Global Network of National Geoparks

European geoparks and sustainable development of the regions: A case-study; the hateg country dinosa

Source :Source:Geoparks 2006 Conference Published :September 22, 2006

D. grigorescu & A. andrasanu

University of Bucharest, 1, Bvd N. Balcescu, 70111, Bucharest, Romania

Keywords: Geopark, development, geological heritage

The UNESCO’S new concept of Geopark meant not only a sign of sustenance of the importance of the geological heritage but also initiation of a new development strategy integrating the management and valorization of the natural, scientific and cultural heritages of a region, previously tackled separately. The new strategy was impressively confirmed by the real blow-up of Geoparks all around the world.

The Geoparks have a particular importance in the cases of new EU Member State/ acceding ones, where requirements for safeguarding the environment and for economic and social development are perfectly complied by the actions involved in Geoparks building.

This statement is based on the experience gained in the Hateg Country Dinosaurs Geopark (HCDG) a region that hosts outstanding treasures of Nature and Culture, but which is confronted with a dramatic economic recession that affects most of the inhabitants of the region. Such discrepancies are common for other countries from Central and East Europe, that allows us to generalize the facts.

The paper presents the strategy used in the creation of the HCDG that consists in need-analysis on various domains involved, aiming at a deep knowledge of the realities in the region (local heritage, economic and social situations); such preliminary studies represent the logical frame for the elaboration and implementation of the management plan. The successful development of this plan is conditioned by the strength and determination of the established partnerships for the Geopark and the aware involvement of local communities in this construction.

The achievements and constrains encountered in our endeavour for the creation of the HCDG as well as the measures for over passing difficulties are discussed. The paper stresses on the role of European Geoparks Network in encouraging cooperation activities and individual activities suitable to the specificity of each Geopark.