In the year 2000, four geologically interesting European regions – the island of Lesbos (Greece), Haute Provence (France), Maestrazgo (Spain) and the Vulkaneiffel (Germany) – joined forces to create the “European Geopark Network”. Their foremost goal was the preservation, protection and sustainable presentation of their unique geological heritage. Geoparks represent a link between preservation of a landscape and sustainable tourism use, thereby allowing the treasures of nature to emerge from the “sea of millions of years”.
This recipe for success has prevailed around the globe over the course of the last 20 years. Today, 141 Geoparks in 44 countries worldwide have joined with the “Global Geopark Network”. In the process, UNESCO, the organization tasked with providing umbrella protection to the world’s natural and cultural heritage, became aware of the Geoparks and added them to their UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015. also including the Austrian Geoparks in Styria, Carinthia and Salzburg. http://www.europeangeoparks.org/