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
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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:
Acting Manager, Public Affairs
For more information on Cliffs of Fundy:
Manager, Cliffs of Fundy Geopark
For more information on Discovery:
Chair, Discovery Geopark