Geoparks
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Concept

What is a Geopark?

A geopark is a territory with well-defined limits and with an area sufficiently wide to allow a socio-economic development, cultural and environmentally sustainable.



European Geoparks Network


The European Geoparks Network (EGN) has been established in 2000 by four pioneer's geoparks, counting with the support of UNESCO since 2001. The EGN is currently distributed in 17 European countries, with 43 geoparks. In Portugal, besides the Naturtejo Geopark, exists since 2009, the Arouca Geopark, and there are other ongoing projects.

To the EGN, a Geopark combines the protection and promotion of the geological heritage with the local sustainable development through Conservation, Education and (Geo)Tourism.

 

Map of the European Geoparks Network


 

European Geoparks Networks

List of Members | March de 2013

1. Réserve Géologique de Haute Provence – FRANCE
2. Vulkaneifel European Geopark – GERMANY
3. Petrified Forest of Lesvos – GREECE
4. Maestrazgo Cultural Park – Aragon, SPAIN
5. Psiloritis Nature Park – GREECE
6. Terra.Vita Nature Park – GERMANY
7. Copper Coast Geopark– IRELAND
8. Marble Arch Caves European Geopark– NORTHERN IRELAND, UK
9. Madonie Geopark – ITALY
10. Rocca di Cerere - ITALY
11. Nature Park Steirische Eisenwurzen – AUSTRIA
12. Nature Park Bergstrasse Odenwald – GERMANY
13. North Pennines AONB – ENGLAND, UK
14. Park Naturel Régional du Luberon – FRANCE
15. North West Highlands – SCOTLAND, UK
16. Geopark Swabian Albs – GERMANY
17. Geopark Harz Braunschweiger Land Ostfalen Geopark – GERMANY
18. Hateg Country Dinosaurs Geopark – ROMANIA
19. Beigua Geopark - ITALY
20. Fforest Fawr Geopark – WALES, UK
21. Bohemian Paradise Geopark – CZECH REPUBLIC
22. Cabo de Gata – Nijar Nature Park – Andalucia, SPAIN
23. Naturtejo Geopark – PORTUGAL
24. Sierras Subbeticas Nature Park – Andalucia, SPAIN
25. Sobrarbe Geopark – Aragon, SPAIN
26. Gea Norvegica – NORWAY
27. Geological, Mining Park of Sardinia – ITALY

 

28. Papuk Geopark - CROATIA
29. English Riviera Geopark – ENGLAND, UK
30. Adamello – Brenta Nature Park – ITALY
31. Geo Mon – WALES, UK
32. Arouca Geopark – PORTUGAL
33. Shetlands – SCOTLAND, UK
34. Chelmos Vouraikos – GREECE
35. Novohrad - Nograd Geopark - HUNGARY and SLOVAKIA
36. Magma Geopark – NORWAY
37. Basque Coast Geopark, Pais Vasco - SPAIN
38. Parco Nazionale del Cilento e Vallo di Diano, Campania - ITALY
39. Rokua Geopark - FINLAND
40. Tuscan Mining Park - ITALY
41. Vikos – Aoos Geopark - GREECE
42. Muskau Arch Geopark - Germany/Poland
43. Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Park, Andalucia - Spain
44. Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark - Republic of Ireland
45. Katla Geopark - Iceland
46. Massif du Bauges Geopark - France
47. Apuan Alps Geopark - Italy
48. Villuercaas-Ibores-Jara Geopark – Spain
49. Carnic Alps Geopark – Austria
50. Chablais Geopark – France
51. Central Catalunya Geopark – Spain
52. Bakony-Balaton Geopark – Hungary
53. Azores Geopark – Portugal
54. Karavanke/Karawanken - Slovenia & Austria


The EGN aims are:

- to protect geodiversity;
- to promote geological heritage to the general public;
- support sustainable economic development of geopark territories.


Websites:

- European Geoparks Network | www.europeangeoparks.org
- EGN Magazine | www.europeangeoparks.org/isite/page/237,1,0.asp?
- European Geoparks Week | www.europeangeoparks.org/isite/page/231,1,0.asp?
- Annual Meeting of the European Geoparks Network | www.europeangeoparks.org/isite/page/53,1,0.asp?mu=3&cmu=13&thID=0
- Visit European Geoparks | www.europeangeoparks.org/



Global Network of Geoparks


The Global Geoparks Network (GGN) has been established in 2004, assisted by UNESCO with the aim of supporting the Geoparks outside of the Europe, integrating all European Geoparks.

.The RGG aims to distinguish natural areas with high geological value, which is implemented in a sustainable development strategy based on geology and other natural and human values.

 

Map of the Global Network of Geoparks

 

Helpful Links:

- Website of the Global Network of Geoparks | www.worldgeopark.org
- Visit the worldwide Geoparks | www.globalgeopark.org



Geopark Naturtejo de Meseta Meridional



The "Geopark Naturtejo da Meseta Meridional (of Southern upland)", the first Portuguese Geopark, joined the European Network and Global Geoparks, in 2006 under the auspices of UNESCO, developing a territory of 4616 km2, in the municipalities of Castelo Branco, Idanha-a-Nova, Proença -a-Nova, Nisa, Oleiros e Vila Velha de Ródão. In this territory the geoconservation, education and geoturism are the priority, all grounded in a geological heritage of reference.

