A geopark is described as an area that has a geological heritage. A geopark also aims at promoting public awareness of its geological area through tourism. On the other hand, a Global Geopark Network is an international non-profitable organization that aims at managing the various geoparks and promotes public awareness. The Global Geopark Network was established in 1998 and has been a significant organization responsible for controlling various Geoparks as discussed below.
Geoparks of North America
This geological park is located in Canada in the Southern parts of New Brunswick. It is believed that the landscape of this historic site was created through the collisions of continents, volcanoes, ice ages and the opening and closing of oceans. The geopark was discovered in 1857 when a group of men from Saint John formed a club known as the Steinhammer to study this location.
Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark
This historic park is also located in Canada. It contains records of sedimentary deposits found in the Foreland Basin of western Canada. Previous mountain formations have deformed the sedimentary deposits. The Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark is both a geological and a historical paleontological site. This site was the first Global Geopark in Western North America, and it was designated a full member of UNESCO in 2014.
This park is located in the eastern part of the Gaspe Peninsula on the east side of Quebec in Canada. The two different environments, i.e., marine and terrestrial environments, characterize the geopark. The terrestrial environment is made up of different reliefs while the marine environment contains a great variety of landscapes such as islands, cliffs, bays, and beaches. Perce Geopark is most recognized due to the presence of a gannet colony located on the Bonaventure Island, which is the largest gannet colony in the world. UNESCO also protects the Perce Geopark due to the rich cultural heritage and the presence of historic buildings.
Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca Geopark
This historic site is located in the Sierra Madre province situated in Mexico. It is a major tourist attraction due to the presence of the pre-Hispanic, contemporary, and Hispanic sites. The Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca Geopark was included as a geological site in 2017 by UNESCO.
Comarca Mineral, Hidalgo Geopark
This site is located in Mexico in the state of Hidalgo. The Comarca Mineral, Hidalgo Geopark is most recognized for its rugged reliefs. Volcanic eruptions experienced in this area produced various structures such as cinder cones, lava flows, and dacite domes. Due to the process of erosion and fracturing, these volcanic deposits have been sculpted to form beautiful rock formations such as those found in El Chico National Park. The establishment of this site dates back to as early as 1220. It was designated a national geological site by UNESCO in 2017.
Geoparks of South America
The Araripe Geopark is located in Brazil. This Geopark is a reserve that contains numerous fossil deposits and has been declared a cultural heritage site by UNESCO. It is famous for sporting activities such as rock climbing and abseiling. This site was established to preserve the ancient Chapada do Araripe natural wealth. Araripe Geopark was assimilated into the Global Network in 2006, and UNESCO recognizes it as an essential paleontological and geological heritage site.
Grutas del Palacio Geopark
This historic park is located in Uruguay. Various kinds of sediments and rocks represent this park. The geological features found in this place can be categorized as southern Proterozoic crystalline and the central Proterozoic crystalline. The Grutas del Palacio Geopark is mostly made up granites and granodiorites. It was included into UNESCO in 2013 to be a significant geological site.
Significance of Geoparks
Geoparks are essential since they contribute significantly to the process of having a community that has adequate skills and knowledge on the nature of the world. Through UNESCO, masses are educated on how to respond to geological dangers.