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Croatia’s Vis Archipelago wins UNESCO Geopark label

Vis’s surrounding island (photo credit: Ante Babic)

18 April 2019 – The Vis Archipelago has officially been given the UNESCO Global Geopark label after an application by the Croatian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy was accepted, Jutarnji list reported. 

The news was announced on the Facebook page of the Komiža Tourist Board.

“UNESCO’s Executive Board today approved the designation of eight new sites demonstrating the diversity of the planet’s geology as new Geoparks and also approved the extension of three existing Geoparks,” the Global Geopark Label of United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said in a statement on Wednesday.

The area of the Vis archipelago is a significant area of the Adriatic Sea, within which, in the geological past, 220 million years ago, great changes occurred through the propagation of the slides, the mass of burning deep water, which broke through the surface by raising sediment panels formed by petrifying sand and shelling organisms.

The summits of this magmatic penetration are today the islands of Jabuka, Brusnik, Biševo, and Palagruža as the geologically oldest island of the Adriatic, which, like the island of Brusnik, is constantly growing under the influence of tectonic activity.

Jabuka island (photo credit: Fbundalo under CC)

The Vis archipelago also covers seven areas protected by Croatia’s Nature Protection Act. Brusnik and Jabuka Islands are protected in the category of nature monuments (geological), Blue cave, Medvidina cave and caves on the island of Ravnik in the category of nature monuments (geomorphological), while Stiniva and Ravnik bays are protected in the category of significant landscape.

The archipelago also has great geoturistic potential, great biodiversity and landscape diversity, rich cultural and historical heritage, and above all, a varied and extremely valuable geological and geomorphological heritage recognized by the Ministry.

The establishment of the geopark Vis Archipelago, the second UNESCO geopark in Croatia, will contribute primarily to raising awareness of the importance of protecting geological and geomorphological heritage and recognizing geotourism as a unique tourist offer.

Blue Cave on Biševo island (Photo credit: Zoran Jelaca/CNTB)

Papuk Geopark, located in eastern Croatia, was the first UNESCO Geopark in Croatia which gained its status due to the extraordinary geological and biological diversity and valuable cultural heritage of the Papuk and Krndija mountains.

Among other sites given the label on Wednesday were Colca  y  Volcanes  de  Andagua in Peru, Courel Mountains in Spain, Funiushan in China, Imbabura in Ecuador, Trollfjell in Norway, and Yimengshan in China.

More details about the Vis Archipelago Geopark on the official website here.

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