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V4 to strengthen geoparks cooperation

On the occasion of the Czech Presidency of the Visegrad Group, representatives of the national geopark commissions of the V4 countries met to discuss the importance of geoparks as examples of good practice in sustainable development.

“The Ministry of the Environment values geoparks above all because their activities contribute to building a relationship with the landscape in which people live and with local traditions,” said Environment Minister Petr Hladík.

This year’s meeting aimed at establishing the basic framework for long-term and stable cooperation between geoparks in the Central European region. Discussion topics included possibilities for cooperation in the preparation of the evaluation of aspiring UNESCO Global Geoparks and the re-evaluation of existing geoparks (including transboundary ones), as well as important topics such as the presentation and protection of geological heritage.

Due to their similarities in natural conditions and cultural and historical context, the territories of the Visegrad Group countries face similar problems and challenges.

“Geoparks face insufficient funding perhaps all over the world, but in the Central European area, we are still often troubled by the lack of involvement of local governments in their development,” explained Deputy Minister of the Environment Jiří Lehejček.

Geoparks represent areas of importance not only in terms of geology, geomorphology and wildlife but also, for example, in terms of archaeology, mining and ethnography.

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