Portuguese Natural Area Added to Global Network of Geoparks

(PRWEB) August 24, 2006 — The Geopark Naturtejo da Meseta Meridional is based around the district of Castelo Branco, in eastern-central Portugal. It has one of the most extensive networks of trails in all of Portugal. These trails are broken down by themes, and give insight into the geological history of the earth, as well as human interaction with nature. The trails have special markings and interpretive panels along the way lead visitors through some of the most enchanting and interesting wilderness in central Portugal.

Geoparks promote the development of a global network of sites which represent exceptional examples of our planet’s geological heritage, according to UNESCO. These unique sites, like the one in Portugal, safeguard geological heritage while offering sustainable development of regional economies. Geoparks help to stimulate development activities, such as ecological tourism, crafts and cottage industries.

A UNESCO Geopark is defined as a managed area encompassing one or more sites of scientific importance. They may be important not just for their geology, but for their archaeology, ecology or local culture, as well.

The “European Geopark” designation was created in June 2003 and parks in the network carry this designation. The network was established in April 2001 and has been working in partnership with UNESCO. It provides a platform for cooperation and exchange between experts and practitioners in geological heritage, under the oversight of UNESCO.

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