The Geopark concept emerged in the mid-1990s in response to the necessity of safeguarding the value of geological landscapes that are of special significance to Earth’s history. Such landscapes and geological structures are the primary witness to the evolution of our planet in the past, and the determining factor for our development in the future. From the very beginning, Geoparks have developed as community-led structures following the “bottom up” principle. They ensure that extensive geological landscape elements are preserved, and that science, education and culture are promoted within them. They also promote sustainability with regard to economic use and responsible tourism.
Geoparks in Germany
The Tasks of a Geopark
A geopark’s tasks can be summarized as follows: It is essential to convey the history of Earth’s development to the general public utilizing exemplary landscapes and, in particular, to offer educational opportunities. In this sense, the history of Earth includes the history of its formation in general and the development of its soil, the geomorphological and geographical formation of its landscapes in particular, as well as their use by humans (agriculture and forestry, use of raw materials and development of post-mining landscapes, cultural uses, etc.).
- offer unique geological phenomena to be viewed and experienced,
- seek ways of preserving significant geological features,
- strive to contribute to sustainable regional development and to keeping the environment intact, while still allowing for compatible economic development.