UNESCO Global Geopark

UNESCO has cooperated closely with the European Geopark Network meeting its strict quality criteria right from the start. Under the auspices of UNESCO, the European Geoparks are now members of the Global Geopark Network on the one hand, and part of the UNESCO World Heritage on the other. Worldwide, there are 140 different Geoparks in 38 countries, most of them in Europe, while others can be found in East Asia, for instance in China or Japan.

Back in 2000, the European Geopark Network was founded by 4 regions. There are currently 73 members in 23 European countries such as Germany, Spain, Great Britain and Italy. In addition to the Styrian Eisenwurzen Geopark, there are three more Geoparks in Austria, one of them in Salzburg and two in Carinthia.

In 2002, the Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature Park was awarded the title of European Geopark and in 2004, it became a member of the Global Geopark Network under the auspices of UNESCO. In 2015, it was recognized as a UNESCO Global Geopark as part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

Further information at

UNESCO Global Geoparks are unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological importance are managed with a holistic approach to conservation, education and sustainable development. (Source unesco.org) UNESCO Global Geoparks work on different priorities for a region:

  • Outreach and geotourism
  • Education
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Research
  • Climate change and environment
  • Regional development
  • Protection of the geological, natural and cultural heritage

For this purpose, various guidelines have to be fulfilled, such as visibility of the Geopark, or regular international exchange, but also research and awareness-raising measures. In addition, there are various external support and scientific advice. Based on years of positive experience we rely on expertises of the Natural History Museum Vienna.

Alex L

Priv. Doz. Dr. Alexander Lukeneder born. 1972 in Steyr Upper Austria, studied Earth Sciences and Paleontology in Vienna, since 2004 scientist and curator for the Mesozoic collection at the Natural History Museum Vienna, 2016 Habilitation in Paleontology at the University of Vienna, lecturer for lectures at the University of Vienna; focus on Mesozoic (Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous), evertebrates, paleoecology, paleoclimate; leader of 4 FWF projects on the Mesozoic; Discovered the first pliosaur in Austria in 2019; authored over 120 scientific and popular articles as Austria’s leading mesozoologist; member of the Geo/Hydro Science National Committee of the Austrian Academy of Sciences; Austrian representative on the Earth System Sciences Science Board of UNESCO in Paris; book author of Dinosaur File, Adventure Dolomites, and Hiking into the World of Dinosaurs; lecturer at children’s universities and Young Science Ambassador. Inventor and operator of the Fossifinder project within the framework of Österreich forscht/Citizen Science.

Homepage: nhm-wien.ac.at/alexander_lukeneder