Geoparks (dowling)

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The Geoparks initiative was established in 1998 and today there are four levels of geoparks (Aspiring, National, Regional and Global). They exist in a series of networks - National, Regional (eg. European and Asia-Pacific), and Global. Today there are hundreds of national level geoparks and over 130 Global Geoparks in 35 countries. They are on all continents except for Australia. A geopark is a clearly defined area with geological heritage of significance which fosters environmentally appropriate, socio-economic sustainable development. Geoparks use their heritage to promote awareness of key issues facing society in the context of the dynamic planet we live on. Geoparks promote awareness of geological features (through conservation, information and education) and geological resources (through geotourism and sustainable development). Geoparks offer a unique vehicle to foster community-based, sustainable, regional development in Australia. An added benefit is they are allied to the powerful UNESCO global network and brand.

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Geoparks (dowling)

  1. 1. Geoparks A powerful new development vehicle for regional Australia Professor Ross Dowling OAM Edith Cowan University Western Australia Spotlight 7 – Regional Tourism and Geotourism Thursday 27 October
  2. 2. 2 Founded in 1945 - 193 member states UNESCO Man and the Biosphere World Heritage UNESCO Global Geoparks
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  4. 4. 4 UNESCO Programs Program Sites Countries World Heritage 1052 165 Man and the Biosphere 669 120 UNESCO Global Geoparks 120 33
  5. 5. 5 Australia’s UNESCO Sites Program Sites World Heritage 22 Man and the Biosphere 14 UNESCO Global Geoparks 0
  6. 6. 6 Geoparks • A Geopark is an area with a geological heritage of significance, with a coherent and strong management structure and where a sustainable economic development strategy is in place • They are either national or global • There are 120 global geoparks in 33 countries on five continents • Europe - 69 North America - 2 • Asia - 46 [China has 33] South America - 2 • Africa - 1 Australia - 0
  7. 7. 7 Global Geoparks
  8. 8. 8 European Geoparks
  9. 9. 9 China’s Global Geoparks 33
  10. 10. 10 Are Geoparks only about Geology?
  11. 11. 11 1. Geopark are not the same as National Parks 2. Instead they are vehicles for fostering community-based, sustainable, regional economic development Geoparks vs National Parks
  12. 12. 12 UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development UNESCO Global Geoparks
  13. 13. 13 Geoparks Geoparks are both a development concept as well as a branding tool. They achieve these goals through: 1. Conservation 2. Education 3. Geotourism
  14. 14. 14 Geoparks Geoparks are sites of significant geological heritage with: 1. Geo-conservation activities 2. Sustainable tourism activities 3. Educational activities 4. Community involvement 5. Strong management structures 6. A secure financial basis
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  20. 20. 20 Levels of Geoparks No Level Appellation 1 Local Aspiring 2 National National 3 Regional eg. European 4 Global Global
  21. 21. 21 The Geoparks Brand • In China in the first decade there were over 1.1 billion visitors to geoparks (over 100 million visitors per annum) • Entry fees were RMB 7 Billion ($1.5B) • The geoparks generated 75 000 permanent full time jobs and 470 000 part time jobs • In the United Kingdom the contribution of seven geoparks is £18.84m ($37m)
  22. 22. 22 • The total income brought about by tourism is RMB 2291 million (AUD$470 million) • This accounts for 32% of the local GDP • The number of jobs generated by the geopark is 25 300 • The geopark has lifted the county out of poverty to become relatively well off Yuntaishan Geopark, China Economic Benefits
  23. 23. 23 1. Geoparks are the new National Landscapes 2. They have a well established global network 3. Chinese and European visitors know geoparks 4. Geoparks foster community-based, sustainable, regional, economic development 5. Australia needs geoparks – they are the only continent without them Conclusions
  24. 24. 24 Geoparks A powerful new development vehicle for regional Australia THE END Professor Ross Dowling OAM Edith Cowan University r.dowling@ecu.edu.au

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