History

The European Geoparks Network was established in June 2000 by four Geoparks:

  • Reserve Geologique de Haute-Provence – France
  • Natural History Museum of Lesvos Petrified Forest – (Island of Lesvos) Greece
  • Geopark Gerolstein/Vulkaneifel – Germany and
  • Maestrazgo Cultural Park – Spain

Main objective of the cooperation between Geoparks is the protection of geological heritage and the promotion of sustainable development of their territories in Europe.

The above listed Geoparks signed a convention on Lesvos Island, Greece in June 2000 declaring the creation of the European Geoparks Network. The purpose of this general designation was to share information and expertises, as well as definition of common tools.

The Network owns the “European Geopark” trademark registered within all countries in the European Community.

In April 2001 the Network signed with UNESCO (Division of Earth Sciences) an official agreement of collaboration placing the Network under the auspices of the organization.

In October 2005 the Network in the frame of the existing agreement of collaboration  with UNESCO (Division of Earth Sciences) signed an official declaration (Madonie declaration) according to which the EGN is recognized as the official branch of the UNESCO – Global Geoparks Network in Europe. With this declaration UNESCO recognize that the European geoparks Network is a reference to follow for the creation of  similar Continental Networks of Geoparks worldwide.

Here are some of the important and historic dates which mark the steps of the Network’s formation.

3-5 June 2000

SIGNATURE of the CONVENTION of the CREATION of the EUROPEAN GEOPARK LABEL
Lesvos (Greece)

During a ceremony organised in Mytilene in the presence of representatives of  the Greek government and the press, the representatives of the four founding territories signed the convention defining the usage of the European Geopark label, its conditions and attributes and its constitutional charter.

This highly publicized ceremony was the stimulus of the configuration of the large Network of today.

October 2000

1st ANNUAL MEETING of the EUROPEAN GEOPARKS NETWORK
Maestrazgo Cultural park

During the first annual conference, organized in Molinos, Teruel, Spain it was announced the establishment of EGN and the procedure to welcome new members in the Network

20 April 2001

SIGNATURE of the CONVENTION  of COOPERATION between UNESCO and the EUROPEAN GEOPARKS NETWORK
Parc Cabo de Gata (Spain)

This signing took place on the occasion of the opening ceremony  of  a transnational meeting on the “Management of protected natural spaces and sustainable development” organised by the Junta of Andalucia in partnership with the Regional Council of Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur in the frame of the  INTERREG IIC programme.

This convention defines the basis of the partnership between the two signatories.

This convention was marked by the presence of the Andalucian Minister  of the Environment and the Vice President of the Regional Counsel PACA, by Mr. Wolfgang EDER, Director of the UNESCO’s department of Earth Sciences and Mr. Henri Carbuccia, Adjoint to the mayor of Digne and President of the Réserve Géologique de Haute Provence, representative of the Network.

October 2001

2nd ANNUAL MEETING of the EUROPEAN GEOPARKS NETWORK  - FIRST CEREMONY for the INTEGRATION of NEW MEMBERS into the EUROPEAN GEOPARKS NETWORK (5-10-2001)
Lesvos (Greece)

This event was organised in the newly opened  Natural History Museum of the Petrified Forest in the presence of politicians and the press.

The representatives of the twelve first territories received their distinction from delegates of the Greek government.

October 2002

3rd ANNUAL MEETING of the EUROPEAN GEOPARKS NETWORK
Kamptal Geopark (Austria)

Welcome of three new members. EGN has already 15 members.

October 2003

4th ANNUAL MEETING of the EUROPEAN GEOPARKS NETWORK
Psiloritis Geopark (Greece)

Welcome of two new members. EGN has already 17 members.

February 2004

ESTABLISHMENT of the  GLOBAL GEOPARKS NETWORK
Paris (France)

In February 2004 the UNESCO international group of experts assembled in Paris where the following items were discussed and decided: a) the establishment of a Global UNESCO Network of Geoparks  b) the acceptance of the Operational Guidelines for application on the global Network. It was also decided that the existing 17 European Geoparks and 8 new Chinese Geoparks be included in the Global UNESCO Network of Geoparks.

October 2004

Madonie Declaration – Cooperation agreement between UNESCO and  the  EUROPEAN GEOPARKS NETWORK
Madonie Geopark (Italy)

In October 2004 during the 5th European Geoparks Meeting held in Petralia Sottana, Madonie Geopark, a new agreement between the Division of Earth Sciences of UNESCO and the European Geoparks Network was officially signed. According to this agreement: ”A European territory wishing to become a member of the UNESCO Global Network of Geoparks must submit a full application dossier to the European Geoparks Network, which acts as the integration organisation into the UNESCO Network for the European continent. The Division of Earth Sciences of UNESCO recognises that the European Geoparks Network is the reference to follow for the creation of other continental networks of geoparks.”

October 2004

5th ANNUAL MEETING of the EUROPEAN GEOPARKS NETWORK
Madonie Geopark (Italy)

Welcome of five new Geoparks. The EGN has already 22 members. Results of the 1stRevalidation procedure of the EGN members.
Results of the 1stRevalidation procedure of the EGN members

October 2005

6th ANNUAL MEETING of the EUROPEAN GEOPARKS NETWORK
Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark (Greece)

Welcome of four new Geoparks.

