International Summer University on Geoparks, Sustainable Regional Development and Healthy Lifestyles

Vila Real, Portugal
From: 03.07.2017 to: 22.07.2017

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Global Geoparks are geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development. A UNESCO Global Geopark combines its geological heritage with the other aspects of the area’s natural and cultural heritage, to enhance awareness and understanding of key issues facing society, such as using the earth’s resources sustainably, mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing natural disasters-related risks.

The first International Summer University on Geoparks, Sustainable Regional Development and Healthy Lifestyles will be held at the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro in Vila Real, Portugal. This advanced educational and vocational training will include an intensive series of seminars and workshops over the course of two weeks on a broad range of topics, including: ecosystem services and well-being under different scenarios of land use and climate change; territorial development and funding projects; heritage fostering tourism in mountain territories and more (see the programme).

The seminars and workshops will be complemented by several mid-course field trips to the Arouca and Terras de Cavaleiros UNESCO Global Geoparks, the Alto Douro Wine Region (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Prehistoric Rock Art Site in the Côa Valley (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and other sites. To reinforce and diversify participants’ knowledge about UNESCO Global Geoparks – many of which are located in or contain mountains – a post-course field trip will be offered to the following Spanish UNESCO Global Geoparks: Basque Coast, Catalunya Central, Molina y Alto Tajo and Sobrarbe-Pirineos.

With this International Summer University, participants will experience an innovative practice in which they can compare theoretical knowledge with concrete realities and good practices in the management of territories, as well as in the implementation of diverse initiatives, particularly those with local communities’ engagement.

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Learn more about UNESCO Global Geoparks 

Photo: Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark

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