UNESCO Global Geoparks

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UNESCO Global Geoparks
Global Geoparks Network logo.jpg
Logos of the GGN
Global Geoparks Network members.jpg
World map of geoparks included in the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network (GGN) as of 2020 [needs update?]
EtymologyBrand name for marketing the parks
Owned byThe nation(s) in which the park is defined
Administered byvarious models
Camp sitesDefined by park
Hiking trailsDefined by park
TerrainSites and habitats of geological interest
DesignationUNESCO designations of national, regional, and global geoparks
Connecting transportPossibly

UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGp) are geoparks certified by the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council as meeting all the requirements for belonging to the Global Geoparks Network (GGN). The GGN is both a network of geoparks and the agency of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).[1] that administers the network.

The agency was founded in 2004 in partnership with the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). The network was set up to conserve Earth's geological heritage, as well as to promote the sustainable research and development by the concerned communities. To implement these goals they adopted the concept of geopark, a term that had already been in use for one of the proposed parks. Geoparks were conceived as

"single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development."

As the geopark did not naturally conform to all those requirements, compliance involved considerable work of the country where the geopark was to be located. In essence, the park had to be not only protected, but marketed sustainably to the public. In 2015, the Member States of UNESCO ratified the rebranding to the current name.

Since 2015, the application and designation process has been defined by the Statutes and Operational Guidelines of the UGGp.[2] As of April 2022, there were 195 UGGp's in 48 countries.[3] There are now GGN member sites situated in 5 of 7 continents, there being none currently in either Antarctica or Australasia. There are not yet (2022) global geoparks in the United States. China is the country with the largest number of global geoparks.[attribution needed]

Creation of the global network[edit]

The Global Geoparks Network (GGN) (also known as the Global Network of National Geoparks) is UNESCO assisted network established in 1998. Managed under the body's Ecological and Earth Sciences Division, the GGN seeks the promotion and conservation of the planet's geological heritage, as well as encourages the sustainable research and development by the concerned communities.[4][5][6] Since 2015, its members are officially designated as UNESCO Global Geoparks.[1]

The first batch of members to the GGN were announced during the first International Conference on Geoparks in 2004.

Geopark admission to the global network[edit]

The international network seeks the membership geoparks—geographical areas where geological heritage is the focus of local protection, education and development.

A set of criteria as established by UNESCO[2] must first be met for a geopark, as nominated by the corresponding government, to be included in the GGN:

  • the existence of a management plan designed to foster socio-economic development that is sustainable (most likely to be based on agritourism and geotourism);
  • demonstrate methods for conserving and enhancing geological heritage and provide means for teaching geoscientific disciplines and broader environmental issues;
  • 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. One such initiative is GEOfood, originally developed in Norway but now promoting local produce in global geoparks worldwide.[7]

Criteria satisfaction is evaluated during biennial meetings (every even year) by the Geoparks Committee, known as the International Conference on Geoparks, which is also in charge with the periodic review of projects related to geological awareness. The first members of the GGN were named during the first conference in 2004, and it has continued to grow since then: [needs update?]

Session Year Site Date
1st 2004 Beijing, China 27 June –7 July
2nd 2006 Belfast, United Kingdom 17–21 September
3rd 2008 Osnabrück, Germany 22–26 June
4th 2010 Langkawi, Malaysia 12–16 April
5th 2012 Unzen Volcanic Area Geopark (Shimabara, Japan) 12–15 May
6th 2014 Stonehammer Geopark (Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada) 19–22 September
7th 2016 English Riviera Geopark (Torquay, Devon, England) 24–30 September
8th 2018 Adamello Brenta UNESCO Global Geopark (Madonna di Campiglio, Trentino, Italy) 11–14 September
9th 2020 Jeju Island UNESCO Global Geopark, Republic of Korea (did not take place due to Covid) 17–20 September[8]

The GGN works closely with another project under UNESCO's Ecological and Earth Sciences Division—the Man and Biosphere (MAB) World Network of Biosphere Reserves—to come up with and establish different means of sustainable development in promoting the local communities’ relationship with the natural environment.

Structure by continent and UNESCO region[edit]

The following table contains the detailed articles on the UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGG) and further international recognition frameworks of the geoheritage of each continents and their representative regional geopark networks. [needs update?]

