International evaluators recently visited the Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark for the first revalidation inspection since receiving its coveted Global Geopark status three years ago. Over five days, a team of two UNESCO representatives have been guided around the Bonavista Peninsula, not only to see the region’s famed geological sites, but to understand how the status is being used to celebrate and support communities in the area.
The inspection, which took place July 24-28, encompassed a series of events, including extensive meetings, cultural experiences, and visits to many of the geopark’s key geosites. The UNESCO team also assesses the geopark’s efforts in preserving and promoting the intangible cultural heritage of the region.
Securing UNESCO Global Geopark status has been highly beneficial to the Bonavista Peninsula as it enables geotourism, fosters sustainable development, boosts the local economy, showcases local culture and products, and provides international recognition and collaboration opportunities. This status not only promotes responsible tourism practices but also supports the region’s overall socio-economic growth and preservation of its natural and cultural heritage.
Along with community support, the Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark has received renewed federal and provincial support as well. The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is providing a non-repayable contribution of $436,855, and the provincial government is contributing $154,175 to the project.
“I am honoured to have recently spent several days accompanying the Revalidation Mission Team, including two international evaluators, throughout the Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark. While the geopark’s captivating geological wonders are undoubtedly its most prominent feature, its significance extends far beyond just that. The Global Geopark designation in this region has played a significant role in enhancing the local economy, promoting sustainable tourism, and bolstering community development. The dedicated staff, board, and supporters take immense pride in the geopark’s achievements since its ratification in 2020 and remain committed to its future growth.”– John Norman, Chair of Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark and Mayor of Bonavista
“The Government of Canada has been proud to support Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark throughout its journey to achieve and maintain its status as an internationally recognized geopark. This site attracts experience seekers from around the world, giving more visitors the opportunity to discover the rich culture, incredible landscapes and vibrant communities that make the Bonavista Peninsula so unique.”– Churence Rogers, Member of Parliament for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity, on behalf of the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA
“The Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark provides significant opportunity for growth in geological and cultural tourism, among other areas, and is an important attraction in one of the province’s busiest regions for tourism activity. This project is a culmination of over 10 years of work by regional partners, and I commend each and every one of you for your commitment to this exciting initiative. Newfoundland and Labrador continues to be at the forefront of developing world-class sustainable tourism attractions that celebrate the landscape and the culture of this great province.”– Honourable Andrew Parsons, KC
Minister of the Department of Industry, Energy and Technology
For further information on the Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark please visit www.discoverygeopark.com.
About Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark:
Located on the upper half of the Bonavista Peninsula on the eastern coast of the island of Newfoundland, Discovery has a variety of sites where you can tour and learn about the Earth. Discovery is positioned along a series of highways aptly named the “Discovery Trail”, via Routes 230 and 235. The geopark covers an area of 1150 km2 and spans over 280 km of rugged, untouched, coastlines and landscapes. This historic region is known for its colourful cultural and enchanting stories. Adventure awaits as you travel along scenic driving routes, explore national and provincial attractions, hike, boat, and breathe in the breathtaking coastal scenery and dramatic rock formations.
Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark
Director of Communications
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Media Relations Manager
Industry Energy and Technology