International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks, 27th -30th September 2016, English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark, Torbay, England.
– Authors: Alireza Amrikazemi, Hamidreza Mohsenpour & Soma Sayedyounesi
Ten years ago when Geoparks Global Network was so young, Qeshm Island Geopark joined that network. After so many up and downs, now this aspiring geopark with a high willpower and a firm intention is trying to be a UGG family member again. All the conservation, geoeducation and empowerment of local community strategies are being implemented by the local authorities support and cooperation of the local community. Some of innovations and actions done in this aspiring geopark are among the infrequent ones in other geoparks. For instance, establishment of the geopark’s own hotel, replacement the name of the most important square of the city centre to Geopark Square and installation the information panel all around the square, modifying the airport arrival hall to the specific pavilion of the geopark are among the effective activities to increase the visibility of geopark. Promoting geoheritage values along with geopark’s brand in different ways is done by installation of geopark symbols and geosites information boards in the entrances of the island as well as city centers. The number of geopark partners is now increasing; their cooperation includes activities like producing local handy crafts, offering accommodation, local cuisine, transfer service and local guiding the visitors. Geopark’s partners will join the geopark’s partners’ network after reaching the standards announced by geopark. Labeling the approved geoproducts and adding related information and content to their package is undertaken by the partners under the supervision of geopark. It seems Qeshm Island Aspiring Geopark already has found its way through reaching Global Geoparks network’s aims and policies. Acceptance in the UGG program will be the approval of its functioning and will bring the added value and the motivation to continue its way.