List of UGGs by continent UNESCO region Regional geopark network Number of UGGs in the network Number of countries in the network
Africa Africa African Geoparks Network 2 2
Asia Asia Pacific Geoparks Network 57 8
Europe Europe and North America European Geoparks Network 75 26
North America 3 1
Central America Latin America and the Caribbean Latin America and the Caribbean Geoparks Network 7 6
South America


UNESCO has currently designated two UNESCO Global Geoparks in Africa[a], located in two state parties, Tanzania and Morocco. There are plans for national geoparks in an initial phase that could be further developed to gain the UNESCO recognition.[9] Also on an international level, several sites of geoheritage values are inscribed on the World Heritage list under criterion VIII and/or criterion VII.

Africa has a globally significant geodiversity that represents geological-geomorphological processes from the Archean to the Quaternary.[9] However, the acknowledgement of the continent's geodiversity is still lagging behind the recognition of its biodiversity, many areas of global importance are not represented under international agreements, and national legislative acts on the protection of geoheritage are limited.

Asia Pacific[edit]

The Asia Pacific Geoparks Network (APGN) is the regional geopark network of the Global Geoparks Network (GGN) and the UNESCO International Geosciences and Geoparks Programme (UNESCO-IGGP). Its main role is to coordinate the activities of GGN in the UNESCO regions of Asia and the Pacific, to promote networking between global geoparks and geopark professionals in the region and to provide support for sustainable economic development in geopark areas. As of 2020 February, the APGN had 60 institutional members (UNESCO Global Geoparks) in countries.[10][11] The Pacific region is currently not represented by a global geopark, but there are ongoing geopark projects,[12] just as in other countries of Asia.


Europe[b] is the cradle of the geoparks movement.[13] The European Geoparks Network is a founding member of the Global Geoparks Network and it functions as a regional geopark network of it. As of November 2022, there are 94 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 28 European countries and there are several territories in an aspiring or planned phase, or in a national geopark status.[14] Further elements of the geodiversity of the continent is represented on the World Heritage list, under criterion VIII or VII.

North America[edit]

In North America,[c] there is no regional geopark network so far. As of July 2020, there are five UNESCO Global Geoparks in Canada and several aspiring geoparks projects going on, under the framework of the Canadian Geoparks Network.[15] In the United States, there are no active UNESCO Global Geoparks so far, but there are certain plans to establish geoparks,[16] applying for this label. Further elements of the geodiversity of the continent is represented on the World Heritage list, under criterion VIII or VII.

Latin America and the Caribbean[edit]

Latin America[d] is represented under the Global Geoparks Network by the geoparks of the Latin American Geoparks Network (Red GEOLAC). As of 2019, it includes 7 UNESCO Global Geoparks and further projects are in progress seeking UNESCO status or that of national geopark in South America, Central America and the Caribbean

Continent and UNESCO-Region Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Africa is considered as the continent itself, including Northern African states that are defined under the Arabic States category in the UNESCO World Heritage Convent. Independent archipelagos are included (e.g. Seychelles), but island groups under European sovereignty (e.g. the Canary Islands) are excluded, as geoparks here are not part of the African Geoparks Network.
  2. ^ The list of geoparks in this article presents the members of the European Geoparks Network. Some members, like in the Canary Islands or in Turkey are situated outside Europe from a physical geographical viewpoint.
  3. ^ Mexico is member of the Latin American and the Caribbean Geoparks Network, therefore treated there. Greenland, although a territory of Denmark is treated under North America.
  4. ^ Latin America is considered here as the Latin America and the Caribbean region of the World Heritage Convention. Geoparks are currently not included in the Latin American Geoparks Network.[clarification needed]

Geopark list by country and continent[edit]

Many of the names in the list below[17] 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.[18][needs update?]

