The Tabas Geopark file was sent to UNESCO as the third geopark in Iran to join the World Geoparks Network.
According to Mehr, Alireza Amri Kazemi, director of Qeshm World Geopark and consultant of Tabas Geopark, said in this regard: “After 4 years of work and effort, building the needed infrastructure, and necessary training based on UNESCO Geopark regulations, Tabas Geopark’s application for membership in the global network was sent to UNESCO.”
He stated that a letter of preparedness to submit a file to UNESCO had already been issued in Tir 1400 (July 2021), and added: “The case will first undergo its bureaucratic and specialized assessments at UNESCO, the worldwide web, the international union of art sciences, plus other departments, and if it receives the approval of these centers, it will be evaluated by UNESCO inspectors next year. Next summer, UNESCO evaluators will come to Iran after various international bodies have confirmed and found no defects in the file.”
Amri Kazemi stated: “Tabas Geopark, with an area of 22,771 square kilometers, has 39 geosites with many cultural and natural geological attractions and is one of the centers of particular interest for geologists in Iran and the world.”
He continued: “Preparing the infrastructure of geosites, including commentary boards, service sections, and holding training courses for the local community at various levels of education in earth sciences and apprenticeships, handicrafts and production of local products, studies, and research, launching and establishing a geopark awareness center, have been actions taken in the past few years, and we have prepared and sent a report in this respect, in the form of a file.”
Amri Kazemi said: “Aras case was sent to UNESCO as the second volunteer geopark of Iran two years ago and was approved, but due to the limitations caused by the coronavirus, it was not possible for UNESCO assessors to travel to the country and conduct field studies, resulting in its postponement. This evaluation will be done soon, and Aras Geopark will be introduced.”
Most of the four protected areas of the country have the capacity of becoming national geoparks. Qeshm, The first Geopark in the Middle East on Qeshm Island, became a member of the UNESCO-supported global network of national geoparks. After that, Aras was introduced as the second volunteer geopark to UNESCO, and the third Geopark is located in the Tabas region.
In the Atlas of Geopark Capabilities and Geotourism of Iran, Amri Kazemi has detailed 30 regions in Iran as proposed areas for introduction and registration under the title of Geopark.