Geoparks

A geopark is a territory comprising specific geological heritage and covered by a sustainable territorial development strategy. The geological sites have to be of sufficient quality and rareness in professional terms. A geopark focuses on the protection of the area, presentation of its values, education, and considerate tourist exploitation of the area. Any area of natural value and interest (of local or regional importance), particularly of geological interest, may become a geopark; examples include rock towns, karst areas, archaeological and palaeontological sites, volcanic phenomena, old mines and smelters, etc.

The intention to establish a geopark should originate largely by local population, who know best about the attractive sites in their area. The definition of a functioning and clear structure of the managing body, co-ordinating all activities within the geopark, is a crucial component of a geopark. A geopark project, aiming at set targets and progressively meeting them, has to be developed. Communication among all key partners within the geopark territory is an important tool for the success of the geopark. Neither the geopark nor its partners are allowed to participate in trade in geological material (minerals, fossils, precious stones in particular) in any way.