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Vis Archipelago Nominated for UNESCO Geopark Status

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

An application for the ‘Vis Archipelago’ to become a protected UNESCO geopark has been made with UNESCO by the Croatian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy.

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.

Stiniva (Photo credit: Ante Babic)

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.

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

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.

Jabuka island (photo credit: Fbundalo under CC)

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.

Vis Archipelago

Papuk Geopark, located in eastern Croatia, is 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.

Today there are 120 world geoparks in 33 countries.

A decision from UNESCO on the application is expected to made in spring 2019.

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