In a region of great cultural heterogeneity, the geology is a unifier element of the territory and is used as a strategy for sustainable development of large scale, a pioneer project in Portugal, planned in the medium / long term.

 

More information about the Naturtejo

The "Geopark Naturtejo da Meseta Meridional (of Southern upland)", that unites the municipalities of Castelo Branco, Idanha-a-Nova, Nisa, Oleiros, Proença-a-Nova and Vila Velha de Ródão, aims to enhance the places that act as key witnesses of history Earth, boosting employment and promoting regional economic development. The vast heritage geomorphological, geological, paleontological, and germinating, features elements of national and international relevance, examples of which are the ichnofossils from Penha Garcia, the river canyons of Penha Garcia, Portas de Ródão and Almourão, the Roman gold mine named Conhal do Arneiro and the granites morphologies of the Serra da Gardunha and Monsanto. In addition to geosites Naturtejo Geopark has the Tejo International Natural Park and protected areas within the Natura Network 2000 (Gardunha sites, Nisa and S. Mamede) and Important Bird Areas (Penha Garcia - Toulões and quartzite ridges the Ródão) that bear witness to their ecological wealth.

The millenary history of this region has given it many castles, churches and palaces, reaching a diversity rare in Portugal. The ruins of the Civitas Egitania in Idanha-a-Velha, the Palaeolithic stations and the Tejo rock art as well as megalithic regions of Nisa and Rosmaninhal are important poles of archaeological interest. The ancestral practices, living witnesses of the multiple singularities of culture, has strong roots in the landscape. The status of " Aldeia mais portuguesa de Portugal" (the most Portuguese village of Portugal), given to Monsanto, and the "Aldeias de Xisto" ( Schist Villages), scattered throughout the Naturtejo Geopark are symbols of this wealth ethnographic still very well preserved.


Nature Tourism

The "Geopark Naturtejo da Meseta Meridional (of Southern upland)", has one of the densest networks of footpaths, of small and large route , of the country. These facilities, for the discovery of the territory, correspond to the unifier mesh of the multiple poles of attraction for a tourism asset. The "Rota dos Fósseis" (Route of the Fossils) in Penha Garcia, the "Rota das Minas" (Route of the Mines), in Segura, the "Rota dos Barrocais", in Monsanto, and the "Trilhos do Conhal" (Tracks of Conhal), in Santana, find themselves homologated under the theme of geology. For beyond the routes marked, the Geopark Naturtejo presents annually a calendar of original thematic pathways, always with a strong multidisciplinary component.

In full "Rota dos Fósseis" (Route of the Fossils), (Penha Garcia) and "Rota das Invasões" (Route of Invasions), (Vila Velha de Ródão) you can find schools of escalation, which guarantee adrenaline to the maximum in its activities, ranging from the sport climbing to the slide in the quartzites, and paintball and TT in the mountains of Ródão to the hipism, in the routes of smuggling that intersect the Sinclinal, in Penha Garcia.

The twists of the water in the bowels of the Earth may be quietly enjoyed and better understood in the splendid "Termas de Monfortinho", Idanha-a-Nova, and in the "Termas da Fadagosa", in Nisa..

The calm waters of the River Tejo allows the realization of boat trips that go to the discovery of the geomorphology of Ródão ports, of the colonies of vultures and of the Rock Art of the Tejo.

In the Municipal Center of Culture and Development, in Vila Velha de Ródão, it is led to discover how the landscape has evolved and the technology of the Ródão Man. Schools can count on the Association for the Study of the High Tejo to understand the human occupation of the Tejo river basin and heritage of the natural monument of the Ports of Ródão.

The granite, as an economic resource and as an object of art, can be understood and appreciated in the Museu do Canteiro, in Alcains, and in the "Roteiro das Esculturas" (Roadmap of the Sculptures), in Alpalhão.

The Tejo International Natural Park is one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries in Europe.

The geotouristic activities unfold in parallel with a wide and unique offer of quality tourism products ranging from gastronomy to the historical heritage and from sport events to the traditional religious festivities.

Geodiversity of the Naturtejo Geopark

The Geopark Naturtejo presents a landscape that tells the story of the last 600 million years, through elements such as flattened vast areas in which erupted residual granite reliefs (Monsanto), sedimentary (Murracha, Murrachinha, Pedras Ninhas) tectonic alignments (fault scarp of the Ponsul , Sobreira Formosa) and quartzite ridges (Penha Garcia, Ródão, Moradal, Monforte da Beira). The highlands are still cut by deep incision of the hydrographic network of the Lower Tejo.

The large geodiversity of the Geopark Naturtejo reflected in a significant number of sites of geological interest, emphasizing 16 geomonuments, key places for the interpretation of the geology and which have monumental characteristics. For more information on the Geomonuments, click here.

 


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Geopark Naturtejo

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Créditos Fotográficos:
Pedro Martins
Stock Images of the Geopark Naturtejo

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