DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2014/B52/S20.042

GEOPARK DEVELOPMENT IN THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC - ALTERNATIVE POSSIBILITIES

B. Balaz, L. Strba, M. Lukac, S. Drevko
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, 313-320 pp

ABSTRACT
As geotourism concept is rapidly growing and developing, efforts to define, characterize and establish “geo-attractive” areas are more and more common all around the world. In addition to classical geoparks, there are smaller areas of significant geotourism importance that deserve attention. The paper is focused on the introduction of an entirely new “small-scale geopark” establishment in the Vihorlat Mountains, immediately at the Ukrainian border, north-eastwards from the Zemplínska Šírava Dam, which is relatively abundantly visited in the summer season. The area of proposed geopark is lacking in job opportunities, and geotourism development could offer one of few possibilities to generate job opportunities especially for young people. On a relatively small area, the proposed territory offers variegated geological features including four first-order geological units of the Carpathians, five mineralogical localities, unique locality of an abandoned quarry in the Pieniny Klippen Belt, karst phenomena, volcanic structures of five stratovolcanoes, one greater and five small landslide closed lakes, and mineral springs. Beside geological attractions, the following historical monuments are also present in the area: two castle ruins and four wooden churches (one of them inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List). There are also botanical objects, such as natural forests and protected parks in the area, too. Last but not least, three wineries producing high quality red and white wine are situated in the proposed geopark area, which also offer wine tasting.

Keywords: geopark, geosite, Vihorlat Mts., development