The aim of the Global Geoparks Network is to protect and conserve the geological heritage of our planet but to do so in way where local communities can take ownership of these areas and where they can get some sustainable economic benefit from them.
Building trust and relationships with the community is a hallmark of the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark’s work programme, ongoing dialogue and consultation both public and private is a feature on all projects.
The Geopark had been actively involved with a number of community-based organisations within its borders, supporting them either financially or through the allocation of personnel and resources. In 2013 the Geopark held a Gala Celebration Evening to acknowledge the contributions and achievements of numerous groups. During the Gala Celebration Evening the Geopark recognized the work and achievements of the community in conservation, learning and festivals & events.
Geology Education in the Community
The Geopark Geologist has a special community and advocacy remit which is exemplified in a comprehensive education programme, highlights include:
- Collaboration with the Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna on the Young Scientists project
- Co-ordination of a new programme bringing together 2nd level transition year students and primary school children to jointly teach/learn about the landscape.
- A 6-week evening class for interested locals on the geology of the Burren.
- The compilation of a research and resources archive
- The publication of Stone, Water, Ice, an interactive booklet and guide, with complementary teaching and visitor resources.
Benefits of the Geopark for communities
- Your local area and amenities protected
- More activities, events
- An improved environment
- More local knowledge and information
- Greater learning opportunities
- Better-managed tourism
From 2015, the Geopark will systematically measure resident satisfaction through facilitating a resident survey complemented by resident focus groups.