International Congress on Geoparks of Greece and Cyprus in Athens

Troodos, the largest mountain range in Cyprus. (Photo by Eurokinissi/katia Christodoulou, file)

ATHENS – The first International Congress of UNESCO Geoparks in Greece and Cyprus will take place in Athens on May 17-18. It is jointly organised by the Greek and Cypriot National Committees for UNESCO with the support of the Greek and Cypriot governments, municipalities and the regions that either have or want to create geoparks, as well as the Greek Geoparks Forum, administrations of Geoparks in Greece and Cyprus, universities and museums.

The aim of the congress is to promote the role of geoparks and how they can contribute to sustainable local growth and through geo-tourism.

Greek Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou, Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Amanatidis along with Cypriot Agriculture and Environment Minister Costas Kadis and the Deputy Cyprus government spokesman Klelia Vassiliou will attend the congress.

The Congress aims to present the UNESCO Global Geoparks programme and promote the creation of geoparks throughout the Balkans and the eastern Mediterrenean,highlighting their potential benefits for local communities and their role in promoting enviromental education and environmental awareness in Greece and Cyprus.

Greece has five regions recognised as UNESCO global geoparks. They include the geopark on Lesvos, the geoparks of Psiloritis and Sitia on Crete, the geopark of Chelmos-Vouraikos in the Peloponnese and the geopark of Vikos-Aoos in Epirus. On its part, Cyprus has the geopark of Troodos.