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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.

While a UNESCO Global Geopark must demonstrate geological heritage of international significance, the purpose of a UNESCO Global Geopark is to explore, develop and celebrate the links between that geological heritage and all other aspects of the area's natural, cultural and intangible heritages. It is about reconnecting human society at all levels to the planet we all call home and to celebrate how our planet and its 4,600 million year long history has shaped every aspect of our lives and our societies

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UNESCO

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in education, sciences and culture. UNESCO's programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

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International Geoscience and Geoparks programme (IGGP)

Following of the endorsement of the Member States, UNESCO’s International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme (IGGP) is implemented through two co-operative ventures with the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and the Global Geoparks Network. IGCP and UGGp Councils coordinate their work through a shared UNESCO Secretariat and joint coordination meetings of their respective bureau which convene as necessary. The chairpersons of the two respective Councils co-chair the IGGP.

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Global Geoparks Network

The Global Geoparks Network (GGN), is a non-profit International Association officially established in 2014 subject to French legislation. The Global Geoparks Network is the official partner of UNESCO for the operation of the UNESCO Global Geoparks.

The GGN was initially founded in 2004 as an international partnership developed under the umbrella of UNESCO and serves to develop models of best practice and set quality-standards for territories that integrate the protection preservation of Earth heritage sites in a strategy for regional sustainable economic development.

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Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO)

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) helps Canadians share knowledge locally and globally in order to create better societies and build peace in the minds of men and women. To do so, the Commission facilitates cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture, communication and information to address some of the most complex challenges facing the world today. With its initiatives and networks, CCUNESCO supports the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other UNESCO priorities. The Commission operates under the authority of the Canada Council for the Arts.

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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. 

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OUR MISSION

To connect people with the Earth and its natural and cultural heritage by supporting a network of UNESCO Global Geoparks that promote sustainable communities.

OUR VISION

A thriving community of sustainable UNESCO Global Geoparks that inspire Canadians and people from around the world.

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ENGAGE

with people that align with our Mission, Vision, and Values.

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FOSTER

the growth of geoparks and promote their value to communities.

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OPERATE

at the highest standards exemplifying organizational excellence.

OUR VALUES

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THERE ARE CURRENTLY 5 UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARKS IN CANADA

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CLIFFS OF FUNDY

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DISCOVERY

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STONEHAMMER

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PERCÉ

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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.

Learn more on how to become a geopark here

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CHARLEVOIX

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TEMISKAMING
RIFT VALLEY

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NIAGARA
PENINSULA

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FIRE & ICE

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GEORGIAN BAY

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CABOX

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BIG IMPACT
SUDBURY