Global Geoparks Network - A UNESCO Supported International Programme

Global Geoparks Network

In 2004, with the support of UNESCO's Earth Sciences Division, the Global Geoparks Network (GGN) was formed. The GGN selects its members from National Geoparks which exhibit a particularly high value of geological heritage and activity of global significance. The network promotes the exchange of information and supports the administration of member Geoparks from its offices within UNESCO's Department of Earth Sciences.
As of February 2016, the Global Geoparks Network consists of 120 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 33 countries on five continents around the globe.
In November 2015, the Global Geoparks Network was elevated to the status of an official UNESCO program alongside UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves. This recognition has had a profound and lasting effect on the Global Geoparks Network by legitimizing our efforts and empowering our network and member regions

How Japanese Geoparks Join the GGN

Regions within Japan which desire to develop Geoparks of their own apply to the Japanese Geoparks Council, which inspects and certifies members of the Japanese Geoparks Network. Japanese National Geoparks which would like to be considered for Global Geopark Certification can apply to the Global Geoparks Network through the Japanese Geoparks Council. In accordance to the Global Geopark Network Guidelines, the Japanese Geoparks Council offered 3 Geoparks for consideration its first year, and has selected two Geoparks for review each year since. Upon receiving recommendations from the Council, the GGN Bureau performs both onsite inspections and document reviews of the candidate Geoparks and announces final judgment at that years Geoparks Conference.

▸About the Japanese Geoparks Network

Requirements for Joining the GGN

When applying to join the Global Geoparks Network, Geoparks are asked to first provide a detailed self evaluation. In this self evaluation, Candidate Geoparks must provide detailed information not about the geological heritage and value offered by the Geopark, but also information about the Geoparks management, financial stability, and organizational structure. The GGN Bureau considers these factors as well as the value of the local natural heritage, the quality of the region's infrastructure, the availability of maps, guidebooks, and other printed materials, as well as cooperation with educational institutions and other organizations.

Information about the Conservation of Geological Heritage

Global Geoparks Charter (English and Japanese) download

The Global Geoparks Network promotes the reliable protection and conservation of the regional natural and cultural heritage of member regions in accordance with each Geopark's national laws and regulations.
However, the Geopark Model does not end with conservation and protection! One of the most important features of the Geopark Model, and one fundamental difference separating it from World Heritage Sites, is the goal of creating sustainable regional societies. To this end, Geoparks work with local communities to promote ways to make use of our shared geological heritage in sustainable ways. The Global Geoparks Network has created guidelines for this and continues to promote such development within its member Geoparks.

Japanese Geoparks Council homepage - guidelines (Japanese)
Global Geoparks Charter (English and Japanese)

Links for the Global Geoparks Network