12th European Geoparks Network (EGN) conference

Touch TD were pleased to participate again at the EGN conference, hosted this year by the Cilento and Vallo di Diano Geopark in the Campania region of Italy. With the European network now expanded to 58 individual geoparks stretching over all corners of the continent, this annual gathering is the key event to meet, learn and experience the diverse expressions of this fast moving conservation, education and development model.

Already under the auspices of UNESCO, the geoparks network is seeking to become a fully-fledged programme of that organisation. With its origins in a grass roots initiative, its maturing within UNESCO will be an interesting opportunity to see if the model can harness the benefits of both a ‘top down’ and a ‘bottom up’ management approach.

The highlight of the conference itself was getting the opportunity to head out into the field and share insights in how different geoparks interpret and present multiple layers of heritage within some of Europe’s most compelling landscapes. Attended principally by practitioners, the conference has a strong emphasis on sharing innovations and finding solutions, particularly concerning the drive to develop tourism themed around the landscape, in a sensitive yet economically vibrant manner.