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Being a UNESCO Global Geopark means you become part of dynamic networks, where members are committed to work together, exchange ideas and best practice, and join in common projects to raise the quality standards of all products and practises of a UNESCO Global Geopark. Should the Joyce Country & Western Lakes geopark region be granted UNESCO Global Geopark status, it will become a member of these networks.

The Global Geoparks Network (GGN), for which membership is obligatory for UNESCO Global Geoparks, is a legally constituted not-for-profit organisation with an annual membership fee. Founded in 2004, the GGN is a dynamic network where members are committed to work together, exchange ideas and best practice, and join in common projects to raise the quality standards of all products and practises of a UNESCO Global Geopark. Members of the Global Geoparks Network come together, as whole, every two years.

The Global Geoparks Network continues to expand, drawing in new expertise and knowledge from all parts of the world and different cultures. It’s constantly developing models of best practice and setting high quality standards for territories that integrate the preservation of geological heritage into strategies for sustainable regional economic development.

Visiting geoparks around the world insures a standard of quality and sustainable management while showcasing the incredible range of geological features, natural landscapes and human cultures the world has to offer.

The European Geoparks Network (EGN), is a function of the Global Geoparks Network. It is an operation of regional networks which meets twice a year to develop and promote joint activities. The European Geoparks Network was created with the support of the EU and in cooperation with UNESCO in 2000. It aims to support sustainable regional development in the geopark by making good use of a region’s geological heritage, primarily through the development of geotourism.

The Irish UNESCO Global Geological Committee (IUGGC), formerly known as the All-Ireland Geoparks Forum, was set up in 2007, to help support Ireland’s Geoparks and Geopark projects. It is co-chaired by the Geological Surveys of Ireland and Northern Ireland and has representatives from each of Ireland’s three UNESCO Global Geoparks.

The IUGGC holds an Annual Forum to showcase Ireland’s UNESCO Global Geoparks and other Geopark and geotourism projects. This event usually takes place in November each year.​

Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

This United Nations’ Agenda is a plan for action for people, the planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. The Goals and targets will stimulate action in the following areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet: to end poverty and hunger and ensure that all human beings can fulfill their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment; to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change; to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature; to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence; to strengthen global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.

The geopark strategy, as laid out in its management master plan, is well aligned and coherent with the SDGs, particularly 4 (quality education), 8 (decent work and economic growth), 11 (sustainable cities and communities), 12 (sustainable consumption and production patterns), 13 (climate action), 15 (life on land) and 17 (global partnership for sustainable development).