What is a UNESCO GLOBAL Geopark?

In November 2015, UNESCO (the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture) announced the creation of UNESCO Global Geoparks. This is the first new UNESCO designation of its kind to be established in over 40 years and puts Global Geoparks alongside UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Previously operating with the informal support of UNESCO, the status of Global Geoparks is now formally recognised under the new programme.

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. Their bottom-up approach of combining conservation with sustainable development while involving local communities is becoming increasingly popular. At present, there are 119 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 33 countries.

Geoparks in Scotland:
Northwest Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark
Lochaber Geopark (applying for UNESCO Global Geopark status)
UNESCO Global Geopark Shetland