Melanie Border is an expert on UNESCO Global Geoparks, sitting on the inaugural UNESCO Global Geoparks Council and working as an active member of the Global Geopark Network Executive Board.
With its status as an area of globally recognised, unique geological interest, the English Riviera is a stretch of coastal towns in Southern Devon home to a vast array of fantastic landscapes, mountains, coastlines, places and people. Whether you want to explore historical caverns, hidden coves, ancient fossils or the underwater world, this UNESCO Geopark has something to offer.
Reflecting the grassroots nature of Geoparks themselves, Melanie has built upon both her experience as a single parent of two, living on benefits in the nineties, and her fascination with the natural world, by studying as a mature Geology student. As Coordinator of the Geopark, she now brings her vast experience to her home borough of Torbay by working to protect and promote its natural beauty.
After subsequent roles in conservation, education and community engagement with local conservation charity, Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, Melanie became involved with Geopark work in her hometown of Torquay in 2006. From that point her, focus, pragmatism and natural diplomacy led her to be elected as Chair the UK Committee for UNESCO Global Geoparks (2012 to 2017) whist also sitting on the Advisory Committee of the European Geoparks Network.
She has worked incredibly closely with the UK National Commission for UNESCO and played a fundamental role as a member of the multi-national Geopark working group, collaborating directly with Member States on the development of the Geopark arm of International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme, introduced in Nov 2015. In 2016 she became an elected member of the Global Geopark Network Executive Board and took up a four-year term as a member of the first UNESCO Global Geoparks Council, this being a testament to her dedication and passion for her work.