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 Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences (CFES) to address the
need for coordination of UNESCO Global Geopark applications from Canada. Currently, there are
five geoparks in Canada, Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark, Tumbler Ridge UNESCO
Global Geopark, Cliffs of Fundy UNESCO Global Geopark, Percé UNESCO Global Geopark and
Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark. There are approximately 7 aspiring geoparks at varying
levels of readiness to submit a formal application to become a geopark. The network 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 CGN conducts site visits prior to applications being
sent to UNESCO and advises on the strengths and shortcomings of aspiring geoparks in Canada.
Our goal is to make Canadian applications to UNESCO as good as they can possibly be.

The Canadian Geoparks Networks board members are:


Sarah Gamble (Chair)

Owner, Moose & Muskwa Consulting Ltd


Sarah Behn, Aboriginal People of Canada, Vice-Chair
Owner, Soniyaw Solutions Ltd
Member, Tumbler Ridge UGG Indigenous Advisory Council, BC

Beth Peterkin, Secretary
Cliffs of Fundy UNESCO Global Geopark, Parrsboro, NS

Manda Maggs, Treasurer
Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark

Godfrey Nowlan (Past Chair)

Retired research scientist formerly with the Geological Survey of Canada

Calgary, AB


John Calder, Geoscience
Retired geologist from the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources
Halifax, NS

Pierre Verpaelst, Liaison to Aspiring Geoparks
Charlevoix Aspiring Geopark
La Malbaie, QC

Max Deck-Léger
Percé UNESCO Global Geopark
Percé, QC

Roda Muse,
Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO
Ottawa, ON

Eleanor Haine, Ex Officio
Canadian Commission for UNESCO

Frances Heydeman

Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark

New Brunswick Museum, Saint John, NB


Cyndy Stead
Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark
Bonavista, NL

Eileen van der Flier Keller, Education
Simon Fraser University
Vancouver, BC

Tom Casadevall, Ex Officio
United States Geological Society
Boulder, CO, USA

Dr. José Luis Palacio Prieto
Escuala Nacional de Ciencias de la Tierra
Mixteca Alta UNESCO Global Geopark, Mexico

Vacant position

Vacant position

Natural Resources Canada. Ottawa, ON