Regional park "Undoriya" may be the first one in Russia to receive the UNESCO Global Geopark status

This was announced by the executive secretary of the Committee of Geoscience of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO Sergey Semiletkin during the discussion "The Program of UNESCO for Creation of Geoparks as the Instrument for Development of National Parks through Synthesis of Culture, Tourism and Ecology". The event took place on 15 September within the International Cultural Forum.

 "The UNESCO status assumes that the regional geopark was created more than a year ago. The Ulyanovsk region meets all the requirements while it has the neccessary infrastructure and unique geological and historical objects. The commission will have a chance to highly appreciate the regional geopark and to give it this status. Currently there are no objects with this status in Russia, so it is possible that Undoriya will become the first UNESCO Geopark in the territory of our country", - Sergey Semiletkin said.

According to the UNESCO criteria, Underovsky Paleontological Reserve and the surrounding area, which is located in the Ulyanovsk region, are suitable for inclusion in the network of geoparks.

According to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources of the region Mikhail Semenkin, establishment of a geopark will not only ensure conservation of the geological layers and their unique paleofauna but will also help to develop tourism, to raise public awareness about environmental issues.

It is planned that Underovsky Paleontological Reserve will receive the status of a geopark in 2018 and the whole project will be implemented in 2019. The Governor Sergey Morozov ordered to start design work on establishment of this museum in the region this year.

“The regional geopark is the first stage that will help the territory to receive the UNESCO international status. In the nearest future we will begin to prepare application documents”, - explained Alexander Bragin, the Chairman of the Ecological Chamber of the Ulyanovsk region.

As a reference:

UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development.

At present, there are 127 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 35 countries.

This initiative was introduced by the Governor Sergey Morozov during his trip to the Underovsky Paleontological Reserve.