A geopark is a unified area that advances the protection and use of geological heritage in a sustainable way, and promotes the economic well-being of the people who live there. There are global geoparks and national geoparks.

A UNESCO definition of global geopark is a unified area with a geological heritage of international significance. Geoparks use that heritage to promote awareness of key issues facing society in the context of our dynamic planet. Many geoparks promote awareness of geological hazards, including volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis and many help prepare disaster mitigation strategies with local communities. Geoparks embody records of past climate changes and are indicators of current climate changes as well as demonstrating a “best practise” approach to using renewable energy and employing the best standards of “green tourism”. Tourism industry promotion in geoparks, as a geographically sustainable and applicable tourism model, aims to sustain, and even enhance, the geographical character of a place.

Geoparks also inform about the sustainable use and need for natural resources, whether they are mined, quarried or harnessed from the surrounding environment while at the same time promoting respect for the environment and the integrity of the landscape. Geoparks are not a legislative designation though the key heritage sites within a geopark are often protected under local, regional or national legislation. The multidisciplinary nature of the concept of geopark and tourism promotion in geoparks differentiates itself from other models of sustainable tourism. In fact, sustainable tourism promotion within geoparks encompasses many of the features of sustainable tourism including geo-tourism (geo-site tourism: as a basic factor), community-based tourism and integrated rural tourism (as a vital need), ecotourism, and cultural heritage tourism.

The Global Geoparks Network (GGN) is a UNESCO activity established in 1998. According to UNESCO, for a geopark to apply to be included in the GGN, it needs to:

have a management plan designed to foster socio-economic development that is sustainable based on geotourism
demonstrate methods for conserving and enhancing geological heritage and provide means for teaching geoscientific disciplines and broader environmental issues
have joint proposals submitted by public authorities, local communities and private interests acting together, which demonstrate the best practices with respect to Earth heritage conservation and its integration into sustainable development strategies.
International Geopark Networks

European Geopark Network
Founded in 2000, the network in July 2011 included 43 geo-parks from 17 countries. As of July 2015, 65 geoparks from 22 countries are already members of the network. Six German Geoparks are currently members of the network. It supports its members in public relations and sustainable management. It promotes mutual cooperation among its members, holds joint education and training conferences and promotes soft geotourism in the connected regions. Membership is linked to membership of the Global Network of UNESCO Geoparks.

Global Network of National Geoparks
The UNESCO supported initiatives since 2002, a global network of national Geoparks (Global Network of National Geoparks) to create.

Established in 2004, the Global Network of National Geoparks aims to promote sustainable tourism. The network aims to support regions throughout the world that integrate their outstanding geological heritage into a dedicated socio-economic regional development concept. This strategy should equally promote the protection and use of geotopes.

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UNESCO Global Geoparks
In 2015 UNESCO designated the UNESCO Global Geopark as the third category for the designation of sites (after the World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves). The network of Global Geoparks was integrated into UNESCO’s “International Geoscience and Geoparks Program” (IGGP). These parks are members of the Global Geoparks Network, founded in 2014

Geological heritage of the geoparks
When speaking of a particular geological heritage, one refers to a certain number of places of geological interest that stand out in terms of:

Scientific interest (record of events and geological processes that allows to understand the past and helps predict)
Singularity (places and unique or rare geological elements)
Representativeness (places and representative elements of materials, structures and / or geological processes)
Aesthetic value (beauty, spectacularity, ability to thrill)
Didactic value (facility to explain and understand materials, structures and / or geological processes)
Every geopark must contain elements of geological heritage, and use it in a sustainable way together with elements of archaeological, ecological, historical or cultural interest for tourism, education and local socio-economic development.

The geoparks collaborate closely with each other, so that they form a European network (European Geoparks Network) that allows each territory to benefit from joint measures of geological heritage protection and management.

Global Network and UNESCO
The Global Geoparks Network (GGN) is supported by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Many national geoparks and other local geoparks projects also exist which are not included in the Global Geoparks Network.

The geoparks initiative was launched by UNESCO in response to the perceived need for an international initiative that recognizes sites representing an earth science interest. Global Geoparks Network aims at enhancing the value of such sites while at the same time creating employment and promoting regional economic development. The Global Geoparks Network works in synergy with UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre and Man and the Biosphere (MAB) World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

List by country/territory
Many of the names in the list below appear in slightly different forms in different documents or webpages, particularly where they have been anglicised. Dates of accession to network, where not otherwise referenced are taken from UNESCO website.

