Pedra Branca (White Stone) Canyon


What is a Geopark?

A Geopark is an area with clearly defined boundaries, where sites and landscapes of international geological relevance, combined with other natural and cultural assets of the region, are integrated into territorial development strategies involving nature conservation, education (formal and informal) and the promotion of economic development, in particular through tourism.

With a bottom-up approach to partnership and participatory management, it aims to combine nature conservation with the principles of sustainable development involving the local communities.

By raising awareness to the importance of conserving and valuing the sites and landscapes which serves as a record of key aspects and stages in Earth's geological history (geological heritage) and the historical and cultural diversity of the people living there, geoparks contribute to a sense of pride of the region and strengthen the identification of people with this territory.

In order to create opportunities and improve the living conditions of the people that inhabit this region, a geopark must be based on the following principles:

Strong community involvement

Commitment of the government

Collaboration of local entrepreneurs

What are benefits to the territory?

  • CONSERVATION of the geological heritage;
  • EDUCATION for sustainability;
  • Appreciation of the CULTURAL HERITAGE;
  • Integrated development of TOURISM;
  • Generation of EMPLOYMENT and INCOME for the local population;
  • VISIBILITY and PROMOTION of the region;

UNESCO Global Geopark

Successful international initiative that emerged in the early 21st century and culminated in 2015 with the creation of a new title, the UNESCO Global Geopark.

It reinforces the importance of promoting conservation combined with sustainable economic development of sites and landscapes that record key aspects and stages in the geological history of the Earth, our geological heritage!

UNESCO Global Geoparks work closely with the Global Geoparks Network, a non-profit, non-governmental organization that contributes to the exchange of experiences and cooperation among its members.

Collaboration and networking are important components for both aspiring and UNESCO Global Geoparks. The Global Geoparks Network also promotes cooperation in regional networks, especially the Global Geoparks Network of UNESCO for Latin America and the Caribbean (Red GeoLAC).

In 2019 UNESCO Global Geoparks reached 147 members, distributed in 41 countries. Of this total, 7 are located in Latin America, with Araripe Geopark being the the only one in Brazil so far, and with Caminhos dos Cânions do Sul as an Aspiring Geopark.

Distribution map of UNESCO Global Geoparks.

Adapted. Click to enlarge.

Original in