Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development. Their bottom-up approach of combining conservation with sustainable development while involving local communities is becoming increasingly popular.
In 2004, 17 European and 8 Chinese geoparks came together at UNESCO headquarters in Paris to form the Global Geoparks Network (GGN) where national geological heritage initiatives contribute to and benefit from their membership of a global network of exchange and cooperation. Together with the GGN, UNESCO assists countries around the world to establish Global Geoparks.
At present, there are 111 Global Geoparks in 32 countries. Information sheets on the Global Geoparks by country are available that include detailed information on each Global Geopark.