European Geoparks Network- EGN

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The European Geopark Network (EGN) was established in June 2000 to protect Geodiversity, enhance geological heritage and promote sustainable development in areas with an exceptional geological heritage, mainly through the development of Geotourism.

The Network has established by four bodies that manage areas of exceptional geological interest from France, Spain, Germany and Greece. In 2018, the members of the Network became 74 from 22 different European countries.

Aspiration of the Network is to investigate and involve the most important geological monuments from all European countries. All members of the Network are holders of the distinctive mark "European Geopark", which has been registered in all European countries.

The Network operates through a) the continuous electronic communication of the members, b) the organization of two meetings a year each time hosted in a different Geopark, c) the organization of the annual conference presenting the new applications for network membership and the participation in joint programs. Within this framework, Network members work together to exchange practices and experiences and joint actions to protect Europe's geological heritage, to exploit and promote geological natural monuments, to develop alternative forms of tourism and to promote the sustainable development of Geopark regions through Geotourism.

Indicative examples of geotourism activities in the area of a geopark include organized guided tours, educational programs, student information visits and actions to promote the geopark to tour operators. Also, the involvement of local communities in the management of a geopark is considered an essential element for the success of the institution of the Geopark.

Membership of the European Geoparks Network is for a period of four years after which each geopark is subject to revalidation by an International Panel of Experts. The validation process is one of the main processes of the Network and makes a decisive contribution to maintain a high level of operation, infrastructure and services.

Chelmos-Vouraikos Management Body, located in Kalavryta of Achaia, which is supervised by the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, became a member of the European Geoparks Network and the Global Geoparks Network of UNESCO, aiming to contribute to the promotion of alternative tourism, environmental education, environmental protection and environmental promotion.

As Geoparks recognized by UNESCO and members of the of European and Global Geoparks Networks, up today, in Greece have been included five areas: the Petrified Forest of Lesvos, the Psiloritis Natural Park, the Chelmos - Vouraikos National Park, and Vikos - Aoos National Park and the Sitia Nature Park.

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