The UK’s Global Geoparks came together last month for the first time since becoming a formal UNESCO designation.
The newly-named UK Committee for UNESCO Global Geoparks convened at the Marble Arch Caves in Enniskillen, the UK’s first Global Geopark that straddles the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The dynamic team behind the Marble Arch Caves led a series of site visits across the Geopark’s rolling hills, rugged coastline and ancient caves to share their expertise and knowledge on how they have interpreted and presented the stunning landscape that dates back 650 million years.
During the meeting, the UKNC led a seminar on its latest research on the Wider Value of UNESCO to the UK and its recommendations on how the UK’s Global Geoparks can make the most of their new UNESCO status. The UK Committee for UNESCO Global Geoparks considered the applications of the UK’s aspiring UNESCO Geoparks and also reviewed and refined the way in which the new Global Geopark application process will be applied in the UK. Overall, the meeting was an opportunity to share best practice and identify an action plan for working in partnership to strengthen the UK’s national offer of UNESCO Global Geoparks.
The UK is hosting the International Global Geoparks conference in September 2016 in the English Riviera Global Geopark. Trails will be organised in the other six Geoparks to encourage local delegates to stay in the UK after the conference and explore all that the UK has to offer in internationally significant geological heritage and its connection to cultural and intangible heritage.