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GEOPARKS MANAGEMENT AND ASSESSMENT

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N. Zouros, I. Valiakos
N. Zouros, I. Valiakos

Abstract


Established in 2000, the European Geoparks Network (EGN), comprising 35 members (November 2009), aims to protect geodiversity, to promote geological heritage to the general public as well as to support sustainable economic development of geopark territories primarily through the development of geological tourism. All requests for recognition as a “European Geopark” must be submitted by the organisation in charge of managing the area. The application dossier includes precise information dealing with identification of the zone, scientific description of the existing geoheritage, management body, management plan, infrastructure, educational and promotional activities, sustainable development policy instituted and geo-tourism. Membership of the EGN is for a period of four years after which membership is reviewed and assessed. The first revalidation procedure occurred during 2004 and since then has helped to keep all Geopark operations, infrastructure and services at a high quality level. The revalidation process involves a field visit by two independent evaluators nominated by the EGN and UNESCO. Assessment methodology examines the progress in geological heritage protection and promotion as well as the development of sustainable economic activity within each territory. However it also takes into account the Geopark’s degree of active participation in international collaboration and networking.

Keywords


Geoparks management; evaluation assessment methodology; European Geoparks Network;

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References


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