List by country/territory
Country/Territory Continent Geopark[A] Year included
Austria Europe Styrian Eisenwurzen 2004
Austria Europe Ore of the Alps 2014
Austria / Slovenia Europe Karawanken / Karavanke 2015
Belgium Europe Famenne-Ardenne[19] 2018[20]
Brazil South America Araripe 2006
Canada North America Cliffs of Fundy 2020[21]
Canada North America Discovery 2020[21]
Canada North America Percé[22] 2018[20]
Canada North America Stonehammer 2010
Canada North America Tumbler Ridge 2014
Chile South America Kütralkura 2019[23]
China Asia Alxa Desert 2009
China Asia Arxan 2017
China Asia Wangwushan-Daimeishan 2006
China Asia Danxiashan 2004
China Asia Fangshan[24] 2006
China Asia Funiushan 2006
China Asia Hexigten 2005
China Asia Guangwushan-Nuoshuihe[25] 2018[20]
China Asia Huanggang Dabieshan[26] 2018[20]
China Asia Jiuhuashan 2019[23]
China Asia Huangshan 2004
China Asia Jingpohu 2006
China Asia Keketuohai 2017
China Asia Leye-Fengshan 2010
China Asia Longhushan 2007
China Asia Mountain Lu 2004
China Asia Ningde 2010
China Asia Qinling 2009
China Asia Leiqiong 2006
China Asia Sanqingshan, Jiangxi 2012[27]
China Asia Shilin 2004
China Asia Songshan 2004
China Asia Taining 2005
China Asia Taishan 2006
China Asia Tianzhushan 2011[28]
China Asia Wudalianchi 2004
China Asia Xiangxi 2020[21]
China Asia Xingwen 2005
China Asia Yandangshan 2005
China Asia Yimengshan 2019[23]
China Asia Yuntaishan 2004
China Asia Zhangjiajie 2004
China Asia Zhangye 2020[21]
China Asia Zigong 2008
Croatia Europe Papuk 2007
Croatia Europe Vis Archipelago 2019[23]
Cyprus Europe Troodos 2015[29]
Czech Republic Europe Bohemian Paradise 2005
Denmark Europe Odsherred 2014
Ecuador South America Imbabura 2019[23]
Finland Europe Lauhanvuori-Hämeenkangas 2020[30]
Finland Europe Rokua 2010
France Europe Massif des Bauges 2011[28]
France Europe Beaujolais[31] 2018[20]
France Europe Causses du Quercy [fr; nl] 2017
France Europe Chablais 2012
France Europe Haute Provence 2004
France Europe Luberon 2005
France Europe Monts d'Ardèche 2014
Germany Europe Bergstrasse-Odenwald 2004
Germany Europe TERRA.vita 2004
Germany Europe Harz, Braunschweiger Land 2005
Germany Europe Swabian Alb 2005
Germany Europe Vulkaneifel 2004
Germany/Poland Europe Muskauer Faltenbogen / Łuk Mużakowa 2015
Greece Europe Lesvos 2004
Greece Europe Chelmos-Vouraikos 2009
Greece Europe Psiloritis 2004
Greece Europe Sitia 2015
Greece Europe Vikos-Aoos 2010
Greece Europe Kefalonia-Ithaca 2022
Hong Kong Asia Hong Kong 2011[28]
Hungary Europe Bakony-Balaton 2012[27]
Hungary/Slovakia Europe Novohrad - Nograd 2010
Iceland Europe Katla 2011[28]
Iceland Europe Reykjanes 2015
Indonesia Asia Batur, Bali 2012[27]
Indonesia Asia Rinjani Lombok[32][33] 2018[20]
Indonesia Asia Gunung Sewu, Java 2015
Indonesia Asia Ciletuh-Palabuhanratu Geopark[34] 2018[35][20]
Indonesia Asia Toba Caldera[36] 2020
Indonesia Asia Belitong 2021[37]
Iran Asia Qeshm Island 2017
