Iran is optimistic about getting UNESCO status for the geopark

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TEHRAN – Iran is hoping for UNESCO recognition for its Aras Geopark, which covers an area of ​​about 1,670 square kilometers.

The possible registration of Aras Geopark is currently under investigation by UNESCO and if approved by the experts of the Supreme Council of World Geoparks, it will be the second registered geopark of Iran after Qeshm Geopark.

Prof. Tran Tan Van, a senior consultant for UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGp), recently recognized the Aras Free Zone Organization’s ongoing efforts in the study, identification and conservation of this geological heritage, the report said.

The expert made the remarks during a meeting with Aras Geoparks authorities, adding a possible registration would meet strict criteria.

A proper understanding of the geology and formation of a geopark is not enough to set up and enter the UNESCO Global Geoparks, the expert said.

He further emphasized that a geopark’s ability to develop local livelihoods, knowledge of indigenous customs and the well-being of local communities are important factors in achieving this privilege.

In recent years, Aras Geopark has done its best to qualify well for UNESCO status, the report added.

Located in East Azarbaijan Province, Aras Geopark covers an area of ​​approximately 1670 square kilometers, which stretches across the entire Jolfa County. The topography in general is extremely steep and forms amazing landscapes such that the highest point in the Jolfa region is Kiyamaki Mountain at 3347 meters and the lowest points include the northern border and Aras River Valley at 720 to 390 meters.

The property has an appropriate geotourism attraction due to its mountainous landscapes, outcrops of various sedimentary and igneous rocks, diversity of tectonic structures, semi-cold and semi-arid climate, and diverse flora and fauna.

Designated Qeshm Geopark by UNESCO, the Persian Gulf Geopark includes a wide range of ecotourism attractions such as the Hara marine forests and about 60 villages, mostly scattered over the rocky shores. Qeshm Island has an abundance of wildlife including birds, reptiles, dolphins and turtles.

A UNESCO definition of global geopark is a unified area with a geological heritage of international importance.

According to experts, geoparks typically promote awareness of geological hazards, including volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis, and many help develop disaster mitigation strategies with local communities. In addition, they provide records of past climate changes and are also indicators of current climate changes.

AFM

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