Global Network of National Geoparks

Obstacles and miracles in the process of making a geopark from scratch. As experienced by a hangarou

Published :March 10, 2008
S. Dahlgren
Gea Norvegica Geopark, Fylkeshuset, 3126 Tønsberg, Norway

Keywords: Experience transfer. Geopark establishment

Gea Norvegica Geopark has a goal of becoming a European Geopark, and we have been working to reach this goal since 2002. Different geoparks require different models for establishment and operation. Although we will try to focus on some common aspects of the process of establishment, this presentation will necessarily be coloured by "our model".

Most of us start out with a collection of very fascinating and important geosites. This is of course a prerequisite for a geopark, but is, as stated by the EGN Charter, not sufficient. This talk will address and comment on some other points necessary to evaluate in the process of making a geopark:

Who is the geopark for? Most people intuitively believe that "a geopark must be something for mineral collectors and other bodies especially keen on stones".

Why making a geopark? Many administrators / politicians can's see the point in making a park for geologists and rockhounds: And that is not the goal either.

"Geosites" versus "Geopark localities".What is a geopark locality?

Administration. In our excitement of making a geopark it is easy to forget that the administration needs to be sufficiently large. And the size depends on money!

Education. We believe that the school teachers need us. Do they want us?

Geotourism, What is "geotourism?" who are the "eotourists"actually?

Geotourism. What is "eotourism?"Who are the "eotourists"actually?

Rememeber: This is not a recipe on how to become a European Geopark. We are not one ourself.