History of the Geopark

European Geoparks Network (EGN)

Geopark Tethys 
Today we have the opportunity to develop a new model for geotourism in Greece. 
Within the framework of ESPA we are proposing the induction of an area within the regional boundaries of Grevena and Kozani into the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network. Members of the GGN are geographic areas where geological heritage is at the nexus of environmentalism, education and development.

European Geoparks Network
Established in June 2000. The network recommended 4 entities managing geologically significant areas in France, Spain, Germany and Greece.
Membership in the EGN is for four years, after which it may be reevaluated by an international committee. Today members include 64 sites in 22 countries. 

UNESCO Global Geoparks Network (GGN)
Established in June 2004. Members collaborate with each other and with governments, local communities and individuals to implement and advance methods of preservation, safeguarding, promotion and sustainable management of geologic heritage.  Today it includes 111 locales in 32 countries.

We are pleased to mention the four existing Geoparks of Greece:
  1. Petrified Forest of Lesvos (2000),
  2. Psiloreitis Nature Park (2001),
  3. Helmos National Park (2009) 
  4. National Preserve of Vikos-Aoos (2010).
Management of natural, cultural and scientific attractions is intended:
  1. To serve regional needs regarding geological heritage, research and preservation.
  2. We aim to attract both scientists and the wider public to the Geopark region and increase awareness about its standout geological wonders.
  3. It is our goal to expand and coordinate tourism in the Geopark region while utilizing existing infrastructure as much as possible.
  4. This affords various options for development in order to create a self-sustaining financial platform for managing the Geopark.

Finally, what is all this effort in aid of?  Our goals for the geopark are, preserving our geoheritage, promoting sustainable development, integrating educational programs, interpretive signs, booklets, nature centers etc., and Geotourism.  We emphasize local social and economic activities to stimulate and develop businesses promoting tourism, hospitality and visitor services.

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