UNESCO has approved the launch of 15 new Geoparks in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Thus, the total Geopark is 161 spread in 44 countries. Here are 15 new Geoparks launched by UNESCO, but first you have to know the term Geopark:
What is Geopark?
Geopark is quite different from the national park, the national park itself is a conservation area that protects all the habitats and ecosystems in it. Therefore, sometimes, national parks can be closed with an indefinite period for ecosystem improvement and so on.
Geopark is not just a matter of ecosystem conservation. According to the website of knowledge office – Geopark is an area that has geological elements, where local people are invited to play a role in protecting and enhancing the function of natural heritage, including archaeological, ecological, and cultural values in it.
15 The Latest Best Global Geopark (2020)
UNESCO Global Geopark (Canada) Cliff Fundy
Located on the north coast of the Minas Basin in Nova Scotia, Canada, Geopark features a variety of hilly, mountain, valley, dense forested areas and coastal swamps. Biodiversity owned by this site, including rare birds, fungi, and plants.
The Minas Basin, a bay that is known to have the highest tides on Earth, is a part of the Geopark that features exposure to the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, the largest outpouring of lava in Earth’s history, early dinosaur fossils and much more.
The original inhabitants of the region, called The Mi’kmaq, have lived in the area for thousands of years, making it one of the earliest known human settlement sites in northeast North America.
UNESCO Global Geopark (Indonesia) Toba Caldera
Located on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, the Toba Caldera has formed from a devastating volcanic eruption 74,000 years ago. The caldera water basin is the largest volcanic lake in Indonesia and is located at an altitude of 904 masl. The large island of Samosir which emerges from the lake is located in the middle of hills, mountains, and plains.
The formation of these lakes caused the appearance of plain rocks, making it possible for scientists to study what was once part of the Gondwana Mega Continent. The Toba Batak houses, Simalungun, Karo, and Pakpak residents, the area has a rich cultural heritage that can be explored by visiting traditional houses and museums located in the Geopark.
Xiangxi UNESCO Global Geopark (China)
Located in the interior of the Wuling Mountains in Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture (Hunan Province) bears witness to rich human history, starting from the Paleolithic era and displaying 160 cultural sites from the Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages.
The area is now largely inhabited by minority ethnicities Tujia and Miao, early residents who lived in the Xiangxi Prefect, where its history and culture gave rise to unique customs. This area is also known for its Red Stones Forest, Dehang Grand Canyon, Zuolong Valley, and many spectacular waterfalls.
UNESCO Global Geopark Discovery (Canada)
Located in Newfoundland, Labrador, in eastern Canada, UNESCO’s Global Geopark encompasses more than 280 km of rocky coastline filled with extraordinary views of caves, arches, and sea stacks. This area is entirely located on the Avalon interval of Appalachian Orogen which is dominated by a complex collection of Neoproterozoic sedimentary rocks, volcanoes, and plutonic rocks.
Estrela UNESCO Global Geopark (Portugal)
Located in the center of the country, Geopark is named after the Serra Estrela mountains. During the Pleistocene, an ice field developed above the plateau, creating features that endowed the area with its unique geological characteristics: glacier deposits such as the Lagoa Seca mora plane, and glacier landscapes, such as the Zêzere valley of ice.
Estrela Geopark also presents various forms of significant granite weathering such as the Cov vão do Boi granite column. A large set of tor-like granite columns controlled by a dense orthogonal fracture network. Along with various large shapes including inselberge (isolated hills or mountains that emerge suddenly from a field) and smaller, mushroom-shaped formations.
Yangan-Tau UNESCO Global Geopark (Russia)
Located in the Salavat District in the northeastern Republic of Bashkortostan, this area is famous for its geological diversity, flora and fauna, and cultural traditions. Three main geological structures that play a role in this geopark variety are the Eastern European Platform, the Uralian Foredeep, and the Ural Mountains.
One of the remarkable geological features of this Geopark is the Mount Yangantau with unique thermal anomalies, creating geothermal springs without the presence of magmatic activity. Other important features include lowland peat swamps, karst caves, Kurganzak springs, Keselyaroyo sulfur springs, and Mechetlino sections.
Rio Coco UNESCO Global Geopark (Nicaragua)
Located north of Nicaragua, the Rio Coco Geopark is part of a series of mountain centers featuring views of the hills and plains with small valleys. The elevated and damaged topography in this area offers an observation point and panoramic views of various ongoing tectonic phenomena, given arable land, upland springs, and cloud forests.
This area is home to three symbolic trees: the ‘Tere Armijo’ almond tree, the Guapino tree, and the 500-year-old Golden Ceiba, which is certainly sacred to the Mayans. This area has a rich history, marked by Taguzgalpa relics, with many pre-Hispanic settlements and some examples of cave art.
