UNESCO names 18 new Geoparks



On 27 March 2024, during the 219th meeting held in Paris, France, UNESCO’s Ex­ecutive Board endorsed the ad­dition of 18 sites to the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network. This brings the total number of global geoparks to 213 in 48 countries.



With 194 Member States, the United Nations Educational, Sci­entific and Cultural Organization contributes to peace and security by leading multilateral coopera­tion on education, science, culture, communication and information. Headquartered in Paris, UNES­CO has offices in 54 countries and employs over 2,300 people. UN­ESCO oversees more than 2,000 World Heritage sites, Biosphere Reserves, and Global Geoparks; networks of Creative, Learning, Inclusive, and Sustainable Cities; and over 13,000 associated schools, university chairs, training, and research institutions. Its Direc­tor-General is Audrey Azoulay. “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed” – UNESCO Con­stitution, 1945.


About UNESCO Global Geoparks

The UNESCO Global Geopark designation was created in 2015. 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. By raising awareness of the impor­tance of the area’s geological her­itage in history and society today, UNESCO Global Geoparks gives local people a sense of pride in their region and strengthens 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. UN­ESCO Global Geoparks are given this designation for a period of four years, after which the functioning and quality of each UNESCO Glob­al Geopark is thoroughly re-exam­ined during a revalidation process.


The new geoparks are situat­ed in Brazil, China, Croatia, Den­mark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, and Spain. There is an additional new transboundary geopark spanning Belgium and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


The UNESCO Global Geopark designation was created in 2015. It recognizes geological herit­age of international significance. Geoparks serve local communities by combining the conservation of their significant geological herit­age with public outreach and a sus­tainable approach to development.


UNESCO continues to pro­mote the geopark concept in re­gions where geoparks are less common, notably in Africa, the Arab States, and Small Island De­veloping States. UNESCO does this by facilitating expert missions, tailored training sessions, and in­dividual consultations on both a national and local scale to guide the preparation of applications for UNESCO Global Geopark status. The newly designated UNESCO Global Geoparks are:


Belgium and the Kingdom of the Netherlands

1. Schelde Delta UNESCO Global Geopark

Schelde Delta UNESCO Glob­al Geopark holds a unique geolog­ical position between the sinking North Sea Basin and the rising Brabant Massif.



2. Uberaba UNESCO Global Geopark

Located within South Amer­ica’s second largest biome, in southeast Brazil, lies the Uberaba UNESCO Global Geopark.



3. Enshi Grand Can­yon-Tenglongdong Cave UNE­SCO Global Geopark

Enshi Grand Canyon-Ten­glongdong Cave UNESCO Global Geopark lies southwest of Hubei Province. The geopark is home to world-famous erosion and dis­solution landscapes and the rich cultural heritage of the Tujia, Miao, and Dong ethnic minority groups.


4. Linxia UNESCO Global Geopark

Linxia UNESCO Global Geopark is located in the Gansu Province. It features a landscape characterized by mid-high moun­tains, hills, and basins. The area played a significant role in Chi­na’s early historical and cultural development.


5. Longyan UNESCO Global Geopark

Longyan UNESCO Global Geopark offers a geological record of tectonic evolution in southeast China covering a period of approx­imately 300 million years.


6. Mount Changbaishan UNESCO Global Geopark

Located in the southeast Jilin Province, Mount Changbaishan UNESCO Global Geopark is like an open-air classroom for volcan­ism, with dramatic landforms and diverse rock types that document significant multiphase eruptions.


7. Wugongshan UNESCO Global Geopark

Wugongshan UNESCO Global Geopark is located at the junction of three cities, Pingxiang, Yichun, and Ji’an, in the west of Jiangxi Province.


8. Xingyi UNESCO Global Geopark

Located in Guizhou Province, Xingyi UNESCO Global Geopark is a geological treasure trove with imposing natural scenery, such as the Malinghe River Gorge, burst­ing with over 100 cascading water­falls during periods of heavy rain.



9. Biokovo-Imotski Lakes UNESCO Global Geopark

The Biokovo-Imotski Lakes UNESCO Global Geopark is sit­uated in central Dalmatia. It sits at a unique intersection of Medi­terranean and Central European landscapes and cultures.



10. The South Fyn Archipel­ago UNESCO Global Geopark

The South Fyn Archipelago UNESCO Global Geopark in the central and southern parts of the country encompasses both ter­restrial and marine zones that transcribe approximately 800,000 years of geological history.



11. Impact Crater Lake – Lappajärvi UNESCO Global Geopark

Impact Crater Lake - Lappa­järvi UNESCO Global Geopark is located in South Ostrobothnia, which is west of the country.



12. Armorique UNESCO Global Geopark

From the vertical cliffs of the Crozon Peninsula to the Arrée Mountains, the Armorique UN­ESCO Global Geopark offers a journey through more than 500 million years of geological history.


13. Normandie-Maine UN­ESCO Global Geopark

Normandie-Maine UNESCO Global Geopark lies within a peace­ful pastoral region that is rich in hamlets, villages and meadows and reaches into the departments of both Normandy and the Pays de la Loire.



14. Meteora Pyli UNESCO Global Geopark

Nestled within the pictur­esque Thessaly region at the centre of mainland Greece, the Meteora Pyli UNESCO Global Geopark is famed for the towering Meteora sandstone columns that reach heights of up to 300 metres.



15. Bükk Region UNESCO Global Geopark

The Bükk Region UNESCO Global Geopark in northern Hun­gary lies in one of the country’s most complex geological environ­ments. It comprises a near-con­tinuous sedimentary sequence spanning more than 300 million years, punctuated by periods of volcanic activity.



16. Land of Extinct Volca­noes UNESCO Global Geopark

Situated in the scenic south­west, the Land of Extinct Volca­noes UNESCO Global Geopark encompasses the Kaczawskie Mountains and surrounding foot­hills.



17. Oeste UNESCO Global Geopark

The Oeste UNESCO Global Geopark, located along Portugal’s central west coast, encompass­es over 72 kilometres of Atlantic coastline, with more than 15 kilo­metres of sandy beaches.



18. Calatrava Volcanoes. Ciudad Real UNESCO Global Geopark

Calatrava Volcanoes. Ciudad Real UNESCO Global Geopark is situated southwest of the auton­omous community of Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain.


Reference: UNESCO Press release, March 2024.