Cazalla de la Sierra, September 22nd – 24th 2019
The reunion of European UNESCO geoparks was held between the 22nd and 24th of September in Cazalla de la Sierra, a small town in Andalusia, laden with vestiges of a lengthy history. The reunion, and the UNESCO Conference that followed, were organised by the Sierra Norte Geopark in Seville.
During the reunion, the Scientific Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization, Professor Dan Grigorescu, presented the activity report of the thematic palaeontology group he is heading, which organized a 16-poster exhibition titled Images of ancient life in European geoparks. First unveiled in Aalen, Germany in March of 2019, the exhibition was also presented at the UNESCO Conference in Seville. Over the discussions that followed the exhibition’s presentation, the idea of the 16 panels being loaned by UNESCO in order that they may be presented on further occasions was floated, alongside the possibility that the accompanying supplementary information, concisely and attractively presented and accompanied by illustrations, might be used in an educational framework under the UNESCO banner.
On the occasion, the decision was taken that the September 2020 reunion of European geoparks be held in the Jeju Geopark in South Korea, rather than in the Dinosaur Geopark in Hațeg Country, Romania, as originally planned.
The 15th Global UNESCO Geopark Conference was held in the monumental Moorish-inspired edifice of the Tres Culturas del Mediterráneo Foundation. The opening proceedings, which saw local representatives attending, underlined the importance of Andalusia’s three UNESCO geoparks for the region’s development, through the protection and capitalization upon the natural and cultural heritage of the region in an integrated approach. The five thematic sessions of the conference focused on themes such as Aspiring Geoparks< Education and Communication in Geoparks< Geohazards and Climatic Change; Sustainable Development and Geotourism; Geological Heritage and Geopark Research.