UNESCO Bestows Prestigious ‘Global Geopark’ Status on Two Outstanding Sites in the Atlantic Provinces

Ottawa, ONT. (July 10, 2020) – The Canadian Commission for UNESCO and the Canadian Geoparks Network are pleased to announce that the Cliffs of Fundy, in Nova Scotia, and Discovery, in Newfoundland and Labrador, have been designated UNESCO Global Geoparks.

Geoparks are sites recognized by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, for their exceptional geological heritage. Being designated a Geopark means having the ability to mobilize local stakeholders to preserve unique geological sites and educate visitors about them. Geoparks also play a leading role in fostering high quality, sustainable tourism and contributing to the vitality of local economies.

As inhabitants of the coasts of the Cliffs of Fundy UNESCO Global Geopark for more than 11,000 years, the Mi’kmaq were the area’s first geologists. With more than 40 geosites across 125 km, visitors can discover the Earth’s incredible natural history, the world’s highest tides, Canada’s oldest dinosaur fossils, and magnificent landscapes steeped in Mi’kmaq legends, tales and culture, Acadian traditions, and a dynamic arts and food culture.

‘’The Cliffs of Fundy Geopark society welcomes this opportunity with honour and humility and will cherish this moment now and into the future. This prestigious designation confirms that our Geopark possesses internationally significant geological heritage and places our Cumberland County and the County of Colchester on a well-deserved world stage. I’m convinced that with this designation the Cliffs of Fundy will continue the hard work to bring together our Indigenous culture, our diverse communities and our partners worldwide to promote and build a sustainable Geopark to be the best that we can be!’’

― Don Fletcher, President, Cliffs of Fundy Geopark Society

The Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark provides visitors with a unique opportunity to explore spectacular seascapes and to learn about the earliest fossils of animal life. With rock dating back to more than half a billion years, the area contains some of the most spectacular and best-preserved Ediacaran fossils in the world. The Discovery Geopark, a part of which overlaps with the traditional lands of the now-extinct Beothuk people, is located on the Bonavista Peninsula, on Newfoundland’s east coast.

“Congratulations to the Discovery Geopark Board and committee members on receiving UNESCO Global Geopark designation. This grassroots project has been led by volunteers from throughout the Bonavista region for over a decade. Representatives from our not-for-profit, business and municipal sectors have worked with all levels of government through invaluable investments of time and resources to solidify this incredible new Geopark. Today this UNESCO designation on the Bonavista Peninsula adds another valuable piece to our ever-strengthening tourism offerings, while enhancing sustainable economic growth in a rural area. Once again the Bonavista Peninsula has a reason to celebrate as we are highlighted on the international stage.”

― John Norman, Chair, Discovery Geopark

“Becoming a UNESCO Global Geopark is a tremendous achievement—international recognition that is very prestigious and difficult to obtain. We salute the efforts of those who have worked relentlessly over the years to champion the nominations for the Cliffs of Fundy and Discovery, two remarkably beautiful sites. The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is pleased to welcome these two new partners that will contribute to the vitality of local economies while embodying sustainable development and education models with a view to ensuring the preservation of a unique natural and cultural heritage.”

― Liette Vasseur, President, and Sébastien Goupil, Secretary-General, Canadian Commission for UNESCO

“We congratulate Discovery and Cliffs of Fundy UNESCO Global Geoparks on this tremendous achievement and we are proud to be adding these two new members to the Canadian Geoparks Network. Our members invite Canadians and people from across the world to explore Canada’s incredible geological heritage, natural and cultural diversity, and to reflect on how we have been shaped by the land since the First Peoples walked here. Having experienced first-hand the geological wonders of both new Geoparks, as well as the incredible warmth of their people, I am certain that memories of a lifetime await anyone lucky enough to explore them.”

― John Calder, Chair, Canadian Geoparks Network

Cliffs of Fundy and Discovery are joining three other world class UNESCO Global Geoparks in Canada: Stonehammer (New Brunswick), Percé (Québec) and Tumbler Ridge (British Columbia).

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Canadian Commission for UNESCO
The Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) serves as a bridge between Canadians and the vital work of UNESCO—the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Through its networks and partners, the Commission promotes UNESCO values, priorities and programs in Canada and brings the voices of Canadian experts to the international stage. The Commission facilitates cooperation and knowledge mobilization in the fields of education, sciences, culture, communication and information to address some of the most complex challenges facing humanity. Its activities are guided by the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other UNESCO priorities. CCUNESCO operates under the authority of the Canada Council for the Arts.

For more information on the Canadian Commission for UNESCO:

Vanessa Poulin-Gladu
Acting Manager, Public Affairs
vanessa.poulin-gladu@ccunesco.ca
Cell: 613-862-1637

For more information on Cliffs of Fundy:

Beth Peterkin
Manager, Cliffs of Fundy Geopark
contact@fundygeopark.ca
Office: 902-728-2144
Cell: 902-254-4498

For more information on Discovery:

John Norman
Chair, Discovery Geopark
johnnorman21@gmail.com
Cell: 709-468-8696

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𝐑𝐢𝐭𝐚 𝐉𝐨𝐞 𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑 𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐞The Mi'kmaw poet from Eskasoni & We'koqma'q First Nations in Unamaki, Rita Joe, is Nova Scotia`s honoree for Heritage Day 2023. Born in 1932 and died in 2007, Rita Joe published her first collection of poetry in 1978 before going on to publish 6 more works and earn many honours.Heritage Day is celebrated on the third Monday in February each year. ℹ️ heritageday.novascotia.ca/content/2023-honouree-rita-joe ℹ️ www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/rita-joe ... See MoreSee Less
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Recognize these Geopark signs? The Cliffs of Fundy is currently seeking proposals for a wayfinding signage plan. If this is something you or anyone you know has experience in, click the link below or check out the News Page under the about tab on fundygeopark.ca to download the Request for Proposal and supporting documents! fundygeopark.ca/2023/01/23/wayfinding-signage-rfp/Photo courtesy of Tourism NS ... See MoreSee Less
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Welcome Sacha Brake, our new Director!Originally from Newfoundland, Sacha has always been fascinated by the ocean and feels at home on any coastline. She has lived in Nova Scotia for the better part of her life and has called Truro home for the last decade. With a passion for asset based community development, farmers market pastries and a good cup of tea, Sacha has spent much of her working life in roles that support the growth of individuals, communities and businesses in our region. Whether through personal study, one on one conversation or group workshops and presentations she thrives on learning and knowledge sharing. She studied Theatre and has a Bachelor of Fine Art from Memorial University of Newfoundland and carries her creativity, positive attitude and drive for learning and community connection into every aspect of her life. Sacha believes in the immense power of storytelling, sharing your knowledge and experience with others to better understand what we've come from and where we are going. Always a beachgoer and avid stay-cationer, Sacha opened her horizons a few summers ago exploring the Fundy shore and after making friends with her first hermit crab, she was hooked. She is excited to do all she can to support the continued growth and development of the Geopark and to promote and share our rich geological and cultural history. ... See MoreSee Less
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What is a Geopark?

A Geopark is a designation that attracts tourists wishing to explore the connections between geology, local communities, culture, and nature. Geoparks are designed to promote tourism and celebrate a region’s uniqueness, and do not prohibit any land use.