Morocco Submits Bid to Host 10th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks in 2022
Paris – The Mgoun Geopark, the first geopark of its kind in Africa and the Arab region, has submitted its bid to host the 10th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks in Morocco in 2022, Ambassador, permanent delegate of Morocco to UNESCO, Samir Addahre, has announced.
Morocco was among the member states that pushed for the creation of UNESCO’s global geoparks as part of the international geosciences and geoparks program.
“If the candidacy of Morocco is chosen, it would be the first meeting of its kind in the Arab region and on African soil,” the Moroccan diplomat stressed at the plenary debate of the 209th session of the Executive Council of the UNESCO, which officially opened on Thursday in the presence of the organization’s Director-General, Audrey Azoulay.
The Moroccan diplomat also noted the great geographical imbalance concerning the designation of UNESCO’s global geoparks.
“Africa has only two, that of Tanzania and that of Morocco. The only geopark in the Arab region is in Morocco. It is therefore urgent that UNESCO reflects on a strategy to encourage and support regions which have very few geoparks,” he said.
He also called on member states to cooperate and build partnerships in this area.
The diplomat also shed light on the illicit trafficking in African cultural artefacts.
“During the lockdown period, we noted a worrying increase in the illicit trafficking in cultural artefacts and a significant increase in sales on the online art markets,” he added, while underlining the need for a concerted collective action to end this illicit trafficking.
Organized every two years, the International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks brings people together from across the world to share the latest findings and experiences on a wide variety of topics, from geological research to sustainable tourism, education or participative management for sustainable development.
UNESCO Global Geoparks use their geological heritage, in connection with all other aspects of the area’s natural and cultural heritage, to enhance awareness and understanding of key issues facing society, such as using our earth’s resources sustainably, mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing natural disasters-related risks.