Ireland Europe Burren and Cliffs of Moher 2011[28]
Ireland Europe Copper Coast 2004
Ireland/United Kingdom Europe Marble Arch Caves 2004
Italy Europe Alpi Apuani 2011[28]
Italy Europe Cilento and Vallo di Diano 2010
Italy Europe Madonie 2004
Italy Europe Beigua 2005
Italy Europe Parco Geominerario della Sardegna 2007
Italy Europe 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
Italy Europe Maiella 2021
Japan Asia Itoigawa 2009
Japan Asia Toya and Usu 2009
Japan Asia Unzen Volcanic Area 2009
Japan Asia San'in Kaigan 2010
Japan Asia Muroto 2011[28]
Japan Asia Oki Islands 2013[38]
Japan Asia Aso 2014[39]
Japan Asia Mt. Apoi 2015
Japan Asia Izu Peninsula[40] 2018[20]
Malaysia Asia Langkawi 2007
Malaysia Asia Kinabalu 2023[41]
Mexico North America Comarca Minera, Hidalgo 2017
Mexico North America Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca 2017
Morocco Africa M'Goun 2014
Netherlands Europe Hondsrug 2013
Nicaragua North America Rio Coco 2020[21]
Norway Europe Gea Norvegica 2006
Norway Europe Magma 2010
Norway Europe Trollfjell 2019
Peru South America Colca y Volcanoes de Andagua 2019[23]
Philippines Asia Bohol Island 2023[42]
Poland/Germany Europe Muskauer Faltenbogen / Łuk Mużakowa 2015
Portugal Europe Naturtejo da Meseta Meridional 2006
Portugal Africa Azores 2013
Portugal Europe Arouca 2009
Portugal Europe Estrela 2020[21]
Portugal Europe Terras de Cavaleiros 2015
Romania Europe Hateg 2005
Russian Federation Asia Yangan Tau 2020[21]
Serbia Europe Đerdap 2020[21]
Slovakia/Hungary Europe Novohrad-Nógrád 2010
Slovenia Europe Idrija 2013
Slovenia/Austria Europe Karawanken / Karavanke 2015
South Korea Asia Cheongsong 2017
South Korea Asia Hantangang 2020[21]
South Korea Asia Jeju Island 2010
South Korea Asia Mudeungsan Area[43] 2018[20]
Spain Europe Basque Coast Geopark 2010
Spain Europe Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park 2006
Spain Europe Central Catalonia 2012[27]
Spain Europe Conca de Tremp-Montsec[44] 2018[20]
Spain Europe Courel Mountains 2019[23]
Spain Europe Granada 2020[21]
Spain Africa El Hierro 2015
Spain Europe Las Loras 2017
Spain Europe Maestrazgo 2020[21]
Spain Europe Sierra Norte de Sevilla, Andalusia 2004
Spain Europe Sobrarbe-Pirineos 2006
Spain Europe Sierras Subbeticas 2006
Spain Europe Villuercas Ibores Jara 2011[28]
Spain Africa Lanzarote and Chinijos Islands 2015[29]
Spain Europe Molina & Alto Tajo 2014
Tanzania Africa Ngorongoro Lengai[45] 2018[20]
Thailand Asia Satun[46] 2018[20]
Thailand Asia Nakhon Ratchasima 2023
Turkey Asia Kula-Salihli* 2013 (2020)[21]
United Kingdom/Ireland Europe Cuilcagh Lakelands 2004
United Kingdom Europe North Pennines 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
United Kingdom Europe Black Country 2020
Uruguay South America Grutas del Palacio 2013
Vietnam Asia Non nuoc Cao Bang[47] 2018[20]
Vietnam Asia Dong Van Karst Plateau 2010
Vietnam Asia Dak Nong 2020[21]

