PARRSBORO, N.S. –The Cliffs of Fundy Aspiring Geopark has cleared a major hurdle on the road to UNESCO designation.
The steering committee for the project has had its application accepted by the Canadian Geoparks Network, and has been approved for site evaluation by the Canadian National Committee for Geoparks this summer.
The committee received notification of the news on Saturday.
“It’s the first step in the formal process of becoming a full-fledged Global Geopark,” said Marlee Leslie, coordinator of the Cliffs of Fundy Aspiring Geopark project. “They nominate two aspiring geoparks each year to UNESCO, and we had strong competitors, so it is a big achievement.”
Getting this far has taken a lot of work, according to Leslie. The application included more than 100 pages of maps and text detailing the area from Apple River to the Portapique River, and its geology, history and culture.
“They have very high standards for applications,” she said.
The Canadian National Committee for Geoparks will send assessors from across Canada to this area for a three-day period this summer to visit geosites like Thomas Cove, Wasson Bluff and Cape d’Or, and experience the area’s attractions, local food and culture.
“It’s a chance to show off the very best of the shore,” said Leslie.
The site evaluations are necessary before Cliffs of Fundy can submit its application to UNESCO this fall.
“The steering committee is absolutely thrilled to see our tremendous effort and dedication pay off,” she added.
UNESCO Global Geoparks are geographical areas of international geological significance are managed with an approach of combining conservation with sustainable development while involving local communities. There are now 140 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 38 countries, two of which are in Canada.