NETWORKS AND BENEFITS
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.