Unesco Global Geopark

The story...

It all began in 2000 when four geologically interesting regions in Europe, the island of Lesbos (Greece), Haute Provence (France), the Maestrazgo (Spain) and the Vulkaneiffel (Germany) joined forces to form the "European Geopark Network". Their primary goal was the preservation, protection and sustainable presentation of their unique geological heritage. 

UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGp) are individual, clearly defined geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic approach to conservation, education and sustainable development. Geoparks represent the link between landscape conservation and sustainable tourism utilisation, allowing nature's treasures to emerge from the "sea of millions of years". 

Today (as of 2024), there are 213 geoparks in 48 countries worldwide that have joined together to form the Global Geopark Network. Since 2015, the Global Geoparks have been able to call themselves UNESCO Global Geoparks, now as a separate UNESCO programme. In Austria, a total of three geoparks belong to the UNESCO network: the Eisenwurzen region in Styria, the cross-border Karawanken region in Carinthia/Slovenia and our Ore of the Alps Geopark in Salzburg.

The Ore of the Alps UNESCO Global Geopark was accepted into the "European and Global Geopark Network" in 2014 and has been the Ore of the Alps UNESCO Global Geopark since 2015. It is located in Salzburg's Pongau region and comprises the municipalities of Bischofshofen, St. Veit im Pongau, Mühlbach am Hochkönig and Hüttau. Traces of mining dating back over 5000 years can be found throughout the entire area of the Geopark.

European Geoparks Network

The European Geopark Network comprises 94 European Geoparks and offers a network for co-operation. The aim of this network is the preservation of the geological heritage and the sustainable development of the regions.

Global Geoparks Network

In the Global Geoparks Network provides an umbrella for 213 global geoparks. The members should benefit from each other through co-operation and exchange and gain worldwide recognition.

In addition to the "Ore of the Alps UNESCO Global Geopark", there are two other geoparks in Austria. The Styrian Eisenwurzen UNESCO Global Geopark in Styria and the Karawanken UNESCO Global Geopark in Carinthia and partly also in Slovenia. The Carnic Alps Geopark is a national Austrian geopark in the border region between Carinthia and Italy.

Ore of the Alps UNESCO Global Geopark

The Ore of the Alps UNESCO Global Geopark has been part of the Global Geoparks Network for almost ten years and has been able to call itself a UNESCO Global Geopark since 2015. In 2022, this designation was successfully revalidated for a further four years.

Information sheets on the
Austrian Geoparks can be found here:

Styrian Eisenwurzen UNESCO Global Geopark

The Styrian Eisenwurzen Nature and Geopark is located in the north of Styria in the middle of the Northern Limestone Alps and comprises four municipalities.

Karawanken UNESCO Global Geopark

The UNESCO Global Geopark Karawanken is a cross-border geopark that is connected and separated by a mountain range of the same name.

Carnic Alps Geopark

The 827 km² geopark is located in south-west Carinthia on the border with Italy. It encompasses the Carnic Alps, the Gailtal Alps and their western continuation, the southern Lienz Dolomites.

A list of UNESCO Global Geoparks

Information and lists of other geoparks worldwide.