Papuk Mountain in Croatia Becomes a Part of UNESCO Global Geological Heritage

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More UNESCO heritage for Croatia. 

Croatia now has another natural feature which is under the protection of UNESCO. The Papuk Nature Park has been declared as the first UNESCO Geopark in Croatia. UNESCO has established the International Program for Geosciences and Geoparks, and today there are 120 geoparks in 33 countries of the world, reports Jutarnji List on November 19, 2015.

“This award will enable better promotion of Papuk at international level and an even higher level of protection of the park. It is of great importance for the local community and sustainable development of the wider area of ​​the park”, Minister of Environment and Nature Protection Mihael Zmajlović said.

“Papuk is the first and so far only geopark in Croatia, and has gained its status due to outstanding geological heritage of Papuk and Krndija mountains, and has been listed on the UNESCO map of globally valuable sites”, director of the Papuk Nature Park Kristina Kožić said.

The founders of the global network of geoparks were four geoparks: Reserve Géologique de Haute Provence in France, Vulkaneifel Geopark in Germany, Petrified Forest of Lesvos in Greece, and Maestrazgo Cultural Park in Spain. The aim was to encourage better protection of sites of great geological importance. The first conference of world geoparks network was held in Beijing in 2004. Today, the network consists of 120 geoparks whose importance has been recognized by UNESCO. The goal is to emphasize the importance of managing valuable geological sites and landscapes in accordance with sustainable development ideas.

With the new brand “UNESCO World Geoparks”, the aim is to raise awareness about geo-diversity and promote best practices for nature conservation, education and tourism. World geoparks tell the story of our planet which is 4.6 billion years old. It is a story about the geological processes which have shaped the Earth, but also about the evolution of humanity itself. They show evidence of past climate changes and also remind us of the current environmental challenges. Together with the World Heritage sites and biosphere reserves, geoparks contribute to achieving the objectives of sustainable development.


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