From the beginning, from the Digne’s Declaration (1991) UNESCO is closely supporting the development of the Geopark concept and process. A more than 20 years partnership which has conducted in 2015, the 193 UNESCO State Members, to adopt a new program transforming Geoparks in a full UNESCO initiative.
From 1991, UNESCO is actively and supportively involved in the Geopark long process and evolution. UNESCO shared with the founders of the concept of Geopark intense reflection and exchanges and accompanying with understanding a process initiated by some specialists involved in the protection of the geological heritage and the sustainable development of rural and difficult territories.
The creation of the various Geoparks Network (EGN, APGN, ...) and even of the GGN itself has always been done with the presence and the constructive support of UNESCO.
Considering the world success and expansion of Geoparks, UNESCO develop in 2014 a State Member working group with the aim to study the possibility to transform the initiative Geopark in a full UNESC0 program. The 17th November 2015 the 193 UNESCO State Members adopt unanimously and with enthusiasm a new program called IGGP (International Geosciences and Geopark Program) transforming Geopark in UNESCO Geoparks, the third UNESCO designation created 40 years after the World Heritage List and the Biosphere Reserve. The new UNESCO territory of the XXI century is born.
A NEW UNESCO PROGRAMME:
UNESCO Geoparks are developed under the direct control of UNESCO and analyzed on the basis of clear guidelines adopted by the UNESCO State Members. Territories specifically dedicated to sustainable development, the UNESCO Geoparks is the only UNESCO destination undergoing strict revalidation control. Each territory must be revalidated every 4 years after the establishment of a progress report and a field inspection carried out by assessors selected by the GGN. This cumbersome procedure is an essential guarantee for the UNESCO Geopark to be areas of excellence.
UNESCO GEOPARKS PRIDE