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What is a UNESCO Global Geopark?

UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development. Their bottom-up approach of combining conservation with sustainable development while involving local communities is becoming increasingly popular.

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European Geoparks Network

 

The European Geoparks Network (EGN) has been established in 2000 by four pioneer's geoparks,  unfer the auspicies of UNESCO since 2001. 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.

In Portugal, besides  Naturtejo Geopark, exists since 2009, there other 3 UNESCO Global Geoparks: Arouca, Azores and Terras de Cvaleiros.

 

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Global Network of Geoparks

 

The Global Geoparks Network (GGN) has been established in 2004, assisted by UNESCO.

The GGN 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.

 

 

Naturtejo UNESCO Global Geopark

 

Naturtejo UNESCO Geopark, the first Portuguese Geopark, joined the European Network and Global Geoparks under the auspices of UNESCO, in 2006. 

It is a territory of 5067 km2, including 7 municipalities: Castelo Branco, Idanha-a-Nova, Penamacor, 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 Naturtejo UNESCO Global Geopark is a vast territory from the región “Raia” to Beira Interior, through Pinhal Interior to Alto Alentejo. A region with the oldest landscapes in Portugal, and flattened, along the banks of the Tajo, where mountains like the Alvelos and Gardunha ranges are erected, and which are deeply furrowed by valleys as Zêzere, Ponsul or Sever.

The Naturtejo Geopark is a landscape of geodiversity, where magnificent quartizte montain ridges and inselbergs are erected. It is covered with cork and holm oaks, pine trees in mountain areas and rock rose and rosemary are abundant. A landscape full of history, with Templar and Hospitallers Castles, and old villages with a strong medieval environment at the border yet; the schist villages of slate that spread in the valleys of the Central Mountains Belt, where the most vivid memories of an ancestral rurality experience show up.

 

 


This is the first Portuguese Geopark, a territory of conservation, education, tourism, innovation and sustainable development that integrates the international program of UNESCO Geoparks, an international designation that promotes a balance between man and nature. The starting point for the regional development of the entire territory is geodiversity, the unifying element of a region with great cultural diversity. There are 600 million years of Earth’s memory written in the rocks, fossils and landscapes.

The Naturtejo UNESCO Global Geopark offers a wide range of touristic programmes to discover the territory and it has a team that is always available to help visitors prepare their holidays according to their interests and expectations

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 17 geomonuments, key places for the interpretation of the geology and which have monumental characteristics. 

 


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Geopark Naturtejo

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Créditos Fotográficos:
Pedro Martins
Stock Images of the Geopark Naturtejo

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