People, Travel

Qeshm to Develop Geopark Infrastructure

Qeshm to Develop Geopark InfrastructureQeshm to Develop Geopark Infrastructure

The infrastructure of Iran’s only geopark on Qeshm Island in Hormozgan Province will be developed to reenter the site on UNESCO’s List of Global Geoparks.

In 2013, the geopark was dropped from the list due to problems plaguing the natural area that remained unresolved for too long, ISNA reported.

Nevertheless, Qeshm Free Zone Organization is committed to tackling the problems, according to the organization’s chief, Hamidreza Momeni.

He said a working group was formed at the beginning of the current Iranian year (started March 21) to identify the problems and devise solutions to reenter the natural area on the List of Global Geopark.

“The group is working on nine projects, each of which comply with international standards, to resolve all issues and make the best use of the park’s tourism potential,” he said.

“The organization has been allocated 5 billion rials ($153,000) to implement changes to the park’s infrastructure.”

Momeni stressed that the organization “will not be begging for help” and hoped that in cooperation with Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, problems will be solved.

Geoparks have significant scientific and geological value, apart from being a natural and cultural heritage. Each of these geographic units is under the protection and supervision of a single body charged with preserving its natural and geological value.

The Global Geopark Network, established by UNESCO, not only registers such parks but also pursues three other objectives: geopark protection, education and the setting of standards for green tourism.

To comply with UNESCO’s standards, a geopark must have appropriate infrastructure and adequate accommodations for tourists, in line with environmental standards while protecting the natural landscape.