WP4. Geo-site Management
This WP will enhance the management of partner Geoparks by enabling best practice to be identified through intensive discussion and applied to existing/future Geoparks. It will focus on the joint development of effective and innovative management tools that will help both established and aspiring Geoparks to achieve better performance based on the exchange of know-how and expertise. This WP also includes support for aspiring Geoparks who need to gain experience and knowledge in order to achieve the award of Geopark status. This will enable the expansion of both the European and Global Geoparks Network, into under-represented areas within Atlantic Area (WP3- Capitalization).
Coinciding with the project coordination meetings, partners will organise study visits and working groups to agree best practice in Geoparks management – whether for conservation, community development or tourism. This transnational collaboration and exchange of experiences will enable the production of a transnationally applicable Geoparks Management Toolkit and a Guide of Best Practice which will be presented at a Transnational Seminar.
Support, mentoring and technical assistance will be given to partners aspiring to become Geoparks by the rest of the partnership. A Geotourism Monitoring system will be established to monitor progress against key indicators and international benchmarks. The joint development of Geodiversity Conservation Charters will spread project impact beyond partner activity.
4.1 – Study Visits
Five study visits will be organised coinciding to the project coordination meetings (see action 1.2). Host partners will demonstrate the best practices operating in their Geopark, their leisure and educational offer and its interaction with the local community. Partners will use these meetings to organise workshops in key topics, both technical and transversal, and will distil their experiences into successive elements of the Toolkit. The duration of these visits will be 2-3 days.
Deliverable: Study visits
In situ visits were agreed to be the most effective way to share and compare the different systems of managing a Geopark and identifying good practice. They will support the creation of transnational management tools and exchange of know-how.
4.2 – Management Toolkit and Geoparks Management Seminar
The Toolkit, led by P4-Fforest Fawr, will encompass the key managerial, environmental, economic and social aspects of managing a Geopark, including: detailed information about management/operation, governance, communication, local engagement, conservation management, educational and training activities, sustainable development and geotourism, geoproducts and services, etc. The action will culminate with a Transnational Seminar on Geoparks organised by P1-UTAD where the Toolkit will be presented.
Deliverable: Management Toolkit and Geoparks management seminar
The Toolkit will be constructed digitally and multi-lingually to enable wide access to geosites across the world. Both content and format will be innovative by design and function, using digital editing techniques to enable full partner collaboration.
4.3 – Support and Assistance to Aspiring Geoparks
Partners will support and mentor the aspiring Geopark partners through their development and UNESCO led verification processes. The emerging experiences within the Toolkit will be a valuable source of that support but direct assistance will also be facilitated. P10-North Pennines AONB will assist the WP Leader (P4) in coordinating this action. Once verified, these Geoparks will join both EGN and GGN (P14) and be able to bring enhanced economic benefits, enhancing impact within Atlantic Area.
Deliverable: Support and assistance to aspiring Geoparks
The two aspiring Geoparks will submit applications for Geopark status to UNESCO for verification, following support from partners.
Partners will take advantage of the study visits to offer their expertise to aspiring Geoparks and mentoring/support.
4.4 – Geodiversity Conservation Charters
The partnership will work together to draw up a multi-lingual European Atlantic Geodiversity Conservation Charter and make it available digitally. This Charter will recognise not only the value of geodiversity, but also the need for action to promote awareness and more integrated management as part of an ecosystem approach. The Charter will be coordinated by P-13 GeoMon working with the WP leader (P4-Fforest Fawr) which has wide experience in this field.
Deliverable: Geodiversity Conservation charters
This Policy instrument will set out a vision and outline how the Atlantic organisations and individuals can contribute to ensure that geodiversity continues to benefit both present and future generations.
4.5 – Geotourism Monitoring System
Led by P1-UTAD as the research institute, partners will develop a system for monitoring the effectiveness of their management systems, involving a wide set of stakeholders. Partners will take advantage of the European Tourism Indicators System to measure and monitor their sustainable management performance.
Deliverable: Monitoring system
The system will be developed digitally to regularly monitor key stakeholders views on the management and development of the Geoparks and other natural areas.