This Toolkit has been developed under the aegis of the European Union Interreg-funded Atlantic Geoparks Project (2017-2020), a partnership of 12 Geoparks located along the Atlantic seaboard of Europe.
The Geoparks Management Toolkit is designed to assist aspiring Geoparks to attain full UNESCO Global Geopark status and to provide additional guidance to those Geoparks which have already done so but wish to further develop their territory. It provides guidance on:
- how a Geopark might be governed;
- key management and operational considerations;
- how communities and businesses are communicated with and engaged in the Geopark, and;
- how it is promoted to visitors, all with principles of sustainability in mind.
The Toolkit also considers the Geopark’s role as regards:
- conservation of geological features;
- environmental education, training and research;
- sustainable “geoproducts” and “geoservices”, and;
- how a Geopark can enhance the protection of an area’s natural and cultural heritage.
Finally, it looks at Geoparks in the context of:
- national and international networks, and;
- examining the scope for collaborative working.
The Toolkit may form part of a selection of tools upon which aspiring and new Geoparks might draw in developing evidence for an application to UNESCO. However, the Toolkit is specifically designed, through the provision of information and method, to facilitate the production of a relevant and robust submission document with supporting evidence.
The involvement of individuals and organisations from a range of disciplines is encouraged during the use of the Toolkit. Different sections will require greater or lesser input from different partners and stakeholders in the Geopark. In order to avoid unnecessary time and resource costs, and given the nature of some of the activities included in the toolkit, there is considerable potential for cooperation at an early stage whilst completing the various sections of the Topic Chapters.
Included within the Toolkit are examples and Case Studies from the Geoparks in the Atlantic Geoparks Partnership. In some parts of the Toolkit Active Templates are provided to complete to aid in the development of a Geopark to attain the UNESCO designation.