UNESCO Global Geoparks as sustainable destinations

© Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark, Portugal

UNESCO Global Geoparks celebrate the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017. Well-designed and well-managed tourism can make a significant contribution to sustainable development. This is recognized by the United Nations as 2017 will be the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.


“In fostering better understanding among peoples everywhere, leading to a greater awareness of the rich heritage of various civilizations and bringing about a better appreciation of the inherent values of different cultures, thereby contributing to the strengthening of peace in the world.”  (United Nations, A/RES/70/193)

All 119 designated UNESCO Global Geoparks actively contribute to the three pillars of sustainability – economy, society and environment. Through this International Year the UNESCO Global Geoparks showcase themselves as a major player in the sustainable tourism industry. The European Geoparks Network, which is a silver partner of this UN recognized year, will organize a series of events on the theme of sustainable tourism in the 68 European UNESCO Global Geoparks. 



With a very strong emphasis on sustainable economic growth, social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction UNESCO Global Geoparks create new sources of revenue, leading to more development. This Geopark style of sustainable lifestyles and tourism is promoted and implemented also beyond Europe, through the UNESCO Global Geoparks and several aspiring projects in lesser developed regions such as Latin-America and Sub-Saharan Africa.


  • 1st congress on Tourism: "Humanize Tourism": 27-28 January 2017

In the framework of the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the Terras de Cavaleiros UNESCO Global Geopark in Portugal organizes a congress on this topic.

The programme can be found here.

More information can also be found on the following website.

  • EGN Week: 26 May - 11 June 2017

In the frame of the 2017 Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development this year's activities during the European Geoparks Week will be focussed around Geoparks sustainable tourism destinations.

During these 2 weeks UNESCO Global Geoparks in Europe will organize events aimed at raising public awareness of geoconservation and the benefits of geotourism for local people.

More information on website

  • Intensive Course on Geoparks: 12 - 22 June 2017

The University of the Aegean in collaboration with the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest and the Lesvos UNESCO Global Geopark invite you to participate in the International Intensive Course on Geoparks 2017UNESCO Global Geoparks and Geotourism Activities on Lesvos Island, Greece, from 12 June to 22 June 2017.

Lectures will be given by geoparks experts and academic staff with long experience on geoparks, sustainable tourism and geoheritage management.

The Course will take place on Lesvos Island, Greece.

More information on website

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