Country/Territory Continent Geopark Year included
Austria Europe Carnic Alps Geopark 2012
Austria Europe Eisenwurzen 2004
Austria Europe Ore of the Alps Geopark 2014
Belgium Europe Famenne-Ardenne 2018
Brazil South America Araripe 2006
Canada North America Percé 2018
Canada North America Stonehammer 2010
Canada North America Tumbler Ridge 2014
China Asia Alxa Desert 2009
China Asia Arxan 2017
China Asia Wangwushan-Daimeishan 2006
China Asia Danxiashan 2004
China Asia Fangshan 2006
China Asia Funiushan 2006
China Asia Hexigten 2005
China Asia Guangwushan-Nuoshuihe 2018
China Asia Huanggang Dabieshan 2018
China Asia Hong Kong 2011
China Asia Huangshan 2004
China Asia Jingpohu 2006
China Asia Keketuohai 2017
China Asia Leye-Fengshan 2010
China Asia Longhushan 2007
China Asia Lushan 2004
China Asia Ningde 2010
China Asia Qinling 2009
China Asia Leiqiong 2006
China Asia Sanqingshan Geopark, Jiangxi 2012
China Asia Shilin 2004
China Asia Songshan 2004
China Asia Taining 2005
China Asia Taishan 2006
China Asia Tianzhushan Geopark 2011
China Asia Wudalianchi 2004
China Asia Xingwen 2005
China Asia Yandangshan 2005
China Asia Yuntaishan 2004
China Asia Zhangjiajie 2004
China Asia Zigong 2008
Croatia Europe Papuk 2007
Cyprus Europe Troodos 2015
Czech Republic Europe Bohemian Paradise 2005
Denmark Europe Odsherred Global Geopark 2014
Finland Europe Rokua Geopark 2010
France Europe Massif des Bauges 2011
France Europe Beaujolais 2018
France Europe Causses du Quercy 2017
France Europe Chablais Geopark 2012
France Europe Haute Provence 2004
France Europe Luberon 2005
France Europe Monts d’Ardeche Global Geopark 2014
Germany Europe Bergstrasse-Odenwald 2004
Germany Europe Terra Vita 2004
Germany Europe Harz Braunschweiger Land Ostfalen 2005
Germany Europe Swabian Albs 2005
Germany Europe Vulkaneifel Geopark 2004
Greece Europe Lesvos 2004
Greece Europe Chelmos-Vouraikos 2009
Greece Europe Psiloritis 2004
Greece Europe Sitia Geopark 2015
Greece Europe Vikos-Aoos 2010
Hungary Europe Bakony-Balaton Geopark 2012
Hungary-Slovakia Europe Novohrad – Nograd Geopark 2010
Iceland Europe Katla Geopark 2011
Iceland Europe Reykjanes Global Geopark 2015
Indonesia Asia Batur Geopark, Bali 2012
Indonesia Asia Rinjani Lombok 2018
Indonesia Asia Gunung Sewu Geopark, Java 2015
Indonesia Asia Ciletuh-Palabuhanratu Geopark 2018
Iran Europe Qeshm Island 2017
Ireland Europe Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark 2011
Ireland Europe Copper Coast 2004
Italy Europe Apuan Alps 2011
Italy Europe Cilento and Vallo di Diano 2010
Italy Europe Madonie 2004
Italy Europe Beigua Geopark 2005
Italy Europe Geological-Mining Park of Sardinia 2007
Italy Europe Geopark of Pollino 2007
Italy Europe Adamello-Brenta 2008
Italy Europe Rocca di Cerere 2008
Italy Europe Sesia – Val Grande Geopark 2013
Italy Europe Tuscan Mining Park 2010
Japan Asia Itoigawa 2009
Japan Asia Toya Caldera and Usu Volcano 2009
Japan Asia Unzen Volcanic Area 2009
Japan Asia San’in Kaigan 2010
Japan Asia Muroto 2011
Japan Asia Oki Islands 2013
Japan Asia Aso 2014
Japan Asia Mt. Apoi 2015
Japan Asia Izu Peninsula 2018
Malaysia Asia Langkawi 2007
Mexico North America Comarca Minera, Hidalgo 2017
Mexico North America Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca 2017
Morocco Africa M’Goun Global Geopark 2014
Netherlands Europe Geopark de Hondsrug 2013
Norway Europe Gea Norvegica 2006
Norway Europe Magma Geopark 2010
Poland/Germany Europe Muskau Bend Landscape Park 2011
Portugal Europe Naturtejo 2006
Portugal Europe/Africa Azores Geopark 2013
Portugal Europe Arouca 2009
Portugal Europe Land of Knights Geopark 2015
Romania Europe Hateg Country Dinosaur Geopark 2005
Slovenia Europe Idrija 2013
Austria/Slovenia Europe Geopark Karavanke 2013
South Korea Asia Cheongsong 2017
South Korea Asia Jeju Island 2010
South Korea Asia Mudeungsan Area 2018
Spain Europe Basque Coast Geopark 2010
Spain Europe Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park 2006
Spain Europe Central Catalonia Geopark 2012
Spain Europe Conca de Tremp-Montsec 2018
Spain Africa El Hierro Global Geopark 2015
Spain Europe Las Loras Geopark 2017
Spain Europe Sierra Norte di Sevilla, Andalusia 2004
Spain Europe Sobrarbe 2006
Spain Europe Sierras Subeticas Natural Park 2006
Spain Europe Villuercas Ibores Jara Geopark 2011
Spain Europe Lanzarote and Chinijos Islands Geopark 2015
Spain Europe Molina de Aragón – Alto Tajo Geopark 2014
Tanzania Africa Ngorongoro Lengai Geopark 2018
Thailand Asia Satun Geopark 2018
Turkey Asia Kula Volcanic Geopark 2013
United Kingdom/Ireland Europe Marble Arch and Cuilcagh Mountain 2004
United Kingdom Europe North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 2004
United Kingdom Europe Fforest Fawr 2005
United Kingdom Europe North West Highlands 2005
United Kingdom Europe English Riviera 2007
United Kingdom Europe Shetland 2009
United Kingdom Europe GeoMôn 2009
Uruguay South America Grutas del Palacio Geopark 2013
Vietnam Asia Cao Bang Geopark 2018
Vietnam Asia Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark 2010

Source from Wikipedia