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Σάββατο, 22 Απριλίου 2017

At a GEOPARK, Every Day is Earth Day!

Fóssil em Penha Garcia
Geopark Naturteja da Meseta Meridional of Portugal, trace fossils from ~480 million year old “Trilobite Town” of Penha Garcia,  Geopark Naturtejo da Meseta Meridional

[By Dr Annie Rassios, PhD University of California ]

What is a Geopark?
BryceCanyon-Amphiteatre1
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah USA. It is not a canyon, but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters.

Well, in so many ways, nearly all the National Parks of Canada and the USA are Geoparks, as they celebrate many of the most gorgeous geologic/geomorphologic features on the face of the Earth.

But in 2000, in Europe, a new kind of “Geopark” came into being with the initiation of the European Geopark Network; and in 2004 they went international, a Global Geopark Network with a supportive link to UNESCO as well as the backing of the IUGS (International Union of Geological Sciences).


So, again, what is a Geopark?

The Lesvos Island UNESCO Global Geopark, former Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark, is a founding member of the Geoparks Network
It’s a special area, an area rich in geologic treasures, landscapes of “drop dead” beauty, an area that develops these treasures for education, conservation, and tourism. It’s an area that links some of the world’s most important geoheritage with the environment and history hosted by the geoscientific treasures. And a Geopark is an area that aims to be economically self-sustaining while aiding the regional economy.

Phongnhakebang2
Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Central Vietnam
Sound too good to be true? There are, in fact, 133 Geoparks scattered about the globe, many in the movement’s birthplace of Europe, many in China and Southeast Asia, and new ones dotting the map of South America and Africa. There have been 13 proposed for inclusion in 2015, and the movement is growing!

So if you get the chance, do try to visit one of the Geoparks near you! And if there isn't one (New Zealand and Australia -- we're talking to you, here!), it's about time to start one!

UNESCO and the Global Geoparks:http://bit.ly/1dQbdqO

The European Geoparks: http://www.europeangeoparks.org/

Some Geoparks you’ll recognize from The Earth Story;

http://bit.ly/1DbMMBm

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cheishichiyo/6404221835/

And our “aspiring” Geopark: http://www.geoparktethys.com/search/label/Collection

Our Geopark is now called -- Geopark Grevena-Kozani: Birthplace of Tethys. For short, we could go by "Gre-Ko" though the residents like Tethys, our patron Greek Titan!