Lesvos island UNESCO Global Geopark cooperates with other UNESCO Global Geoparks through the Global Geoparks Network (GGN), the European Geoparks Network (EGN) which is the regional network in Europe of the GGN and the Hellenic Geoparks Forum . Working together with local, national and international partners is among the main characteristics of the UNESCO Global Geoparks.
Hellenic Geoparks Forum
Τhe Hellenic Geoparks Forum was established in order to coordinate the activities and actions on issues that are related with the promoting of geosites and development of Geoparks in Greece. In the Hellenic Geoparks Forum are represented areas recognized as UNESCO Global Geoparks which are:
- Lesvos Island (2000, 2012)
- Psiloritis Natural Park (2001)
- Chelmos – Vouraikos National Park (2009)
- Vikos – Aoos National Forest Park (2010)
- Sitia Geopark (2015)
The aims for the establishment of the Forum are the coordination and promotion of the Hellenic Geoparks and the strengthening of the efforts for the promotion of geological monuments and sites of the geological and geomorphological heritage of Greece.
The actions of the Hellenic Geoparks Forum include initiatives for the development and recognition of Geoparks at national level, as well as for the support and strengthening of the European Geoparks Network and the Global Geoparks Network through the organization of special actions.
More information: Hellenic Geoparks Forum
European Geoparks Network
The European Geoparks Network was established in June 2000 in Lesvos, by operators responsible for the management of areas with special geological heritage in 4 European countries: Reserve Géologique de Haute-Provence (France), Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest (Greece), Geopark Gerolstein – Vulkaneifel (Germany) and Maestrazgo Cultural Park (Spain). These bodies have decided to cooperate within a European network, sought and encouraged the participation in the network of areas from all over Europe, aiming to the protection, utilization and promotion of geological heritage through cooperation and exchange of good-practice and experience.
Key objectives are the promotion of environmental education and of sustainable development of the Geoparks areas, through the development of activities that contribute to the establishment of thematic tourism. Network members are holders of the distinguishing sign “European Geopark”, which has been enshrined in all EU countries. Since 2015, the European Geoparks Network operates as the regional network in Europe of the Global Geoparks Network. As of September 2016, 70 UNESCO Global Geoparks from 23 European countries participate in the European Geoparks Network.
More information: European Geoparks Network
Global Geoparks Network
In 2004, four years after the founding of the European Geoparks Network, UNESCO proclaimed the necessity of the protection of geosites and landscapes because of their evident impact on the evolution of societies and human civilization. Furthermore, it acknowledged that Geoparks, in a short time, significantly contributed to the conservation of geological heritage, the youth education, the popularization of geosciences and the development of geotourism worldwide. As a result, the Global Geoparks Network was established, with first members, after thorough evaluation, 8 Geoparks in China and the up to then 17 members of the European Geoparks Network (including the Lesvos Petrified Forest),owing to their high quality standards. In 2014, the conversion of the Global Geoparks Network to an international company was approved, on the model of the International Council of Museums ICOM, a state that allowed the convention with UNESCO for the operation of the International Programme UNESCO Global Geoparks. In May 2017, the institutional members of the Global Geoparks Network amounted to 127 UNESCO Global Geoparks from 35 countries.
More information: Global Geoparks Network