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Courses and Networking in 2020 - a bit different than usual! The last 2,5 weeks, Lisa participated in this year's 'Digital Course on UNESCO Global Geoparks' and proudly represented the Waitaki Whitestone aspiring Global Geopark.

The course was hosted and delivered by the University of the Aegean (Department of Geography) and the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest at Lesvos Island UNESCO Global Geopark, one of the first Global Geoparks in the world. 135 participants from 40 countries and 35 UNESCO and Geopark Experts were sharing experiences and best practice on UNESCO Global Geoparks building and activities.

The Intensive Course on Geoparks 2020 focused on UNESCO Global Geoparks as Territories of Resilience. Resilience is a fundamental concept already enclosed inside the whole Geopark concept and is related to any kind of environmental and humanitarian crisis: Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Floods, Landslides, Volcanic eruptions, Droughts, Economic crisis, Epidemics, Terrorism, War, Refugees and of course the COVID-19 pandemic. The Global Geopark Network (GGN) launched the initiative “UNESCO Global Geoparks: Territories of resilience” in April 2020. The course provided an opportunity to discover how UNESCO Global Geoparks can make a real impact in local communities and on society as a whole during COVID-19 pandemic but also provide conceptual issues on UNESCO Global Geoparks.

Thank you to the organizers to make this happen! It was an extremely inspiring and rewarding experience and we have learned a lot! The head is buzzing with ideas and opportunities It was lovely to (virtually) connect with colleagues from all over the world, which we hopefully meet in person one day.

The tuition fee for the course was co-funded by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, as part of their minor grant funding scheme.

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