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Morocco Earthquake : The EGN offers thanks and solidarity to the M’Goun UGGp, host of the 10th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks in Marrakech

Dear Colleagues, Dear Friends,

You are all aware from information received from GGN colleagues and international media of the tragic earthquake of 8th September that has struck the region near Marrakech. Our thoughts and hearts are not only with our colleagues of M’Goun UGGp and their families, but also for all the peoples of Morocco.

Delegates present at the 10th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks, hosted by M’Goun UGGp in Marrakech, have been caught up in events.  The conference organisers confirmed that all participants are safe. Thank you to those who gave blood to help the injured, to those using the restaurants and hotels, buying local products and supporting a population devastated by the unexpected forces of nature. We will wait to hear from M’Goun UGGp and talk with GGN to see how we, as a regional network, can provide support.

To those colleagues who were present in Morocco, each lived their own experience and were marked by the earthquake in different ways. We urge you to take the time you need to absorb what happened. We are a community. Please remember as EGN members each of us is here for one another: to listen, to talk and to act. If you feel the need, do not hesitate to reach out.

The EGN would like to thank Driss Achbal and his team from M’Goun for their amazing hospitality and reassurance despite the difficult circumstances. We also thank the generous and helpful citizens of Marrakech who are looking after us – foreign visitors in an unfamiliar place. Finally, thank you to the conference delegates who have remained calm in the aftermath. We would also like to recognise the strong and caring leadership of the GGN Executive Board, particularly of Nickolas Zourous, as events unfolded.

Natural hazards and disaster risk reduction are core themes in UNESCO Global Geoparks. The impact on the communities around Marrakech reinforces why our work is so important. What we experienced first hand together highlights the need to continue to prepare our decision makers and our communities with training and practical actions – the way that UGGp’s do so well.

Thank you to you all,

Sophie, Babbis and all EGN AC

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