WHAT IS A UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARK?
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. A UNESCO Global Geopark uses its geological heritage, in connection with all other aspects of the area’s natural and cultural heritage, to enhance awareness and understanding of key issues facing society, such as using our earth’s resources sustainably, mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing natural disasters-related risks. By raising awareness of the importance of the area’s geological heritage in history and society today, UNESCO Global Geoparks give local people a sense of pride in their region and strengthen their identification with the area. The creation of innovative local enterprises, new jobs and high-quality training courses is stimulated as new sources of revenue are generated through geotourism, while the geological resources of the area are protected.
The Canadian Geoparks Network
(formerly Canadian National Committee for Geoparks)
The Canadian National Committee for Geoparks (CNCG) is a national committee that was formed in 2009 under the auspices of the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences (CFES) to address the need for coordination of UNESCO Global Geopark applications from Canada. The CNCG became the Canadian Geoparks Network (CGN) in 2019 and it is now a committee under the auspices of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.
There are currently seven aspiring geoparks
at varying levels of readiness to submit a formal application to become a geopark. The network has established guidelines governing the process by which Canadian communities can aspire to UNESCO Global Geopark status and it assists those communities to improve their applications that ultimately go to UNESCO Headquarters. The CGN conducts site visits prior to applications being sent to UNESCO and advises on the strengths and shortcomings of aspiring geoparks in Canada.
Our goal is to make Canadian applications to UNESCO as good as they can possibly be.