News ID: 318482
Published: 1128 GMT December 05, 2021

Tabas Geopark up for registration in UNESCO’s Global Geoparks Network

Tabas Geopark up for registration in UNESCO’s Global Geoparks Network
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Tabas Geopark

Iranica Desk

The dossier of Tabas Geopark, located in the northeastern province of South Khorasan, was submitted to UNESCO for possible registration in UNESCO’s Global Geoparks Network (GGN), said Alireza Amrikazemi, who served as the adviser to the Tabas Geopark project.

Speaking in an interview with Mehr New Agency, he added that the objective was achieved after four years of extensive efforts undertaken by those involved in the project to undergo training courses based on UNESCO’s regulations and provide the necessary infrastructures in the region.

He noted that the activities undertaken in Tabas Geopark were at first approved by the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO.

He said that earlier in July, a letter was sent to UNESCO to announce Iran’s readiness for submitting the dossier of Tabas Geopark to the organization.

“In the first phase, several evaluations will be carried out on the dossier by various offices of UNESCO and International Union of Geological Sciences. If approved, it will be assessed by UNESCO inspectors next year,” he said.

He observed that if international bodies approve the dossier, UNESCO inspectors will arrive in Iran next summer to visit Tabas Geopark.

Amrikazemi, who is director of Qeshm Global Geopark, said that Tabas Geopark, extending in an area of ​​22,771 sq.km, has 39 geosites with geological and natural attractions, drawing the attention of many Iranian and foreign geologists.

He said that preparing the necessary infrastructures, offering several training courses to local people in the field of geological science, carrying out research on related fields and establishing a data center in the geopark are among the steps taken during the past years.

“A report on the measures undertaken in the region was included in the dossier submitted to UNESCO,” he said

Amrikazemi said that the dossier of Aras Geopark, northeastern province of East Azarbaijan, was also submitted to UNESCO two years ago. It was approved by the organization, but due to the COVID-19 restrictions, UNESCO inspectors could not travel to Iran to visit the geopark.

He harbored hope that assessment would be carried out in the near future.

Qeshm Geopark, in the southern province of Hormuzgan, is the only geopark of the Middle East which was registered by GGN, also known as the Global Network of National Geoparks. Aras was introduced to UNESCO as the second geopark of Iran, and the third one is located in Tabas.

Qeshm Island, a UNESCO Global Geopark, is the largest island in the Persian Gulf with a very kind, sociable local community. It is located in a subtropical, hot, and humid climate, and the vegetative area of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.

In addition to having a special strategic position, the island has a diverse and valuable nature. Special habitats, animal species, rare plants, various geological phenomena and picturesque landscapes are abundantly found there.

The area of mangrove forests in Qeshm Island is more than 100,000 hectares. According to primary evaluations, around Qeshm and the Strait of Hormuz, the density of corals and diversity of animals is very high.

The majority of geosites in Qeshm Geopark are the result of tectonic moves and erosion. Anticlines are the general phenomena in the Zagros Mountains, especially in southern Iran.

UNESCO has a clear and comprehensive definition of the geopark: An area with clear boundaries that encompasses a number of rare and prominent geological phenomena, with valuable natural, historical and cultural attractions.

A UNESCO Global Geopark has multiple aims which include the protection and conservation of its territorial geoheritage and culturally and environmentally sustainable development of the area.

UNESCO Global Geoparks are fundamentally about people and about exploring and celebrating the links between communities and the Earth.

The UNESCO Global Geoparks Council is responsible for assessing new nominations. It makes the decision on whether new applications should be forwarded to the Executive Board of UNESCO for endorsement.

Furthermore, it has a key advisory role to the director-general of UNESCO on the strategy, planning and implementation of UNESCO Global Geoparks.

   
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