Note * Kula Volcanic Geopark designated in 2013 was extended and renamed as Kula Salihli in 2020

Geoparks no longer in the GGN[edit]

Whilst the length of the list has grown year on year, some members drop out from time to time, either by choice or by failing the network's revalidation procedures. UNESCO Global Geoparks are given this designation for a period of four years after which the functioning and quality of each UNESCO Global Geopark is thoroughly re-examined during a revalidation process.[48]

Country/Territory Continent Geopark[A] Year included Ceased
United Kingdom Europe Lochaber 2007 2011[49]
Germany Europe Mecklenburg Ice Age Landscape 2005 ?
Australia Australasia Kanawinka 2008
Austria Europe Carnic Alps Geopark 2012


^ A. Names and spellings used for the elements were based on the official list as published.


  1. ^ a b "UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGp)". UNESCO. Retrieved 28 August 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Statutes and Operational Guidelines of the UNESCO Global Geoparks". UNESCO Global Geoparks. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  3. ^ "UNESCO names 18 new Global Geoparks". UNESCO. 24 May 2023.
  4. ^ UNESCO Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences
  5. ^ Global Geoparks Network
  6. ^ Application Guidelines and Self-Evaluation form for Membership in the Global Geoparks Network
  7. ^ "GEOfood: Geoparks, People, Nature and Food". Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  8. ^ "9th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks". 9th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks.
  9. ^ a b Errami, E.; Brocx, M.; Semeniuk, V. (2013). From geoheritage to geoparks: case studies from Africa and beyond. Heidelberg: Springer. pp. 3–23. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-10708-0_1.
  10. ^ "APGN Geoparks – Asia Pacific Geoparks Network". asiapacificgeoparks.org. Retrieved 2020-02-13.
  11. ^ "UNESCO Global Geoparks List|UNESCO". www.unesco.org. Retrieved 2020-02-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Waitaki Whitestone Geopark | Aotearoa New Zealand". Whitestone Geopark. Retrieved 2020-02-13.
  13. ^ Jones, Cheryl (2008). "History of Geoparks". Geological Society, London, Special Publications. 300 (1): 273–277. doi:10.1144/sp300.21. ISSN 0305-8719. S2CID 130588041.
  14. ^ "EGN - Member list". europeangeoparks.org. Retrieved 2022-11-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ "Aspiring Geoparks - Canadian Geoparks Network". canadiangeoparks.com. Retrieved 2020-01-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "Appalachian Geopark | Home". appalachiangeopark.wvu.edu. Retrieved 2020-01-22.
  17. ^ "404 Page Error-Global Network of National Geoparks". {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  18. ^ "List of Geoparks & Regional Networks". 20 January 2021.
  19. ^ "Famenne-Ardenne UNESCO Global Geopark". UNESCO. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m UNESCO Media Services 17 April 2018
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "UNESCO designates 15 new Geoparks in Asia, Europe, and Latin America". UNESCO. 10 July 2020. Retrieved July 11, 2020.
  22. ^ "Percé UNESCO Global Geopark". UNESCO. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g "Eleven sites and extensions in Asia, Europe, and South America receive UNESCO Global Geopark Label". unesco.org. UNESCO. April 17, 2019. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  24. ^ "Fangshan Geopark". globalgeopark.org. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  25. ^ "Guangwushan Nuoshuihe UNESCO Global Geopark". UNESCO. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  26. ^ "Huanggang Dabieshan UNESCO Global Geopark". UNESCO. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  27. ^ a b c d UN News Centre, 21 September 2012
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h UNESCO Media Services 19 September 2011
  29. ^ a b "Nine new sites added to Global Geoparks Network".
  30. ^ "UNESCO designates 15 new Geoparks in Asia, Europe, and Latin America". UNESCO. 10 July 2020. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  31. ^ "Beaujolais UNESCO Global Geopark". UNESCO. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  32. ^ "Unesco designates Mount Rinjani as global geopark". Antara News. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  33. ^ "Rinjani Lombok UNESCO Global Geopark". UNESCO. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  34. ^ "Ciletuh Palabuhanratu UNESCO Global Geopark". UNESCO. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  35. ^ "Ciletuh officially declared as UNESCO Global Geopark". Antara News. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  36. ^ "Toba Caldera Geopark" (PDF). UNESCO. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  37. ^ "Belitong Ditetapkan Sebagai Unesco Global Geopark | Portal Kementerian Luar Negeri Republik Indonesia". kemlu.go.id. Retrieved 2022-11-12.
  38. ^ "404 Page Error-Global Network of National Geoparks". {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  39. ^ "404 Page Error-Global Network of National Geoparks". {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  40. ^ "Izu Peninsula UNESCO Global Geopark". UNESCO. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  41. ^ "Kinabalu UNESCO Global Geopark". UNESCO. Retrieved 2023-05-30.
  42. ^ "Bohol Island UNESCO Global Geopark | UNESCO". www.unesco.org. Retrieved 2023-05-25.
  43. ^ "Mudeungsan Area UNESCO Global Geopark". UNESCO. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  44. ^ "Conca de Tremp Montsec UNESCO Global Geopark". UNESCO. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  45. ^ "Ngorongoro Lengai UNESCO Global Geopark". UNESCO. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  46. ^ "Satun UNESCO Global Geopark". UNESCO. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  47. ^ "Non nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO Global Geopark". UNESCO. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  48. ^ "Revalidation Process of UNESCO Global Geoparks". UNESCO. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  49. ^ Lochaber loses Unesco geopark status, BBC News, 17 November 2011

External links[edit]