The Spanish conqueror founded the Cudjoe gold mine in Rio Coco and built the parish church of Santa Maria de Magdalena in Totogalpa (18th and 19th centuries).
Lauhanvori-Hameenkangas UNESCO Global Geopark (Finland)
This Geopark located in the west of the country of Finland consists of a landscape of pure mud that is very well maintained, which is enriched by many glacier and bedrock formations. Illustrated like the story of the ancient development of the area from mountain landscapes to landscapes marked by mires and forests.
The first signs of human habitation in the region were found in a ‘wolf cave’, one of the northernmost locations with remnants of Neanderthals (Primates). In the 16th century CE, many new invitations left Neanderthal traces on local culture. However, many of the old traditions have been preserved, including the manufacture of sahti, beer made from seeds.
Challenge of UNESCO Global Geopark (Republic of Korea)
Located in the central part of the Korean Peninsula, this Geopark displays unique volcanic views of deep valleys, basalt cliffs, columnar connections, and waterfalls that formed at the end of the Quaternary, after the eruption of Mount Ori, which releases lava flows between parallel mountain ranges. Along the Hantan Valley, which later created the Lava Cheorwon Plateau.
The Hantan River then erodes new paths through the lava plains and develops its unique volcanic topography. This region has a wealth of cultural and archaeological sites including Jeongok-RI, which originated from the Stone Age, as well as evidence about. The importance of strategies for trade and war.
Zhangye Global Geopark UNESCO
This Geopark is located in Zhangye City, Gansu Province, which is an important city on the Ancient Silk Road, a trade route between China and the West. 577 Geopark cultural sites witness the history of the city, which is home to some ethnic minority groups, including Yugur with a different lifestyle culture.
The beauty of the most prominent Geopark in Geopark in this region is the existence of colorful hills, for example, the Danxia land which is formed by sandstone with various colors.
Djerdap UNESCO Global Geopark (Serbia)
This Geopark is in the northeast of the country where it has an abundant geological diversity, which includes the oldest Proterozoic rocks to the youngest Quaternary sediments. The most striking natural phenomenon in this Geopark is the Djerdap valley, the longest valley in Europe.
The valley was carved by the Danube which also forms a direct view of karst from tunnel caves, karst springs, and natural bridges, such as Vratna’s natural bridge. Occupied since the early Mesolithic, this area is home to a rich cultural heritage that includes prehistoric sites (Lepenski Vi and Rudna Glava), Roman relics, medieval fortresses, old traditional houses, churches, and monasteries.
Today, the villages there are inhabited by Serbs and Vlachs, two groups with different cultures and ways of life, who have created several mixed traditions for centuries.
Located in southwestern Spain and surrounded by some of the highest mountains on the Iberian Peninsula, the area contains rock evidence from the geological history of active rivers and lakes. It is marked by an extraordinary record of Quaternary continental deposits that erode and form valleys.
This process creates a unique troglodytic landscape, with a single type of traditional cave house, inhabited since the Middle Ages. Now the location is used as accommodation, restaurants, interpretation centers, wine cellars, and so forth. The area is also famous for its many archaeological sites that display the rich historical, artistic and cultural heritage in the region.
Maestrazgo UNESCO Global Geopark (Spain)
In the province of Teruel, inside the Aragon branch to the west of the Iberian mountains, the vast Geopark region covers 43 cities. It builds heritage in various landscapes, home to historical wealth.
Two of the most prominent geological highlights of Geopark are the Jurassic-Cretaceous dinosaur site in Galve, where the first dinosaurs in Spain were found. There is the Mesozoic series in the Maestrazgo region, one of the whole exposures of the Cretaceous geological history of the Iberian Mountains.
The Black Country UNESCO Global Geopark (United Kingdom)
The UNESCO Black Country Geopark is a special urban landscape in the heart of England with geology spanning 428 years which is famous for its well-preserved fossils. Britain is also rich in coal, iron, and limestone, resources that inspire discovery and innovation.
It also places this end at the center of the Industrial Revolution, which continues to shape the modern world. Geopark offers a diverse range of Geocytes including landscapes, national and local nature reserves, unused mines, museums, spectacular collections, many historic buildings, and so on.
Dak Nong Global Geopark UNESCO (Vietnam)
Located in Dak Nong Province, in the Central Highlands, volcanic activity several tens of thousands of years ago has bestowed spectacular craters, majestic waterfalls, and hundreds of amazing volcanic systems in Southeast Asia.
Its geological morphology and various soil and climate conditions are home to a variety of biodiversity and ecosystems, including endemic endangered species. Dak Nong was originally inhabited by three indigenous peoples, M’Nong, Ma, and Ede. Following the influx of immigrants in the late 1970s, this place has become the home of more than 40 ethnic groups and places of rich diversity.