Welcome to The Australian Geoparks Network
What is a Geopark?
Geoparks are primarily geological areas which have unique or interesting features. They were created by a branch of the United Nations called the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which focuses on environmental sustainability and conservation.
The geological importance of a Geopark is the foundation for the park to act as a catalyst for regional socioeconomic development via geotourism. This development will be fueled by the conservation and education of the significant geological features. A key aspect of Geoparks is that they are driven from the grassroots throughout the development process which has numerous benefits over a top down approach. A major benefit of this approach is that important decisions regarding the Geopark will be made by people who have a long lasting commitment to and knowledge of the region as local members of the community.
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. Their bottom-up approach of combining conservation with sustainable development while involving local communities is becoming increasingly popular. At present, there are 127 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 35 countries. They are all institutional members of the Global Geoparks Network.
While Australia does not currently have any Geoparks, there are numerous Geoparks in numerous states which are either interested in creating Geoparks or already in the developmental process.
In response to this Australian Geopark activity, a website showcasing these nascent Geoparks ought to be created to both generate interest and be a source of reliable information.
Geoparks are the vehicle for:
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