News from the Geopark

The English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark prepares for UNESCO inspection.

14 Jul 2023

Every four years a team of two UNESCO Global Geopark representatives chosen from across the globe conduct a formal revalidation inspection on the English Riviera’s geopark status.

The 5-day visit will involve multiple meetings, open discussions, and detailed inspections of the regions specific geopark sites, core partner and associate partner locations as well as the reviewing of communication and collaboration between them.

Earlier in the year the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark management team ensured all the required reports and documentation were submitted to UNESCO in advance of the inspection including the new 10-year management plan that was developed and adopted to support the submission.    

The English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark launched its new comprehensive and innovative management plan back in March. Developed with the aim of preserving and promoting the natural and cultural heritage of the Geopark, the plan represents a significant step forward for the organisation.

The new English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark management plan, which was developed in consultation with stakeholders and experts from a variety of fields, outlines 5 key objectives for the Geopark's future. These include:

  1. Ensure compliance with UGGp (UNESCO Global Geopark) Statutes and Guidelines for the retention of the UNESCO recognition for Torbay.
  2. Review and act to focus the effectiveness of operations, partnerships, and programs to meet the vision.
  3. Broaden the reach of the ERUGGp to maximise the benefit of the designation to the local area socially, economically and environmentally.
  4. Increase opportunities for public awareness and involvement.
  5. Embed the principals of the Sustainable Development Goals and support Torbay’s ambition to be Carbon Neutral by 2030.

The management plan is divided into two parts. The first shares the ERUGGp vision, objectives of the plan and evidences the justification for our UNESCO Global Geopark recognition. The second part covers the ERUGGp organisation, governance and management, strategic approach, and an action plan to take the ERUGGp to a sustainable and resilient position for the long-term future. The plan also includes several specific visions that hope to be achieved in the coming years, including the development of new visitor experiences, a visitor hub, the establishment of a Geopark Ambassador program, and the creation of an innovative sustainable-tourism scheme.

"We are thrilled to launch this new management plan, which represents a significant milestone in the development of the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark," said Nick Powe, Chair of the Geopark's Board of Directors. "We believe that the plan will help us to achieve our goal of preserving and promoting the natural and cultural heritage of the Geopark for generations to come."

Cllr Chris Lewis, Cabinet Member for Place Services and Economic Growth for Torbay Council said; “The launch of the new management plan is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff and volunteers at the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark. It is also a reflection of the organisation's commitment to sustainability, education, and community engagement with a long-term focus for the benefit of those within the geoparks boundaries.”