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Coffee table book , English only, 176 pp.
ISBN 978 960 7646 91 – 0
Selling price: 35 €
Published by the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest on behalf of the European Geoparks Network.
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For the first time the varied and fascinating geological heritage of Europe has been collected into  a book, complete with color photos and text that help the reader explore the exciting world of the European Geoparks Network. European Geoparks commemorates the International Year of Planet Earth and contributes to the efforts of the Global Geoparks Network. Geared to the general public, this 166 page hardcover picture book features 32 geoparks from 13 European countries with informative non-scientific articles on each geopark’s activities and attractions.  The history of the geopark movement is also an interesting read, as is its relationship with UNESCO, projects, evaluation and membership, alternative tourism and educational activities in rural areas of Europe.

Established in 2000, the European Geopark Network has grown to include 32 geoparks from 13 European countries, which has in turn given rise to the founding of the Global Geopark Network. The network was formed in response to an idea to link geological heritage with the local economies – to protect geological monuments in a way that would also simultaneously protect the local communities living nearby. This idea has turned into a potent reality as parks around the world have enthusiastically joined the network, cooperating with each other and contributing new ideas and practices in a way that has made this movement particularly successful.

Readers will enjoy a look at the “dancing puppets” in the Rocca di Cerere Geopark in the heart of Sicily, ichno-fossils in the Naturtejo Geopark in Portugal, impressive fossilized trees at the Lesvos Petrified Forest in Greece, the ammonite slab in the Reserve Geologique de Haute Provence in France and the famous fossils of Swabian Alb in Germany, the Porridge Pot in the Irish Marble Arch Caves and the mining heritage sites in the Sardinian Mining Park, the North Penines in England, the Terra Vita in Germany or the Copper Coast in Ireland along with the splendid landscapes of the Sobrarbe in the Spanish Pyrenees or the Italian Adamello-Brenta and the Austrian Eisenwurtzen in the Alps, the mysterious “ocean of rocks” in the Bergstrasse Odenwald in Germany and “blockfields” in Beigua in Italy as well as the ice age landscapes of Gea Norvegica and Mecklemburg in Germany, the impressive “rock cities” in the Bohemian Paradise, the volcanic landscapes of Vulkaneifel in Germany or Cabo de Gata in Andalucia, Spain to name just a few of the geological treasures across Europe which this book showcases.

This publication is a testament to the active beliefs of people across Europe who seek to safeguard our geological heritage in a responsible and holistic manner – a manner which is now officially supported by UNESCO.

The preface by the Director General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura and Walter Erdelen, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, emphasizes the impact geoparks have on society as they focus on developing the important interaction between conservation of the natural environment and socio-economic development as well as raising public awareness of environmental matters. The dynamism of this movement is captured between the covers of this new book, an exciting look into the geoparks across Europe and an open invitation to all to visit and support them!

Published by the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest on behalf of the European Geoparks Network.

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