Sustainable development in UNESCO Global Geoparks
In UNESCO Global Geoparks, special attention is given to the Top 10 Focus Areas, one of which is sustainable development. However, all of these areas can be examined and promoted from a sustainable development standpoint.
Ratified by the member states of the UN in 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires the nations of the world to promote the well-being of all people and our planet. Every effort will be made to achieve well-being by 2030 by means of the 17 goals and their 169 targets. Through their operations, Geoparks can promote the achievement of many different sustainable development goals.
Sustainable development at the Lauhanvuori-Hämeenkangas Geopark
The Lauhanvuori-Hämeenkangas Geopark is working to influence society at large, the environment and the economy in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. These actions and goals have been stated in the Geopark’s sustainable development programme, whose implementation is examined and updated each year. Businesses and organisations in the Geopark area may apply for the right to display the Geopark logo by becoming a member of the Geopark Association as well as by meeting the criteria for using the logo, which in and of themselves promote sustainable development.
From May 2019 to the end of 2021, the Geopark will be running its Sustainable Development in the Geopark (Kestävää kehitystä Geoparkissa) project, whose primary objective is to get Geopark area municipalities, businesses, local people and tourists to act in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.
Sustainable development perspectives, particularly in energy production, are already taken into consideration in the activities of municipalities in the Geopark area. Wind farms have been built in the municipalities and major wind farm projects are in the works. One of the municipalities belongs to the Carbon Neutral Municipalities (HINKU) network and other municipalities are also interested in joining. Municipalities are encouraged to join the HINKU network.
Businesses are also encouraged to engage in sustainable development. For example, tourism service providers are assisted in obtaining a Sustainable Tourism Certificate, which entitles them to display the Sustainable Travel Finland label.
In schools, sustainable development is included as a running theme in curricula. Educational institutions, schools and daycare centres are encouraged to join sustainable development programmes. Educational materials produced by the Geopark highlight sustainable development themes.