The EGN has already 25 members.

Results of the 2ndRevalidation procedure of the EGN members.

September 2006

2nd International Conference on Geoparks
Belfast (Northern Ireland)

Welcome of six new Geoparks.

Results of the 3rd Revalidation procedure of the EGN members.

September 2007

7th EUROPEAN GEOPARKS CONFERENCE
Northwest Higlands Geopark (Scotland UK)

Welcome of four new Geoparks.

  • Papuk Geopark – CROATIA
  • Lochaber Geopark – SCOTLAND, UK
  • English Riviera Geopark – ENGLAND, UK
  • Adamello – Brenta Nature Park – ITALY

Results of the 4th Revalidation procedure of the EGN members.

June 2008
3rd International Conference on Geoparks

Terra Vita Geopark (Germany)

September 2009

8th European Geoparks Conference
Naturtejo Geopark - PORTUGAL
Welcome of five new Geoparks

New members:

  • Rocca di Cerere Geopark – ITALY
  • Geo Mon Geopark - WALES
  • Arouca Geopark – PORTUGAL
  • Geopark Shetland - Scotland - UK
  • Chelmos – Vouraikos Geopark - GREECE

April 2010

4th International Conference on Geoparks
Langkawi - MALAYSIA

September 2010

9th European Geoparks Conference – 10th Anniversary of EGN
Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark - GREECE

Welcome of seven new Geoparks

New members:

  • Novohrad – Nograd Geopark - HUNGARY and SLOVAKIA
  • Magma Geopark – NORWAY
  • Basque Coast Geopark, Pais Vasco - SPAIN
  • Parco Nazionale del Cilento e Vallo di Diano, Campania – ITALY
  • Rokua Geopark - FINLAND
  • Tuscan Mining Park, Toscana - ITALY
  • Vikos – Aoos Geopark - GREECE

 

September 2011

10th European Geoparks Conference
Gea Norvegica – Norway

Welcome of seven new Geoparks

New members:

  • Muskau Arch Geopark – Germany/Poland
  • Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Park, Andalucia – Spain
  • Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark – Republic of Ireland
  • Katla Geopark – Iceland
  • Massif du Bauges Geopark – France
  • Apuan Alps Geopark – Italy
  • Villuercaas-Ibores-Jara Geopark – Spain

May 2012

5th International Conference on Geoparks
Unzen Volcanic Area – Shimabara – Japan

 

September 2012

11th European Geoparks Conference
Arouca Geopark – Portugal

Welcome of four new Geoparks

New members:

  • Carnic Alps Geopark – Austria
  • Chablais Geopark – France
  • Central Catalunya Geopark – Spain
  • Bakony-Balaton Geopark – Hungary

 

March 2013

31st European Geoparks Meeting
UNESCO – Paris

New members:

  • Azores Geopark – Portugal
  • Karavanke/Karawanken – Slovenia & Austria

 

September 2013

32nd European Geoparks Meeting
12th European Geoparks Conference 2013
Cilento e Vallo di Diano, Italy

New members:

  • Idria Geopark – Slovenia
  • Hondsrug Geopark – Netherlands
  • Sesia – Val Grande Geopark – Italy
  • Kula Geopark – Turkey

 

March 2014

33rd European Geoparks Meeting
Place: Sobrarbe Geopark, Spain

New members:

  • Molina Alto Tajo – Spain

 

September 2014

34th European Geoparks Meeting
Place: Geopark Harz Braunschweiger Land Ostfalen, GERMANY

New members:

  • El Hierro – Spain
  • Monts d’Ardèche – France
  • Ertz der Alpen – Austria
  • Odsherred – Denmark
  • Terras de Cavaleiros – Portugal

 

March 2015

35th European Geoparks Meeting
UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France

The EGN CC decides that the EGN will continue operating as the Regional Network of the Global Geoparks Network in Europe and approves the EGN Rules of Operation.

New members:

  • Lanzarote and Chinijo Islands Geopark – Spain

 

September 2015

36th European Geoparks Meeting

13th European Geoparks Conference 2015
Rokua Geopark, Finnland

The EGN CC approves the statutes of the Global Geoparks Network to become an International Association.

New members:

  • Reykjanes Geopark – Iceland
  • Pollino Geopark – Italy
  • Sitia Geopark – Greece
  • Troodos Geopark – Cyprus

 

November 2015

38th UNESCO General Conference

The UNESCO General Conference approves the IGGP Statutes and the UNESCO Global Geoparks Operational Guidelines.

A new era starts for the GGN and EGN!

 

March 2016

37th European Geoparks Meeting
Basque Coast UNESCO Global Geopark, Pais Vasco, Spain


September 2016

38th European Geoparks Meeting

7th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks
English Riviera UNESCO Global  Geopark, UK


March 2017

39th European Geoparks Meeting
Buren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, Ireland


May 2017

UNESCO Executive Board endorses the new UNESCO Global Geoparks Members.

Among them 2 new UNESCO Global Geoparks in Europe

  • Causses du Quercy, France
  • Las Loras, Spain

 

September 2017

40th European Geoparks Meeting

14th European Geoparks Conference 2017
Azores UNESCO Global  Geopark, Portugal