Geopark Biokovo-Imotska jezera accepted as a UNESCO Global Geopark

After PP Papuk and the Vis archipelago, Biokovo-Imotska jezera Geopark is now on the UNESCO list.


7. September 2023.

The Council of UNESCO Global Geoparks accepted the Biokovo-Imotska Jezera Geopark as a UNESCO World Geopark. The decision was made during the meeting of the 8th session held on September 4 and 5, 2023 in Marrakesh, Morocco, under the auspices of the UNESCO M'Goun Global Geopark.

With this decision, the Biokovo-Imotska Jezera Geopark becomes the third UNESCO Global Geopark in the Republic of Croatia after PP Papuk and the Vis Archipelago.

"This is a great success and a reward for all of us who have worked dedicatedly from the very beginning, and even at times when we were discouraged by the Council's decision to postpone last year. I am especially happy because of the great potential that is now opening up for us for the whole area, and especially for the area of ​​Imotska Krajina", she stated Ivana Capin, executive director of Geopark.

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She emphasized the pride that the multi-year project has come to an end, which gives the Biokovo-Imotska Jezera Geopark a completely new level on the world map of UNESCO Global Geoparks. 

Great biological and geological diversity

Source: TZ Imotski

The area of ​​the Biokovo and Imotski Lakes Nature Park is an area of ​​exceptional cultural heritage, rich historical heritage and natural value that includes a great diversity of habitats, species of plants and animals, but also geological diversity represented in numerous geological formations created in different periods of the Earth's past. 

"It is precisely this great potential of this area that is the reason why Biokovo-Imotska Jezera Geopark is becoming the third UNESCO Geopark in the Republic of Croatia, and all of us who dedicatedly worked on this project have reason to be proud", he pointed out Glory to Yakša, director of Ju PP Biokovo.

"I was extremely pleased to read the GGN report in which it is stated that we will become the third UNESCO Geopark in the Republic of Croatia. This is the culmination of many years of work by a large number of stakeholders, to whom I congratulate. The City of Imotski has actively participated in the financing of the activities that preceded this result from the first day, and now we have the obligation to create and equip a modern visitor center of the Geopark, which will be an indispensable point for all visitors and which will be located within the Dogana"he said Ivan Budalić, mayor of the town of Imotski.

Development of geotourism

By receiving the UNESCO designation, it is significant raises the level of visibility destinations and prerequisites are created for the development of geotourism as a specific form of selective tourism.

Geotourism primarily focuses on the geological and geomorphological features of the landscape as a tourist attraction and is one of the fastest growing market segments within special forms of tourism. 

"In addition, the Geopark provides many benefits and development opportunities for the entire area through the development of agriculture, catering and service activities, cooperation with other geoparks on special projects and scientific research, partnership programs with all stakeholders and the like", he stressed Port of Kolovrat, director of the Imotski Tourist Board.

Let us remind you that the entire process of creation of the Biokovo-Imotska Jezera Geopark began at the end of 2018, when they were at the very beginning there were two independent initiatives for the establishment of a UNESCO Geopark - an initiative of the Public Institution Biokovo Nature Park and an initiative of the Geopark Imotska jezera, which was initiated by the local administration in Imotski. 

Geo points photo facebook geopark Biokovo Imotska jezera
Photo source: Geopark Biokovo - Imotska krajina / Facebook

Joint application

After the presentation of both initiatives, the National Committee for UNESCO Geoparks of the Republic of Croatia made a decision to unify them and apply for a single Geopark in order to joint application reached the final goal

Such a decision resulted from the fact that the area of ​​Biokovo Nature Park and Imotska Krajina together form a geological, geomorphological and landscape a unique area of ​​Dinaric karst and a joint initiative would use the potential of both areas for the benefit of the local community. 

In this way, the idea of ​​the future UNESCO Geopark Biokovo-Imotska jezera was conceived, founded in 2019 by the Biokovo Nature Park and the Imotska Jezera Geopark Association based in Imotski.

After that, the preparation of the application study and the complex process of collecting complete documentation, based on the direct guidelines of the UNESCO Council, began. In parallel, in September 2021, several months of intensive work followed to prepare the ground for the arrival of UNESCO evaluators and their validation of the entire area.

Despite the fact that UNESCO's field experts gave the 'green light' to the Geopark and gave the area a very high rating, the UNESCO Council for Global Geoparks at its regular session in December of the same year voted to postpone accession.

By intensive work to the goal

After receiving the official Report from the UNESCO Council last March, intensive work is again underway to fulfill the received recommendations.

In less than a year and a half, a large number of activities were carried out in the field of education, visibility, improvement and protection of geological heritage, association with Partners in the Geopark area, and the establishment of formal Agreements with other UNESCO Global Geoparks.

This summer, a complete report on the progress of the Geopark was completed, which was sent to the UNESCO Council for Global Geoparks through the National Commission of the Republic of Croatia. The UNESCO Council has now decided that Biokovo - Imotska Jezera Geopark will become a UNESCO Global Geopark.

UNESCO's Global Geoparks Council plays a key role in evaluating new and renewed UNESCO Global Geopark nominations.

Its members meet once a year to determine whether new applications meet the necessary standards and can be forwarded to UNESCO's Executive Board for official approval, she said. Public institution Biokovo Nature Park.

Cover photo: Imota Tourist Board


7. September 2023.