Dear colleagues and friends,

Geoparks are becoming very popular due to their combination of conservation, sustainable development and community involvement. UNESCO became active in this area in 1999 and in 2001 decided to gives its ad hoc support to national Geopark initiatives which are coordinated through a Global Geoparks Network (GGN) where national geological heritage initiatives benefit fully from their membership of a global network of exchange and cooperation.

The International Geographical Union (IGU) was established in Brussels in 1922 with history of international meetings of geographers dating back to before 1871. The IGU Commission on Geoparks (IGU-COG, offically named in 2008), began working in cooperation with GGN in 2004, to discuss our mission to promote the sustainable development and management of Geoparks from a geographical perspective.

Our First International Forum on Geoparks: Interpretation and Sustainable Development was held in October 2007, in Yuntaishan Geopark in P. R. China, which is home to 22 globally recognized Geoparks and 182 nationally recognized Geoparks. As of October 2010, there are 77 Global Geoparks Network members from 25 countries.

Our Second International Forum will be held from 27-29 May 2011 at the site of the beautiful Taining World Geopark (Taining, Fujian, China). The three-day forum will focus on promoting capacity building and sustainable development in the management of Geoparks.

We warmly invite you share your experiences and your research about Geoparks, especially related to capacity building and sustainable development. We enthusiastically look forward to meeting you in Taining, China!

With very best regards
Dr. WEI Dongying
Chair IGU-CoG
December 9, 2010


For more information on the the Forum: download here

For the registration form: download here


And there is also a Post Forum Trip if you would like to extend your stay. Download the itinerary here.

Call for Papers:

Papers for the 2nd International Forum of Geoparks should focus on capacity building and sustainable development in managing Geoparks worldwide. Papers presented will provide comparative experiences from diverse nations that are involved with developing and preserving our Geoparks and Geo-heritage in sustainable ways. It is understood that heritage here refers not simply to monumental sites or cultural landscapes, but also to the intangible heritage that is so much at risk.

We are seeking innovative contributions from Geopark administrators, geographers, environmentalists, economists, educators, policy specialists and practitioners to share best practices and lessons learned, under the following five topics:

  1. Major challenges in capacity building and sustainable development of Geoparks (including to territories which want to become part of the EGN/GGN)
  2. Geoparks, GeoTourism & GeoHeritage Management Policy
  3. Widening Public Engagement and Forging Organizational Alliances
  4. Environmental Interpretation & Planning of Geoparks
  5. Geopark Education, Training, and Communication


Abstracts for poster presentations, short papers (10 min. presentations) and research papers (20 min. presentations) on these themes will be accepted until 20 February 2011. They should be a maximum of 300 words, in English.

Full papers should be sent by 20 March 2011. All correspondence should be sent either by fax to +86-010-5883-6093 or by email to

Authors should include full contact information (name, institutional affiliation, mailing address, phone, fax and e-mail address).

Notification of acceptance will be sent by 20 March 2011.

For questions or requests for additional information, please visit our website


Contact person: Ms. Christiana Lawson

+86-13718519502 (mobile)

+86-010-5880-7455 ext. 1385 (office)

+86-010-5883-6093 (fax)