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Qeshm Island of Iran Hosts International Meeting and Workshop on UNESCO Global Geoparks

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Qeshm Island, 28 April 2018 - Members of the Asia-Pacific Geoparks Network and representatives of National Commissions for UNESCO from 17 countries gathered in Qeshm Island of Iran to attend an international meeting and workshop on UNESCO Global Geoparks. The meeting that was organized by UNESCO Cluster Office in Tehran through collaboration with the Organization of the Geological Survey & Mineral Explorations of Iran, Qeshm Free Zone Organization and the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO in the Qeshm Island as the only UNESCO Geopark in the middle east provided a neutral platform for discussions and exchange of ideas between Geopark experts and also with hundreds of Iranian participants who were interested in adopting new policies for development of Geoparks in their country.  
Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office in her opening remarks highlighted the role of local communities in achieving sustainable tourism for Geoparks (28 April 2018). Photo by: Alireza Golab

Qeshm Island, 28 April 2018 - Members of the Asia-Pacific Geoparks Network and representatives of National Commissions for UNESCO from 17 countries gathered in Qeshm Island of Iran to attend an international meeting and workshop on UNESCO Global Geoparks.

The meeting that was organized by UNESCO Cluster Office in Tehran through collaboration with the Organization of the Geological Survey & Mineral Explorations of Iran,  Qeshm Free Zone Organization and the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO in the Qeshm Island as the only UNESCO Geopark in the middle east provided a neutral platform for discussions and exchange of ideas between Geopark experts and also with hundreds of Iranian participants who were interested in adopting new policies for development of Geoparks in their country.

Ms. Esther Kuisch-Laroche, Director and Representative of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office in her opening remarks by highlighting the fact that UNESCO Global Geoparks give local people a sense of pride in their region and strengthen their identification with the area, said: “The creation of innovative local enterprises, new jobs and high-quality training courses are stimulated, as new sources of revenue that are generated through ecotourism”.

“UNESCO Global Geoparks are all about partnership and cooperation, not only between local stakeholders, but also internationally, through regional and global networks were knowledge, ideas and best practices are shared” she added.

Mr. Patrick Mc Keever, Secretary of the International Geoscience and Geoparks Program of UNESCO and Mr. Nickolas Zouros, President of Global Geoparks Network as the main lecturers of the event also in their presentations underscored the role of local communities in sustainable management of Geoparks.

Currently there are 140 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 38 countries around the world that are mainly concentrated in Europe and East Asia.

Qeshm Geopark, represents important ecological and cultural heritage of Iran due to its unique geological, geographic, archaeological and ecological features such as unique methods of fresh water keeping and collecting that is manifested in the architecture of the island.

The island is famous due to its tangible and intangible cultural heritage, wildlife, the mangrove forests on the coastline, and the many flora and fauna species that can be found there.

In May 2017, Qeshm Island received the UNESCO Global Geopark label due to its exposed geological formations that have been shaped by erosion generating a range of spectacular landscapes and beautiful rock deserts.

Currently Iran enjoys the privilege of having 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 12 UNESCO biosphere reserves and 1 UNESCO Global Geopark (Qeshm Island). 

 

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