Workshops & Case Study Courses

SWS Society hold the strong belief that supporting the development of young specialists is a care for our future as a kind. Therefore, providing better educational and professional opportunities for the youth is one of our main concerns


Workshop: Geo Parks Assessments

UNESCO Global Geoparks in Russia, Azerbaijan, Sweden and EU countries

June/December 2021
part of the PLATFORM Methods Course
Case Study presentation: up to 5 ECTS credits


Contacts: Rod Stevens, [email protected]
Alexander Ivanov [email protected]
Course website:https://kermitcooperation.wixsite.com/platform

Overview

Geoparks are created around objects of geological heritage of global importance. UNESCO Global Geoparks are unique, unified geographic areas where sites and landscapes of international geological importance are managed through an integrated vision of education, research, sustainable socio-economic development and heritage conservation. Global Geoparks are sources of unique knowledge of special value.

These are primarily earth sciences, economics, culture, including the culture of nature management. The Geopark takes into account the social and economic needs of the local population, protects the landscape in which they live and preserves their cultural identity. Local customs and local knowledge, practices and management systems should be incorporated along with science in the planning and management of the area.

Geological heritage of international importance must be confirmed by independent experts [Statutes and Operational Guidelines of the UNESCO Global Geoparks].

UNESCO Global Geoparks Include Criteria

  • (i) UNESCO Global Geoparks must be single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education, research and sustainable development.
    A UNESCO Global Geopark must have a clearly defined border, be of adequate size to fulfill its functions and contain geological heritage of international significance as independently verified by scientific professionals.
  • (ii) UNESCO Global Geoparks should use that heritage, in connection with all other aspects of that area’s natural and cultural heritage, to promote awareness of key issues facing society in the context of the dynamic planet we all live on, including but not limited to increasing knowledge and understanding of: geoprocesses; geohazards; climate change; the need for the sustainable use of Earth’s natural resources; the evolution of life and the empowerment of indigenous peoples.
  • (iii) UNESCO Global Geoparks should be areas with a management body having legal existence recognized under national legislation. The management bodies should be appropriately equipped to adequately address the area of the UNESCO Global Geopark in its entirety.
  • (iv) In the case where an applying area overlaps with another UNESCO designated site, such as a World Heritage Site or Biosphere Reserve, the request must be clearly justified and evidence must be provided for how UNESCO Global Geopark status will add value by being both independently branded and in synergy with the other designations.
  • (v) UNESCO Global Geoparks should actively involve local communities and indigenous peoples as key stakeholders in the Geopark. In partnership with local communities, a co-management plan needs to be drafted and implemented that provides for the social and economic needs of local populations, protects the landscape in which they live and conserves their cultural identity. It is recommended that all relevant local and regional actors and authorities be represented in the management of a UNESCO Global Geopark. Local and indigenous knowledge, practice and management systems should be included, alongside science, in the planning and management of the area.
  • (vi) UNESCO Global Geoparks are encouraged to share their experience and advice and to undertake joint projects within the GGN. Membership of GGN is obligatory.
  • (vii) A UNESCO Global Geopark must respect local and national laws relating to the protection of geological heritage. The defining geological heritage sites within a UNESCO Global Geopark must be legally protected in advance of any application. At the same time, a UNESCO Global Geopark should be used as leverage for promoting

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the protection of geological heritage locally and nationally. The management body must not participate directly in the sale of geological objects such as fossils, minerals, polished rocks and ornamental rocks of the type normally found in so-called “rockshops” within the UNESCO Global Geopark (regardless of their origin) and should actively discourage unsustainable trade in geological materials as a whole. Where clearly justified as a responsible activity and as part of delivering the most effective and sustainable means of site management, it may permit sustainable collecting of geological materials for scientific and educational purposes from naturally renewable sites within the UNESCO Global Geopark. Trade of geological materials based on such a system may be tolerated in exceptional circumstances, provided it is clearly and publicly explained, justified and monitored as the best option for the Global Geopark in relation to local circumstances. Such circumstances will be subject to approval by the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council on a case by case basis.

Before documents on the inclusion of a Geopark in the UNESCO global system of Geoparks are prepared and sent to UNESCO, it is necessary to develop recommendations for managing the socio-economic development of the territory and creating a comfortable environment. This is the preliminary step that a region or state must take in order to demonstrate the economic viability of the concept of transforming an existing territory into a Global Geopark.

In particular, the following questions need to be answered: Can tourism and handicrafts be made sustainable sectors of the economy? Will irreparable damage to heritage sites be caused by an increase in economic and social activity?
Actually it is necessary to complete the Case Study based on the Platform project methodology.

For the examination of the proposed Case Study, experts from SGEM, Partners from Sweden, Russia and Azerbaijan, as well as all interested specialists regardless of nationality are invited. At the same time, by the experts of the Platform project, an important additional task will be solved- the identification of Geological Heritage sites as a core of Geoparks in Russia, Azerbaijan, Sweden and other European countries.

We welcome everyone who wants to enjoy the magical symbiosis of all fields of Science! Become our partner, enrich your research experience and reap the benefits of extensive cooperation with distinguished scientists from all around the world.

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