The GGN Secretariat at UNESCO Headquarters coordinates the candidatures and is ready to provide advice. Before submitting a dossier for membership in the GGN, the candidate must first have established contact with the GGN Secretariat to express interest. Before the submission of any dossier there needs to be evidence of a de facto existing Geopark. It is not possible to accept candidates based upon mere ideas which only exist on paper. Furthermore, the aspiring Geopark must be sure that the relevant national country bodies have been informed (e.g. National Geopark Committees, relevant governing bodies) and that their application for membership in the GGN is in accordance with national regulations.
Successful Geopark applications will have demonstrated that, already in the planning phase, discussions and exchanges with network members contributed to increasing the quality of the Geopark's application. Aspiring Geoparks in the preparation phase (this can start several years before the actual submission of a dossier) are strongly encouraged to exchange and discuss with network members, to seek the best advice to prepare their own Geopark, to participate in international or regional Geopark meetings, conferences, or short courses, and contact existing national geoparks and Geopark Committees. It has been shown that aspiring geoparks which have done this have increased their chances of a successful candidature.
The timelines for Geopark proposals and evaluation procedure are:
- submission of applications between 1 October and 1 December
- verification check on completeness of documents
- desktop evaluations until 30 April
- field evaluation missions starting 1 May
- decisions on applications during the following next Bureau meeting in autumn
Self-evaluation form: to receive the form, please contact ml.faber(at)unesco.org