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.

Canadian National Committee Geopark Brochure

UNESCO Global Geopark Brochure


Canadian National Committee


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 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 members are:


Godfrey Nowlan (Chair)

Retired research scientist formerly with the Geological Survey of Canada

Calgary, AB


Gail Bremner

Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark, Saint John, NB


John Calder

Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, Halifax, NS


Isabelle Cyr Parent

Percé UNESCO Global Geopark, Percé, QC



Jeff Hunston

Department of Culture and Tourism, Whitehorse, YK


Steve Johnston
University of Victoria, BC

Randy Miller

New Brunswick Museum, Saint John, NB

Catherine Ste-Marie
Natural Resources Canada

Pierre Verpaelst

Quebec City, QC


Sarah Waters
Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark, BC

Tom Casadevall, Ex Officio

United States Geological Society


Eleanor Haine Bennett

Canadian Commission for UNESCO


Sébastien Goupil

Canadian Commission for UNESCO