Message on April 21st, 2020

Dear colleagues and friends of the Global Geoparks Network, 

Dear UNESCO Global Geoparks teams,

We are contacting you again as we are all manage our way through  the COVID-19 pandemic, unlike anything we have seen till the end of the World War II, hoping that all our Geopark colleagues and their families stay safe and well.

As many communities are loosing significant individuals, as many more people become sick from the virus in many countries around the globe, while other start to see the successful results of the fight against the virus, as millions of people are suffering the economic hardship and billions are living in confinement we want to send you a message of solidarity and encouragement, we want to tell you that you are not alone!

Now is the time for all of us to help where we can and be there for each other.

The GGN Executive Board in close collaboration with UNESCO’s Section on  Earth Sciences and Geo-Hazards Risk Reduction is following the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects to the Geoparks and their local communities. 

The health and safety of all the staff and local people of the Geoparks around the world is for the GGN Executive Board primary concern. 

Although most of the Geoparks are closed for the public due to the pandemic, their operation has changed but not stopped. Despite this difficult time many Geoparks continue their work and utilizing their creativity are realizing activities to support local communities

During the last weeks we have seen plenty of examples on how Geoparks and their staff are contributing and building resilience to their communities especially in this extremely difficult period, as we have made since the beginning following our principals, safeguarding and promoting heritage as a tool for sustainable local development.

  • M’Goun UGGp in Morocco are taking initiatives to help their local communities. 
  • Itoigawa in Japan uses the Geopark mascots to rise sensitization on the use of face masks
  • North Pennines UGGp in UK took the initiative to prepare educational activities in order to help children and their parents to have creative hours from home.

The GGN Executive Board taking into account the current situation but also the willingness of the Geoparks to help their communities with innovative activities, encourage all Geoparks to communicate their initiatives and best practices during the fight of COVID-19, but also encourages all the GGN Working Groups to become hubs of creativity for the Geoparks to utilize sharing of experiences and boost activities to serve local communities.

As we are passing one of the most difficult times the GGN is taking new activities in order to support  Geoparks communication 

For as long as the epidemic continues, the GGN Executive Board will be meeting every second week in order to have a close overview of the problems that the Geoparks are facing, the initiatives for the support of the local communities and to find ways for support.


The GGN Executive Board


Message on March 27th, 2020

Dear colleagues and friends of the Global Geoparks Network, 

Dear UNESCO Global Geoparks teams

The GGN Executive Board discussed on Tuesday 24th March at an extraordinary meeting the situation concerning the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic during the last weeks in relation with the UNESCO Global Geoparks.

There is no doubt that humanity is facing the most serious crisis after the 2nd World War. 

To slow the spread of COVID-19, many countries have introduced unprecedented measures, at significant social and economic cost – closing schools and businesses, museums and parks cancelling cultural and sporting events and asking people to stay home and stay safe.

The GGN Executive Board would like to express its sympathy and solidarity to all our colleagues in all the UNESCO Global Geoparks and their partners, to their families and their communities. 

Especially to our colleagues in Italy and Spain, the countries with the biggest number of Geoparks in Europe facing the most difficult and unprecedented situation.

We know that many of our colleagues have been already affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Many Geoparks stopped their activities and nobody knows when they will be able to restart. Many colleagues are working from home, but there are also Geopark’s collaborators and partners who face even greater challenges.

We wish courage, strength and energy to overpass all together this extremely difficult period and to prepare for the re-start!

The GGN in close collaboration with UNESCO Section on Earth Sciences and Geo-Hazards Risk Reduction monitors closely the situation regarding COVID-19 pandemic in the 147 UNESCO Global Geoparks around the world on a day to day basis and the measures taken in different countries to fight COVID-19.

For as long as the epidemic continues, the GGN Executive Board will be meeting every second week in order to have a close overview of the problems that the Geoparks are facing and to find ways for support.

UNESCO’s senior management also called for special measures, in line with the restrictions in France. 

The UNESCO Executive Board session and several other planned activities are canceled or postponed.  Thus the endorsement of the proposal of the UGGp Council regarding the new UNESCO Global Geoparks has been also postponed.

All UNESCO officers based in Paris HQ have to stay home and operate through tele-work arrangements. 

UNESCO Global Geoparks Secretariat extended the deadline till 15th of April 2020 for the active Calls for the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council and for the UNESCO Global Geoparks Evaluators

Should you believe that you meet the requirements, please don’t hesitate to apply.

UNESCO Global Geoparks Secretariat announced that for the time being, they are putting evaluation- and revalidation missions on hold, until further notice. They keep on preparing for these missions though and hope that by June, we will have the worst behind us. 

In the light of the current situation the GGN Executive Board examines new ways of communication among GGN members as we will have to reconsider our way of working together in the coming weeks. 

We do think that keeping in contact and exchanging of information is essential for our network.

The GGN Executive Board notes that 

  • all Geoparks related meetings, conferences and activities originally planned during April and May should be postponed
  • the International Intensive Course on Geoparks 2020 which was expected to take place  in June 1-10, should be postponed

In December the GGN Executive Board announced our 1st International Geoparks Film Festival. An effort to promote Geoparks in a new dynamic way. 

All UNESCO Global Geoparks are welcome to participate and we are expecting more than 140 entries! We are going to announce in May a distinguished panel of jurors who will judge the entries, with the winners to be announced in September 2020, at the 9th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks in Jeju. We will be showing videos in the coming weeks on the  1st Geoparks Film Festival website and GGN social media channels. 

In these difficult times, film and other social media are a powerful way not only of communicating our Geoparks, but of administering one of the most powerful medicines – hope.

STAY SAFE and Keep in touch!

The GGN Executive Board