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Shetland retains its UNESCO Global Geopark Status

Published: 24 September 2019

At their meeting in Indonesia earlier this week, the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council announced that Shetland will retain its UNSECO Global Geopark status.

Following a re-assessment visit to Shetland in July this year, the decision of the Council was to support Shetland’s continued UNESCO Global Geopark status for a further four years.  The decision is still to be ratified by the UNESCO Member States but it is a strong sign that hard work by managing body the Shetland Amenity Trust - supported by the Shetland Islands Council and many partners is paying off.

Shetland was awarded Global Geopark status in 2009 in recognition of its world-class geological heritage and the local effort to conserve, celebrate, and promote it and the connections to all aspects of our nature and culture.  Shetland is one of only two UNESCO Global Geoparks in Scotland.

Chair of the Shetland Amenity Trust, Ruth Mackenzie, said, “We are delighted that Shetland has been awarded UNESCO Global Geopark status once again, subject to final ratification by UNESCO’s Member States.  The reassessment process is incredibly intensive and I would like to thank our team who have put in a huge amount of work to achieve this. Our thanks also go to the partners, businesses, and members of the community who got involved in the reassessment process; the assessors were hugely impressed by their knowledge, enthusiasm and passion.”

The so-called ‘Green Card’ result means that Shetland will retain its UNESCO Global Geopark status until at least 2023.  For more information see the Shetland Amenity Trust website at www.shetlandamenity.org/geopark.