DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2014/B52/S20.011

AZORES GEOPARK: THE CHALLENGE OF MANAGING AN ARCHIPELAGIC GEOPARK

E. A. Lima, J. C. Nunes, Manuel P. Costa , M. Machado
Wednesday 1 October 2014 by Libadmin2014

References: 14th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2014, www.sgem.org, SGEM2014 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-18-6 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 19-25, 2014, Book 5, Vol. 2, 77-84 pp

ABSTRACT
The Azores archipelago, located in the North Atlantic Ocean, is formed by nine islands, several islets and the surrounding seafloor. Despite the small terrestrial area of the archipelago (2332 sq. km), the Azores geodiversity represents elements closely linked to the dynamics of planet Earth, in particular, the volcanism and geotectonic of this region of the planet, making this archipelago a natural laboratory of volcanic geodiversity. The Azores Geopark was the first arquipelagic territory integrated in the European and Global Geoparks Networks, in march 2013. It is based on a decentralized management structure with support in all the islands, and in a network of 121 geosites spread all over the nine islands and the surrounding seafloor, that: i) ensures the representativeness of the geodiversity that characterizes the Azorean territory, ii) reflects its geological and eruptive history, and iii) has common strategies of conservation and promotion. The international and national relevance of the geological heritage of the territory, its scientific, educational and geotouristic interests and, simultaneously, the existence of a rich biodiversity and a remarkable cultural and intangible heritage, are the foundations for the implementation in the territory of sustainable development policies, strongly supported in environmental protection strategies, and in geoconservation in particular. This holistic and integrative view improve synergies and serve as an additional incentive to all involved in the geopark. With the motto “9 islands – 1 Geopark”, the Azores Geopark main challenge is to manage on a sustainable way all this 9 insular parts of its territory. So, to achieve the main goals of the geopark, the established partnerships with public and private entities are crucial, giving the opportunity to reach to a major public in all the islands and through different activities.

Keywords: Azores Geopark, management, archipelago, synergies, partnerships