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Becoming a UNESCO Global Geopark and the accreditation process

16 December 2020 – London, UK

Last Updated: Dec.2020

Accreditation type: Global Geopark

This is a rolling application. Make sure you read the information on this page before you apply, and check you fit the requirements.

🧐 Why Apply?

About Geoparks

Advantages

Network

Find out what are UNESCO Global Geoparks, what they can bring to you, and read from our network.

UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education, and sustainable development.

With 161 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 44 countries, they all contain geology of ‘international significance’ independently evaluated by scientific professionals and pursue a holistic management approach to protect and advance the sustainable development of their landscape, people and culture.

The UK National Commission for UNESCO works closely with the UK Committee for UNESCO Global Geoparks in the nomination and inscription of new UK inscriptions onto the UK and International register. All organisations working in recognised geoparks wishing to apply to become a UNESCO Global Geopark must submit their application through the UK Committee for UNESCO Global Geoparks. Information on the UK process, including deadlines for the ongoing application cycle, is available in the sections below.

“When we talk to the management organisation of the North Coast 500, we tend to say ‘just keep pushing that it’s a UNESCO designation’. We know it’s special. The UN know it’s special. Let’s talk about that more. Let’s communicate that more. We need to use that. We don’t just keep it as a passive label, we have to use it actively to educate people about how unique, and how fragile this region is. It’s an ongoing process. All of the reasons that we have a UNESCO status, people understand those. Can they make that connection to the UNESCO brand? I am not sure that they can do that, yet. But we don’t record this, we don’t have the capacity to do that, but that’s what we would need to do to understand that question.”

Dr Laura Hamlet, Geopark Coordinator at North West Highlands UNESCO Global Geopark

📙 The Process

Step n°1: Contact

Make sure you get in touch with the UK National Commission for UNESCO first regarding your application.

Any area within the UK that has an interest in becoming a UNESCO Global Geopark is encouraged to engage in open dialogue with the UK National Commission for UNESCO and UK Committee for UNESCO Global Geoparks

Where there is a clear joined-up partnership interest in an area, a maximum of two representatives will be invited to attend the open session of the UK Committee for UNESCO Global Geoparks annual meeting to present their ideas and learn more about the network and the application process.

Please note, during any one year, the UK will have zero, one, or two application slots available. New positions in the system will only become available if an application is withdrawn, or on the ratification of decisions of the UNESCO Geopark Council by the UNESCO Executive Board at their Spring meeting.

Step n°2: Expression of Interest

Submit your expression of interested to the UK National Commission for UNESCO for us to review it.

Ahead of any formal applications, aspirant UNESCO Global Geoparks should submit an expression of interest via The UK National Commission for UNESCO by 1 July each year. Contact us here to start the process.

Step n°3: Application

We will help you put together your application.

Draft full application dossiers should be submitted to the UK Committee for UNESCO Global Geoparks for consideration. Aspirant Geoparks are encouraged to submit applications in time for discussion during the closed session of the annual meeting.

You can read more about the application process and forms on the UNESCO website here.

However, the forum will be happy to receive submissions up to 31 August whereby a special remote meeting will be arranged to discuss the application/applications.

It is strongly recommended that any area intending to submit an application should engage in an on-site assessment by a minimum of one, but ideally two members of the UK Committee for UNESCO Global Geoparks, one of whom should be a member of the UNESCO Global Geopark Evaluation Team. This should take at least three months prior to the submission of the documents to the UK Committee to allow for an accurate assessment of the territory’s application.

Step n°4: Review

The UK National Commission for UNESCO is responsible for putting together review committees.

Following review, the Committee will decide what stage the application is at and if it is ready to be formally recommended to us for onward support and submission to UNESCO.

The four possible outcomes of the review of the UK Committee for UNESCO Global Geoparks review of draft applications are:

1.

Deemed inappropriate and rejected as being ineligible for UNESCO Global Geoparks membership

2.

Deemed to have potential but that further work is needed before submission can be approved, in which case feedback and further support and advice will be given. A mentor can be appointed if appropriate.

3.

Deemed to have met the requirements for submission to us for our support prior to formal submission to UNESCO. However, in advance of submission recommended further revisions may be made to add strength and clarity to the application.

4.

Deemed to have met the requirements for submission to us for our support prior to formal submission to UNESCO.

Step n°5: Submission to UNESCO

If successful, your application will be submitted to UNESCO for consideration.

🟢   This is a rolling application. Begin your application today*

Key Information

Make sure you read the important information below before you apply. You must apply through the UK Committee for UNESCO Global Geoparks, but you can submit an Expression of Interest via the UK National Commission for UNESCO.

STATUS:   Ongoing

UK DEADLINE:   Ongoing

FOR WHO:   UK Organisations

ESTABLISHED:   2015

ORIGIN:   UNESCO

🟢  *This accreditation is currently open for application. If you have any questions, get in touch with the UK National Commission for UNESCO via our contact form

Begin your application

Make sure you have checked you are eligible for this accreditation before applying. Get in touch with us if you have any questions, or visit our FAQ

Submit your #Expression of Interest     

Accreditation type: Global Geopark

Begin your application to become a UNESCO Global Geopark

Submit your #Expression of Interest