European Charter of Geoparks
The philosophy and main objectives of the territories that form part of the EGN and GGN are written in the European Charter of Geoparks that the candidate territories sign and to which they commit when they request to be included in the network. These principles are the following:
- A European Geopark is a territory that includes a specific geological heritage together with a strategy for sustainable development supported by a European programme for promotion of development. It must have clearly defined limits and an area that is sufficiently large for true economic development of the area. A European Geopark should contain a certain number of geo-sites of specific importance from the perspective of scientific value, uniqueness, aesthetic value or educational merit. Most of the points of interest in a European Geopark should be part of the geological heritage but their interest may also be archaeological, ecological, historical or cultural.
- The places of geological interest in a European Geopark must link into a network and benefit from the common measures of protection and management. No destruction or sale of any geological object is tolerated in a European Geopark. A European Geopark should be managed by a clearly defined structure, capable of achieving the objectives of protecting, improving and sustainably developing the territory.
- A European Geopark plays an active role in the economic development of the territory by highlighting the image in general of geo-tourism linked to geological heritage. A European Geopark has a direct impact on the surrounding territory from the perspective of its positive influence on the conditions of life of the inhabitants and the environment in general. The aim is to allow the inhabitants to reassign value to their natural heritage and to participate actively in the cultural revitalisation of the territory as a whole.
- A European Geopark develops, experiments with and improves upon the methods designed to preserve geological heritage.
- A European Geopark must also support environmental education, training and the development of scientific research in the various subjects of Earth Science, improvements in the natural environment and policies of sustainable development.
- A European Geopark must work within the European Geopark Network to promote the construction and cohesion of the Network. You must work with local companies to promote and support the creation of new products linked to geological heritage, complementing what is on offer with the other European members of the Geopark Network.