Global Network of National Geoparks

The role of geoparks in strengthen local identity

Published :March 17, 2008

Hateg Country Dinosaurs Geopark, University of Bucharest, 1, Bvd N.Balcescu, 70111 Bucharest, Romania
A. andrasanu & D. grigorescu

Keywords: Geopark, local identity, sustainable development

The paper is dealing with the idea that a geopark territory is not a sum of separate elements, but rather an organic context of spatial and non-spatial realities, shaped by its physical structure (geodiversity, biodiversit), human landscape and its historic evolution. The major role of the geopark is to help local communities to re-appropriate these values and to revive and strengthen the local and cultural identity in respect to sustainable development principles.

Based on the experience of the Hateg Country Dinosaurs Geopark we are discussing four basic ideas in approaching a geopark development:

The territory of the geopark and its coherence from cultural, economic and social point of view.

Developing interdisciplinary detailed research studies to identify the territorial system components, their relationships, social and economical needs and assign a role and relative priority for each one related to local identity valorization.

Use of the research results and multi-stakeholders approach to develop social, economic and cultural projects and to support active participation and involvement of local communities.

Create local, national and international partnerships for formal and informal education, public awareness, projects development and to promote the area and its values.

Due attention is given to activities from projects dealing with public awareness, cultural events, promotion, informal education, the potential of cultural goods for local or regional development, and the needs and the willingness of the local community concerned.