The United Nations’ Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) is to officially name Iran’s Qeshm Island as a reference for other countries on the development of geoparks.
An official says the Qeshm island in southern Iran will be introduced as the hub of developing geoparks in an upcoming international event on the development of geoparks.
“Iran will offer consultations to other countries in that regard,” says Alireza Amri Kazemi, a member of the Global Geoparks Council of the UNESCO.
“An international UNESCO conference and specialized workshop on the development of global geoparks will be held in Qeshm Island on April 28-30,” he added.
“In this gathering, specialized-training workshops will be held to develop geoparks in Iran and in the whole region,” he said in a Farsi interview with Mehr News Agency.
“The opening ceremony will be held on April 28, and specialized workshops will open and run until night after official speeches are delivered,” noted Amri Kazemi, who is also the director of the Qeshm Geopark.
“Specialized workshops will also be held on April 29, and April 30 will feature visits to geo-sites,” he said.
“Based on the arrangements made with UNESCO, Qeshm is to be introduced as the centre for the development of UNESCO’s global geoparks,” he noted.
“We will give consultations to other countries on how to develop their geoparks. So, UNESCO will tell any country in the Middle that wants to establish geoparks to refer to Iran. That will give us the opportunity to export technical-consultative services.”
“When we are known as a reference, we will be able to render consultative and expert services. If we want to assume that role, we should train workforce,” he said.
The event brings together dozens of domestic and foreign officials, including authorities from UNESCO.
Qeshm Geopark has become a UNESCO Global Geopark after obtaining the UN cultural body’s green card.
In a meeting held in September 2016, the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council decided to designate Qeshm Geopark as a UNESCO Global Geopark for a four-year period.
The decision was recently endorsed during the 201st session of the UNESCO Executive Board meeting where Qeshm Geopark officially became global.
The designation started on May 5, 2017, and will be valid until May 4, 2021.
Geoparks have significant scientific and geological value, apart from being a natural and cultural heritage. The Global Geopark Network, established by UNESCO, not only registers such parks but also pursues three other objectives: Geopark protection, spreading awareness and setting standards for green tourism.