People, Travel

Restoration Work on Qeshm Geopark

Restoration Work on Qeshm GeoparkRestoration Work on Qeshm Geopark

Work is in progress at the Qeshm Geopark in the Persian Gulf, home to over 3,000 animal species, to bring the former UNESCO-listed site up to the mark.

“The first phase of the project focuses on renovating the entrance of the geopark museum,” said Hamidreza Mohsenpour, the geopark’s director, according to Mehr News Agency.

The museum exhibits samples of the area’s geological and ecological diversity, among other things.

Finland, Norway, Iceland and Portugal have expressed readiness to help Iran’s only geopark meet UNESCO’s criteria to reenter the list. In 2013, Qeshm Geopark was dropped from the list due to problems that have remained unresolved for too long.

A working group was formed at the beginning of the current Iranian year (started March 21) to identify the problems and propose solutions to return the natural area on the List of Global Geoparks.

Geoparks have significant scientific and geological value, apart from being a natural and cultural heritage. The Global Geopark Network, established by UNESCO, not only registers such parks but also pursues three other objectives: geopark protection, spreading awareness and setting standards for green tourism.

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

Qeshm Island is one of Iran’s seven free zones and a top holiday destination. Aside from the sandy beaches, the island’s famed mangrove forests in the Hara Protected Area draw domestic and foreign tourists in droves.