1. Outline of UNESCO Global Geoparks

UNESCO Global Geoparks aim to protect geological heritage of international value and realize sustainable development and the coexistence of nature and humanity. This is done through enhancing understanding of the natural environment and local culture brought about by the geological heritage and by utilizing geological heritage in scientific research, education, and regional development. UNESCO Global Geoparks are one of the initiatives undertaken by UNESCO International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme (IGGP).
 At present, there are 161 designated UNESCO Global Geoparks in 44 countries. From Japan, nine sites (Toya-Usu, Itoigawa, Unzen Volcanic Area, San’in Kaigan, Muroto, Oki Islands, Aso, Mt. Apoi, and Izu Peninsula) have been designated.

2. Becoming an Official UNESCO Programme

The predecessor organization of UNESCO Global Geoparks was Global Geoparks, and duties related to evaluation and designation were carried out by Global Geoparks Network, a French NGO established in 2004 with support from UNESCO. However, with interest in Global Geoparks growing in various countries, it was proposed that the project become an official UNESCO programme. At the 38th session of UNESCO’s General Assembly, it was decided that the project would become a formal programme under the name of UNESCO Global Geoparks.
 In conjunction, the eight areas in Japan that were already registered as Global Geoparks were designated as UNESCO Global Geoparks at the same time as the programme became an official UNESCO programme.
 After becoming an official programme, evaluation duties are carried out by UNESCO Global Geopark Council in partnership with Global Geopark Network. UNESCO Executive Board carries out designation based on the recommendations of UNESCO Global Geopark Council.

3. The Establishment of a System in Japan

Japan Geopark Committee, which had carried out the selection of nominated areas from Japan, was designated as a Geopark National Committee for Japan by the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO. The Committee was also designated as an institution with authority for registration and evaluation duties for UNESCO Global Geoparks program in Japan.

Japan Geopark Committee (JGC) website別ウィンドウで開きます

Japan Geopark Network (JGN) website別ウィンドウで開きます