These are clearly defined and unified geographical areas where geological spaces and landscapes of international importance are managed, with all other heritage, under a holistic concept of conservation, education and dissemination. Promotion and sustainable development strategies are implemented. These strategies are innovative, inclusive, integrated and respectful of the territory’s identity. Development is carried out mainly through geotourism.

Geoparks follow bottom-up approach, which is one of their characteristic values. They are living areas where the inhabited communities and science collaborate in a mutually beneficial synergy.

UNESCO Global Geoparks

In no way should they be considered open-air museums, nor are they theme parks for specialists. There are no additional legal obligations or restrictions in relation to this type of park.

Geoparks work intensively to strengthen the links between geological and mining heritage and all other aspects linked to the natural, cultural and intangible heritage of the territory. All the while, they emphasise geodiversity as the basis on which all ecosystems are established and where human interaction with the landscape is reflected.

Geoparks are based on the following pillars: research, geoconservation, sustainable and lasting development and education at all levels, a key element; and they seek the progress of their inhabitants on the basis of a project that values the territory as a whole. These are projects in which it is essential to promote the society that welcomes them (involvement of the private sector, institutions, local associations and the administration), as well as to consolidate a sense of belonging. The high value of the tangible and intangible heritage they safeguard, the periodic evaluation, the networking, the bottom-up approach and the creation of the UNESCO International Geoscience and Geoparks Program in November 2015, guarantee the quality of the project and a great potential return to society.

Geoparks are not only about rocks, they’re also about people!

Photo below and cover photo: Torre del moro, Castellnou de Bages. | Gerard Franquesa

Cover photo: Torre del moro, Castellnou de Bages. | Gerard Franquesa