What is a UNESCO Global Geopark?

UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development. A UNESCO Global Geopark uses its geological heritage, in connection with all other aspects of the area’s natural and cultural heritage, to enhance awareness and understanding of key issues facing society, such as using our earth’s resources sustainably, mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing natural disasters-related risks. By raising awareness of the importance of the area’s geological heritage in history and society today, UNESCO Global Geoparks give local people a sense of pride in their region and strengthen their identification with the area. The creation of innovative local enterprises, new jobs and high quality training courses is stimulated as new sources of revenue are generated through geotourism, while the geological resources of the area are protected.

External link opens in new tab or windowUNESCO Global Geopark Brochure


Canadian Geoparks Network (formerly Canadian National Committee for Geoparks)


The Canadian National Committee for  Geoparks (CNCG) is a national committee  that was formed in 2009  under the auspices of the External link opens in new tab or windowCanadian Federation of Earth Sciences (CFES) to address the need for coordination of UNESCO Global Geopark applications from Canada. Currently there are two geoparks in Canada, Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark, NB and Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark, BC.  There are approximately 10 aspiring geoparks at varying levels of readiness to submit a formal application to become a geopark.  The committee  has established guidelines governing the process by  which Canadian communities can aspire to UNESCO Global Geopark status and it assists communities to improve their applications that ultimately go to UNESCO Headquarters.  The CNCG conducts site visits prior to applications being sent to UNESCO and advises on strengths and shortcomings of aspiring geoparks in Canada.  Our goal is to make Canadian applications to UNESCO as good as they can possibly be.

Committee board members are:



John Calder (Chair),

Retired geologist from the

Nova Scotia Departmentof Naturel Resources, Halifax, NS


Sarah Gable (Vice Chair)

Owner, Moose & Muskwa Consulting Ltd


Beth Peterkin (Secretary),

Cliffs of Fundy Geopark, Parrsboro, NS


 Manda Maggs (Treasurer)
Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark, BC

Godfrey Nowlan (past Chair)

Retired research scientist formerly with the Geological Survey of Canada

Calgary, AB



Sarah Behn, Aboriginal People of Canada

Owner, Soniyaw Solutions Ltd.
Member, Tumbler Ridge UGG Indegenous Advisory Council, BC


Jonathan Blais

Percé UNESCO Global Geopark, Percé, QC



Tom Casadevall, Ex Officio

United States Geological Society, Boulder, CO, USA


Sébastien Goupil

Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Ottawa, ON


Eleanor Haine-Bennett, Ex Officio

Canadian Commission for UNESCO



Frances Heydeman

Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark

New Brunswick Museum, Saint John, NB



Jeff Hunston

Royal Geographical Society of Canada, Whitehorse, YK


 Vacant position

Pierre Verpaelst, Liaison to Aspiring Geoparks

Charlevoix Aspiring Geopark, La Malbaie, QC



Vacant position

Natural Resources Canada. Ottawa, ON