Workshop on GeoparksA geo-park is a geological significant large area of land.
On 3 August, 2004, the Honorable Minister of Mines and Energy officially opened the introductory workshop on Geoparks, at the auditorium of the Geological Survey of Namibia in Windhoek.
The objectives of the workshop were to disseminate the concept of Geo-parks to all stakeholders and to bring them together for supporting a proposal for a Geo-park in Namibia (the first of its kind in Africa). The primary beneficiaries will be the local communities where the Geopark would be located and the scientific community. Better protection of geological heritage sites of the area will be a major result.
The ceremony was attended by the UNESCO OIC, Members of the Geological Society of Namibia, UNAM, Ministry of Basic Education and Culture, MAWRD, Environmental consultants, South African Council for Geoscience, Staff of the National Monuments Council and staff of the Namibian Geological Survey.
UNESCO Office Windhoek, responded to the call of Honorable Minister of Higher Education, Training and Employment, Nahas Angula for capacity building in science, due to the huge potential for the establishment of such a park in Namibia.
The main conclusions were that the potential for the establishment of a geoparks in Namibia exist and that we should move forward in order to materialize the establishment of such a park.
Out of the various possible locations for a Geopark, an area in north-western Namibia was selected on a multi-criteria basis that was not limited to the geology of the area, but considered also the existing infrastructure, cultural sites as well as other tourist attractions. A draft document will be written and circulated to all stakeholders for review, recommendations. Once the support of the stakeholders (especially of the local communities) for the document has been confirmed, another workshop will be organized. The workshop will be held within the proposed Geopark site so that the local communities can be involved.