The 10th UNESCO International Geoparks Conference, a major event bringing together experts, government officials, researchers, scientists and Geoparks representatives from around the world, will be held in Morocco September 04-11, 2023.
The event, placed under the high patronage of King Mohammed VI, will take place in Marrakech, Azilal and Beni Mellal.
The conference will be an opportunity to celebrate the achievements made in recent years by Geoparks around the world, and to promote collaboration and the exchange of knowledge and best practices for the conservation of the world’s geological and cultural heritage.
This large-scale event will also give participants the opportunity to share their experiences and benefit from fruitful debates to be engaged in this sense, while strengthening the links between the various Geoparks through the signing of partnerships and twinning arrangements. More than 20 partnership, cooperation and twinning agreements will be signed between the UNESCO M’Goun Global Geoparks Association in Azilal, one of the organizers of the event, and international Geoparks in China, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Japan, France, Portugal, Canada, Romania, Brazil, and Greece.
Over 1,200 participants from 60 countries are expected to take part in this international conference.
Morocco was selected to host 10th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks by the Executive Board of the Global Geoparks Network during its meeting held in Jeju island, South Korea, in Dec. 2021.
Brazil, Mexico and France were also bidding to host the conference which seeks to provide an integrated sustainable development likely to directly benefit local populations.
The goal of this initiative is the promotion and transmission of traditional knowledge, valorization of local products, development of respectful outdoor activities through geo-tourism, empowering local people and ethnic groups.
Morocco is the first Arab and African country to host such an event. It will be an opportunity to display the geological and tourist wealth of the M’Goun site which joined the Global Geoparks Network in 2014.
The M’Goun UNESCO Global Geopark is located in the middle of the chain of the central High Atlas. Its territory covers an area of medium to high mountains. The climate of the Atlas is Mediterranean with Atlantic influences. M’Goun UNESCO Global Geopark consists of two zones, one with high rainfall and with temperatures between 35°C and 3°C and another characterized by lower rainfall. The snowfall is common from November to May.
The geological history of the territory of the M’Goun UNESCO Global Geopark fits into the geological evolution of the central High Atlas dating back to the Triassic period, 250 million years ago, while the main stages took place during the Jurassic period, about 180 million years ago. It includes famous and spectacular footprints of sauropod and theropod dinosaurs and many deposits of bones. The territory contains numerous minerals: Copper, zinc, barite, iron, basalt, limestone and dolomitic Triassic red clays. The M’Goun UNESCO Global Geopark consists of a large number of geosites and geological sites showing several large tectonic structures of the Atlas Mountains that sculpt the landscape.