two new Member States: Luxembourg and Sweden.
The following sites have been proposed for endorsement:
- Ries (Germany)
- Platåbergen (Sweden)
- Mëllerdall (Luxembourg)
- Buzău Land (Romania)
- Salpausselkä (Finland)
- Kefalonia-Ithaca (Greece)
- Caminhos dos Cânions do Sul (Brazil)
- Sérido (Brazil)
The Council also considered area extensions and new documents that should provide further clarity and consistency in the application and monitoring process and in the overall governance of the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme.
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.