The UNESCO Global Geoparks Council accepted 16 applications from prospective UNESCO Global Geoparks during the first meeting of its 8th session, organized under the auspices of M’Goun UNESCO Global Geopark in Marrakesh, Morocco, on 4 and 5 September 2023. Fourty-two observers from 15 Member States attended this first meeting.
8th Session of the UGGp Council, September 2023 © UNESCO
The UNESCO Global Geoparks Council plays a crucial role in evaluating new and renewed UNESCO Global Geopark nominations. Its members meet annually to determine whether new applications meet the required standards and can be forwarded the Executive Board of UNESCO for endorsement. Additional applications will be examined during the second part of this 8th session of the Council, in early December 2023. The Council will then present a report on its work and decisions to the UNESCO Executive Board for endorsement in the spring of 2024.
Should the UNESCO Executive Board endorse the applications that were accepted thus-far, this would bring the total number of UNESCO Global Geoparks from 195 to 211, in 48 countries. This is subject to increase, following the December meeting.
Geoparks endorsed for UNESCO nomination in 2024
The 16 accepted applications from prospective UNESCO Global Geoparks are:
In accordance with Section 5.5 of the Operational Guidelines, the Council may recommend deferring an application for a maximum of two years, to allow for improvements to be made to the quality of the application. There is no need to repeat the field evaluation during this time. During the September meeting, the Council deferred 3 applications:
The Council approved 3 proposals for zone modifications within existing UNESCO Global Geoparks, extensions or reductions of more than 10% of the geopark’s current size:
Revalidation of existing UNESCO Global Geoparks
In order to ensure the quality of UNESCO Global Geoparks, they are subject to a thorough revalidation every four years. A green card denotes renewal of the UNESCO Global Geopark label for four years, whereas a yellow card restricts this renewal period of two years, in order to give the geopark time to address the Council’s recommendations. Of the 34 revalidations under consideration, the Council granted 29 green cards and 5 yellow cards: