Dis­cov­ery Aspir­ing Geop­ark to hold first AGM

The Packet (Clarenville) - - EDITORIAL -

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.

FILE PHOTO

Ef­forts are con­tin­u­ing to es­tab­lish a UNESCO-rec­og­nized Geop­ark on the Bon­av­ista Penin­sula.

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