UNESCO Global Geopark

Logo UNESCO Global Geopark

What is a UNESCO Global Geopark?

  • an area and partner network
  • recognized by UNESCO
  • because of unique international geological importance
  • local management ensures conservation and management
  • contributes to sustainable development goals (SDGs)
  • but also links geological heritage to all other aspects of cultural, natural and intangible heritage

UNESCO explains

What makes it unique?

Geopark Schelde Delta tells a 50-million-year story of subsidence and uplift, sea level rise and fall, tidal waters, rivers and climate change. It also shows the alternating role of natural processes and human influences.

Human action as a geological force is the most characteristic feature of Geopark Schelde Delta. Whether we fight, use or build with nature, our past actions have numerous intended and unintended consequences for the landscape and its sediments.

Finding a balance between the good and the necessary in this dynamic landscape is difficult, and deserves all the attention that a Geopark status provides. Nowhere in the world is the influence of the tides on the landscape and its inhabitants as great as in this Scheldt estuary.

Also, Geopark Schelde Delta is the only Geopark in the world to make such a clear link with the theme of climate change.

Krabbenkreek (gemaakt door Marcelle Davidse)

What is a estaury?

An estuary is a widened, usually funnel-shaped mouth of a river. In this mouth is tidal action that "pushes" salt water inland, then ebb "pulls" fresh water into the mouth. Estuaries typically consist of mudflats and salt marshes. 

Benelux still has three natural estuaries since the construction of the Delta Works. Of these, one is in Geopark Schelde Delta: the Western Scheldt. The Eastern Scheldt is the former estuary of the Scheldt. Click here to discover these but also the other beautiful places of Geopark Schelde Delta.

Rem van den Bosch - Here Comes the Flood

Link to climate?

There is no other Geopark that makes such a clear link to the topic of climate change. The struggle between man and water makes Geopark Schelde Delta area a valuable climate laboratory. We learn from the past to make adaptations in the present. Moreover, according to UNESCO, the approach of the Geopark as a living climate laboratory offers a valuable addition to the worldwide Geopark network.

Sustainable development goals in cirkel

Sustainable Development Goals

A UNESCO Global Geopark contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. A UNESCO Global Geopark aims to do this by learning from the past, developing in the present and protecting for the future - together for our planet. Want to read more about the SDGs? You can do so here!