The village of Logrosán hosted, in a public act, the signing of the new collaboration agreement for the Geopark management. President Carlos Carlos has highlighted, “the results from the bottom-up approach, one of the UNESCO criteria with which the geoparks revalidate”.
02/02/2023, Logrosán.- “A year full of challenges”, as was defined by Mr Carlos Carlos, president of the Cáceres Provincial Council and of Villuercas-Ibores-Jara UNESCO Global Geopark, which Council has met this Thursday in the town of Logrosán to analyse, expose and share the steps to be taken in the year 2023.
After the council meeting, involving the public and giving visibility to the joint commitment, the members of the Council have signed the new collaboration agreement for the management of Viluercas-Ibores-Jara UNESCO Global Geopark, “opening it up to society”, said President Carlos Carlos. In this sense, he recalled that “bottom-up approach in the management and participation of society is one of the criteria with which UNESCO evaluates and revalidates geoparks”, something that is expected to be achieved, for the third time, this year 2023.
The revalidation of the Geopark by UNESCO is, precisely, as discussed in the meeting and in the public act, one of the challenges that will continue to be worked on over the coming months. That is something that the president is convinced of achieving “if we continue working as we are doing because this council is the maximum expression of the bottom-up approach: the entities of the territory that represent their companies and their town halls as well as the provincial and regional administrations and the scientific organizations that advise us”. That complies with the UNESCO Program criteria and with our own collaboration agreement, but also with what we understand as sustainable development management and the participation in democracy”.
Reflecting that, the new agreement is completed by two more “important advisory bodies: the forum of mayors that was requested by themselves showing their involvement. And, also, the forum of young people, which identification with the territory and their participation is a key for its development”. They will be, together with the Educational and Scientific Committee, the Council’s advisory forums.
In the act, after the signing of the agreement, the Regional Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development, Population and Territory, Ms Begoña García Bernal, representing the Government of Extremadura, highlighted the change that this territory has undergone after the recognition of Villuercas-Ibores-Jara as Global Geopark, more than a decade ago. “It is crucial – she said – that we evaluate our objectives, that we examine results and adapt the goals of this geopark to current demands and future needs. It is just the moment; we have the new funds from the CAP strategic plan and the budgets of the tourism sustainability plans. With the signing of this agreement we go one step further, committing ourselves to the conservation and improvement of the natural areas of this region.”
On the other hand, President Carlos Carlos wanted to recall some of “the challenges we are facing this year 2023”, collected, among others, in the Action Plan approved by the council:
The revalidation process of the geopark by UNESCO. “It will be -said the president- the third revalidation process, and we hope to have the same success as in the previous ones”. On December 2022, the corresponding documentation was sent to the Spanish National Commission for Coordination with UNESCO. From here, it will be transferred to the UNESCO Secretariat of Earth Sciences and between the months of March and April it is expected to receive communication with the information on the revalidation mission and the experts who will carry it out.
Completion of strategic planning for the coming years, based on the work already carried out by the APRODERVI Local Action Group, contemplating interventions for heritage conservation, computer equipment and actions to improve tourist information, promotion, marketing and commercialization or increased participation in geopark networks, among other issues.
Educational work, recovering this year some of the actions that had to be suspended due to the pandemic.
Improvement of infrastructures in interpretation centers, trails and interpretation panels of the geopark.
Support for companies and innovation in products and services, as well as the preparation of new experiences.
Support for promotion with actions such as Geodisea.
Incorporation of the Tourism Sustainability Plan.