The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on April 18, 2019 — the World Heritage Day — conferred the Global Geopark Label on eight new sites across the world. With the latest additions, the total number of Global UNESCO Geopark sites stands at 147 across 41 countries. Below are some of them.
Kutralkura, Chile: Situated 700 km south of Santiago with the Argentinan border on the east, this site features some of the active volcanoes of the world. The thick ice masses that once partially-covered the territory, have been shrinking for the past 20,000 years.
Jiuhuashan, China: The site, literally meaning ‘Nine Glorious Mountains’, is situated in China’s Anhui province. Apart from being religious, historically and culturally significant, the mountains also provide a major source of fresh water for the Yangtze River system.
Yimengshan, China: Located on the east coast of China, the site is known for Asia’s largest kimberlite-type diamond mines — the first primary diamonds discovered in the country. It consists of many castle-shaped land formations and cultural heritage sites.
Imbabura, Ecuador: This site is known for the many lakes and geological formations that dot the landscape. The 4,939 metre-high Cotacachi Volcano is highest summit of this Geopark. It is home to many indigenous and ethnic groups.
Trollfjell, Norway: This site is characterised by the differences in the bedrock — while one area is poor in nutrients resulting in barren stretches, others are fertile supporting lush vegetation and biodiversity.
Colca y Volcanes de Andagua, Peru: This UNESCO Global Geopark comprises a vast array of volcanic landscapes, lakes, geological faults, pre-Hispanic ruins and colonial churches. The landscape features the great Colca Canyon — one of the largest and deepest in the world formed 400 million years ago.
Courel Mountains, Spain: Located in northwestern Spain, the territory’s deep valleys and canyons have been formed by erosion. The mountains were said to have been exploited by the Romans between the first and second century CE, for the gold mines. Remnants of pre-historic fauna and flora, as well as Neolithic paintings, can also be found within the deep caves of the mountains.
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