Unesco has just announced the integration of eight new geoparks into its World Network, which now has a total of 169 spaces in 44 countries. It must be remembered that, according to this organization, a geopark is a territory that contains both a unique geological heritage as its own development strategy, with clearly defined limits and a sufficient surface area so that it can generate its own economic development.
This is the selection of places endorsed from now on by Unesco, clues to organize a voyage of discovery as soon as possible.
Turingia Inselsberg – Three equals, Germany
Located in Thuringia, in central Germany. Its geology documents more than 150 million years of Earth’s history, from the amalgamation of the supercontinent Pangea to its breakup in the late Triassic, and features the only Triassic / Jurassic boundary outcrop in central Germany. Its fossil reefs, among the first to be recognized as such in the 19th century, are the remains of the formation of a small island surrounded by reefs in the Zechstein Sea. Visitors can explore three of the 100 natural caves in the geopark.
West Jutland, Denmark
About a third of the surface of this geopark is terrestrial, the rest consists of marine areas in the Limfjord Strait and the North Sea. The terrestrial part of the glacial landscapes of hills of the geopark, with sandar (plains of fluvial sediments originating from the melting of glaciers), lagoons and lakes, was formed in successive ice ages.
The geopark gets its name from Lake Saimaa, the largest in Finland and the fourth in Europe. One third of its 6,063 km² area is water, dotted with thousands of islands, with a combined coastline that exceeds 8,000 kilometers. The impressive cave paintings on the shores of the lake attest to human presence since the Stone Age.
Grevena – Kozani, Greece
In northern Greece, in the Western Macedonia region (40-70 km from the borders with Albania and North Macedonia). It is crossed by the longest river in Greece, the Aliakamon. The Geopark also boasts some of the most important proboscidean fossils in the world, the Elephant Lands, and the longest known mammoth tusk in the world, over 5m long.
The geopark is located about 400 kilometers north of Jakarta and covers the island of Belitung and more than 200 small islands in a marine area of 13,000 km². Belitong is known for its spectacular granite Tor landscapes, landforms of large independent rock outcrops created by erosion and weathering.
The Geopark is located in a peninsular fragment of the Apennine chain, which corresponds to a fragment of the Alpine chain that broke off from Spain, northwestern Italy, Sardinia and Corsica. A complex of mountains, ridges and plateaus alternates with deep valleys sculpted by unique natural streams called fiumare, which over time have sculpted the hard rock of the crystalline-metamorphic substrate and created spectacular waterfalls. It is a National Park since 1994.
Located in the Central Apennines, with more than 60 peaks in the Majella Massif, half of them more than 2,000 meters above sea level. The Geopark is carved by a series of canyons and has numerous rivers and some perennial lakes. It contains 95 geosites, including one of the oldest archaeological geosites in Europe.
Sierra de Santa Cruz, Poland
Traces of human activity in the Geopark date back 60,000 years, and include Neanderthal camps and beautiful cave systems. Numerous old quarries and mines attest to the importance of mineral deposits, metallic ores, limestone and other natural resources to local populations over time.