Governance and Management – CS 3

Managing a Geopark through a Charity / Third Sector structure

a case study from the Copper Coast UNESCO Global Geopark, Ireland

The Copper Coast Geopark in the Republic of Ireland has a largely volunteer ‘Community led’ structure, through the legal vehicle of a Company Limited by Guarantee which has charitable status. The Geopark operates as a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to community development through promotion of sustainable tourism and the development of productive partnerships.

Whilst performing the same governance functions as those Geoparks which are led by National Park or Local Government authorities, there is a Board of volunteer local directors and staff who can be directly employed through its legal entity (i.e. the Company).

The Geopark employs a manager/geologist, a visitor centre manager and a part time administration assistant. They are backed up by a local management team, several voluntary guides and workers.

There is also a staff member employed by the Geological Survey of Ireland and fully seconded (‘loaned’) to work for the Geopark.


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