People, Travel

Will Qeshm Geopark Go International?

Will Qeshm Geopark Go International?Will Qeshm Geopark Go International?

Although previous reports indicated that the Qeshm Geopark is no longer to be inscribed on the UNESCO’s list as the supporter of the Global Geoparks Network, new statements by officials say otherwise.

“This natural heritage is being given another opportunity, having resolved the identified shortcomings, to re-register on UNESCO’s world list of Global Geoparks,” the socio-cultural and tourism deputy at the supreme council of Iran’s free trade, industrial, and special economic zone, Mohammad Ali Zam said, CHN reported.

Qeshm geopark, was the first geopark in the Middle East to become a member of the Global Geoparks Network, but later in 2012, was removed from the list due to mismanagement and failure to meet the required criteria for appearing on the list.

In the Atlas of geopark and geotourism resources of Iran, 22 regions have been identified as being eligible to register as geoparks, including the national geopark of Jolfa in East Azerbaijan Province.

Zam pointed to the large amount of funding required to bring Qesh Geopark up to international standards, adding that the head of Global Geoparks Network is invited to visit Qeshm Island next year to evaluate the condition of the park.

A Geopark is a unified area with geological heritage of international significance. Geoparks use this heritage to promote awareness of key issues facing society in the context of planet Earth.

Many geoparks promote awareness of geological hazards, including volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis and many help with disaster mitigation strategies among local communities.

They maintain records and keep track of climate change, and update, apprise and educate, as well as adopting a best practice approach to utilize renewable energy and employ the best standards of “green tourism”.

The tourism industry as promoted in geopark, is a geographically sustainable and applicable tourism model, that aims to sustain, and even enhance, the geographical character of a local.

Geoparks also help spread awareness about sustainable use and need for natural resources; promoting respect for the environment and the integrity of the landscape whether these resources are mined, quarried or harnessed from the surrounding environment.