Photo: Sites in Spain Noted by UN as Globally Significant Sites
Nine geological sites of exceptional scientific and educational importance, rarity or beauty have been added to the Global Network of National Geoparks that include two locations in Spain. These geological sites are part of a United Nations-backed list launched to promote greater cooperation in the management of the world’s geological heritage.
The new members come from seven countries, with Spain and China having two entries, and France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy and Japan each having one.
The network, launched with the backing of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), now has 87 sites from 27 countries.
To qualify, sites must not only be of scientific importance, but should also possess an effective management structure which allows for sustainable development, with a particular emphasis on sustainable tourism.
Spain’s two sites are: Sierra Norte di Sevilla, one of the largest natural parks in Andalucía, and containing rocks that date back to the earliest stages of Earth’s history; and Villuercas Ibores Jara Geopark with its famous peak La Villuerca and a landscape complimented by vestiges of a mining culture and decorated menhir stones, or monoliths, dating to the Bronze and Iron ages.
The nine sites were selected out of 16 applicants, which were examined by the Bureau of the Global Geopark Network at the three-day 10th European Geoparks Conference.