A promising initiative for Vis island and its natural treasures
The archipelago of Vis might soon become a part of the Global Geopark Network, an initiative launched by UNESCO that aims to protect areas containing geological and geomorphological heritage of international significance.
The only place in Croatia that currently holds the prestigious title is Papuk Nature Park. Vis island and its surroundings might join the network as early as in spring of 2019, reported Slobodna Dalmacija on December 15, 2017.
The Ministry of Environment and Energy submitted an application for the foundation of the Vis archipelago geopark, following a proposal from the National Committee for UNESCO Global Geoparks and a joint initiative of the Croatian Geological Survey and the towns of Vis and Komiža.
Beach in Komiza / Flickr
Why the Vis archipelago? The area is a significant part of the Adriatic Sea that underwent major geomorphological changes 220 million years ago, resulting in formation of islands such as Jabuka, Brusnik, Biševo, and Palagruža – the oldest island on the Adriatic that keeps growing in size owing to tectonic activity.
While the scientific reasoning behind the application might be fascinating, it’s not always that exciting, so it might be better to just list a few locations in the Vis archipelago that are already protected as priceless natural heritage: the world-famous Blue Cave, Ravnik island, Medvidina Cave and Stiniva bay. The Blue Cave and Stiniva in particular have been the talk of the town this summer, owing to thousands of tourists who have flocked to Dalmatia to see the breath-stopping natural wonders.
Blue Cave / Flickr
While the urge to experience the enchanting scenery in person is completely understandable, the rapidly increasing number of visitors might end up endangering the area, so the initiative for the foundation of a UNESCO geopark couldn’t have come at a better moment in time. It would raise awareness of the importance of protecting the geological heritage, introduce geotourism as a unique tourism niche, and hopefully lead to a well-structured strategy for future development of this incredible part of the Adriatic. Fingers crossed!