Lauhanvuori Hämeenkangas Geopark’s international evaluation in July is an important step towards its UNESCO Global Geopark membership
Two international evaluators will arrive at the Geopark area at the end of July: one from Malaysia, one from Spain. The evaluators will become acquainted with the region, its geology, nature and cultural history, as well as plans on how the aforementioned will be presented not only to tourists but also to local people.
From UNESCO's perspective, it is important to ensure the preservation of geological, natural and cultural heritage and to communicate their value to the following generations through the methods of environmental education together with the schools in the region. The Geopark and its values should be particularly visible throughout the area, and a guest entering the region should immediately notice that he or she has arrived at a Geopark.
The Geopark should support the local economy, which means that the state of geo-tourism, business cooperation and promotion of local products are also assessed as part of the Geopark. Local operators are involved in the evaluation. The region’s commitment to the development of Geopark must be obvious.
The evaluators stay in the region for four days and familiarise themselves with all the different perspectives, discuss with people in the region and finally give their statements to UNESCO on how eligible the region is as a Geopark. On the basis of this, the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council will make its recommendations to the Executive Board of UNESCO in the autumn, which will make the final decision in spring 2020.
We would like to welcome the evaluators to our region!
Photograph of the pre-evaluation completed by Kristin Rangnes in May 2018. Photograph by Ismo Nousiainen