28 February 2017On 24 February 2017, the first meeting of the Kazakhstan National Committee for UNESCO Global Geoparks was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
UNESCO’s work with geoparks began in 2001. In 2004, 17 European and 8 Chinese geoparks came together at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris to form the Global Geoparks Network where national geological heritage initiatives contribute to and benefit from their membership of a global network of exchange and cooperation.
On 17 November 2015, the 195 Member States of UNESCO ratified the creation of a new label, the UNESCO Global Geoparks, during the 38th UNESCO General Conference. At present, there are 119 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 33 countries.
To date there are no geoparks in Central Asia. It is expected that the newly established National Committee will promote the development of the geoparks concept and the UNESCO International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme in Kazakhstan.