The UNESCO Geoparks in the EGN/GGN network, such as Geopark “Ore of the Alps”, are areas of extraordinary geological uniqueness that are of international importance, and distinguished by broad geo-diversity. That said, other disciplines, such as botany, archaeology and cultural history, also play an important role. The collaboration between UNESCO Geoparks and Universities produce new scientific findings time and time again. A global Geopark is not a museum, but rather a workshop filled with fascinating nature experiences, certain to fascinate scientists and interested lay-persons alike. The scientific background is presented by means of readily comprehensible info boards, brochures, maps and books. Only through these does a Geopark truly begin to come alive.
The UNESCO Geopark “Ore of the Alps” has for a number of years lived the worldwide Geopark ideal, alongside our partners in Germany, national Geopark Inselsberg – Drei Gleichen in Thuringia, national Geopark Porphyrland in Saxony, as well as Austrian UNESCO Geoparks “Carnic Alps”, “Karawanken” and “Eisenwurzen”. The most important mission of all these Geoparks is the “preservation of geo-potential”, the “strengthening of regional development” as well as “environmental education and geo-tourism”. A Geopark is thus a designation, rather than an indication of a protected area such as a national park, nature park, nature reserve or natural monument. It may and should, of course, include similar features that are worthy of, and demand safeguarding (geotopes).