European Geoparks Network
The European Geoparks Network (EGN) was established in 2000 and initially consisted of four geopark territories in France, Germany, Greece, and Spain. The network has grown rapidly since and now comprises of almost 60 geoparks in more than 20 countries across Europe.
What does the EGN do?
The network aims to promote our shared geological heritage, to protect geodiversity, and to support sustainable economic development of geopark territories, mainly through the development of ‘geotourism’.
Although geology is the main focus in the promotion of geoparks, the natural and cultural heritage of an area is also very important. The involvement of local communities is essential to the success of the network.
A week long festival of events is held in geoparks across Europe in May/June each year. The programme includes outings, talks and activities, and is organised to promote understanding and appreciation of the Earth heritage.
Activities undertaken by geoparks include the establishment of:
- geological trails (both guided and non-guided)
- education tours
- school outreach days
- promotion of geological heritage to the wider tourism sector
The network is funded by its members and through collective bids for European Union funding for common projects.
Territories that qualify to join the EGN are awarded European Geopark status for four years only, after which time their membership is reviewed. This review procedure acts as a check to ensure standards of operation, infrastructure and services remain high across the network.
The EGN has made great advances in achieving its aims and is attracting increasing attention from communities across Europe as well as the wider geological community. To find out more about the EGN visit www.europeangeoparks.org
Global Geopark Network & UNESCO
Under an agreement with UNESCO, the EGN is also responsible for regulating the European membership of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network (GGN).