Discovery Aspiring Geopark to hold first AGM
BONAVISTA, NL — The Discovery Aspiring Geopark Inc. (DAGI) is holding its first annual general meeting Thursday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. as it continues efforts to become the third UNESCO Global Geopark in North America.
In a press release issued last week, DAGI says the AGM will set the stage for an exciting year ahead for communities around the tip of the Bonavista Peninsula like Summerville and Tickle Cove, along Bonavista Bay to Cape Bonavista, and southwest to Trinity and area.
Earlier this year, DAGI received funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the province’s Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation to work on five Geosites and develop branding for the aspiring Geopark. DAGI now plans to apply to the Canadian Geopark Network in 2018 to possibly become Canada’s third UNESCO Global Geopark.
Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas with sites and lanscapes of international geological significance. There are over 127 Global Geoparks in 35 different countries in the world.
“Geoparks give local people a sense of pride in their region and strengthen their identification with the area”, says Don Johnson, community liaison officer with DAGI. “They help create innovative local enterprises and new jobs through geotourism, while our geological resources such as the fossils near Catalina and Port Union are protected.”
DAGI plans to use a “bottom-up” approach in its efforts, involving local and regional stakeholders and authorities in the Geosites—like land owners, community groups, tourism providers, indigenous people, and local organizations. The next step is engaging the residents and businesses within the Geopark.
“Our geology has shaped the land and in turn helped shape our unique culture”, says Edith Samson, co-chair of DAGI. “Tourists are already drawn to this area for our rich culture, heritage and dramatic landscapes. As we strive for UNESCO Global Geopark status, we will need to draw upon the experiences within our communities to explain how our geological story helped shape the people we’ve become, and how we can work together to protect our assets for generations to come.”
All are welcome at the AGM, as DAGI hopes people will join the effort to establish a world UNESCO Geopark on the Bonavista Peninsula.
Efforts are continuing to establish a UNESCO-recognized Geopark on the Bonavista Peninsula.