European Geoparks Network
The European Geoparks Network (EGN) consists of 50 zones throughout Europe working together to conserve and valorize their geological heritage through the integrated and sustainable development of their territories. The EGN forms part of the Global Geoparks Network and the designation of European Geopark is recognized by UNESCO.
What is a Geopark?
A European Geopark is a territory, which includes a particular geological heritage and a sustainable territorial development strategy supported by a European program to promote development. It must have clearly defined boundaries and sufficient surface area for true territorial economic development.
It must comprise a certain number of geological sites of particular importance in terms of their scientific quality, rarity, aesthetic appeal or educational value. The majority of sites present on the territory of a European Geopark must be part of the geological heritage, but their interest may also be archaeological, ecological, historical or cultural.
A European Geopark has an active role in the economic development of its territory through enhancement of a general image linked to the geological heritage and the development of Geotourism.
It has direct impact on the territory by influencing its inhabitants’ living conditions and environment. The objective is to enable the inhabitants to reappropriate the values of the territory’s heritage and actively participate in the territory’s cultural revitalization as a whole.
A European Geopark develops, experiments with and enhances methods for preserving the geological heritage. It must work within the European Geopark Network to further the network’s development and cohesion. It must work with local enterprises to promote and support the creation of new by-products linked with the geological heritage in a complimentary spirit with the other European Geoparks Network members.
The Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark was inscribed onto the list of European Geoparks in October 2011.