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A view of the Cliffs of Moher from sea level.

UNESCO designation for Cliffs and Burren

The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark has been designated as a UNESCO site following a vote at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) General Conference in Paris today (Tuesday). The Burren and Cliffs of Moher is now one of 120 UNESCO Global Geoparks across the world.

The designation means that the Clare County Council managed Geopark, along with Ireland’s two other Geoparks, the Copper Coast Geopark and Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, is now a UNESCO Global Geopark and is now at the same level as other UNESCO designated sites such as Newgrange and the Giant’s Causeway.

Reflecting on the announcement, cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, James Breen said, “As a Geopark, the Burren is very much part of a global community that shares knowledge and expertise on heritage management and sustainable development, leading to well-managed protected landscapes with preserved local heritage. This approach, combined with a good working relationship with communities throughout the Burren has established the Burren as the thriving, sustainable destination it is today.”
“I want to congratulate Clare County Council, the Geological Survey of Ireland, Failte Ireland, the Office of Public Works, the National Monuments Service, The Heritage Council, National University Galway and University College Dublin, the Burren Ecotourism Network, local businesses and the community for their work to establish a solid, sustainable and vibrant tourism infrastructure in the Burren,” said Mr Breen.
Tom Coughlan, chief executive, Clare County Council commented, “Clare County Council has been working in partnership and collaboration with other agencies in the Burren since 2006 to develop a truly sustainable tourism destination that gives direct benefits to the local community. This work first led to Geopark status being awarded to the Burren and the securing of vitally important EU LIFE funding, and now its designation as a UNESCO site.”

“The team at the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark has put sustainability at the centre of everything it has been working to achieve in recent years. Their efforts have been recognised locally, national and internationally and Clare County Council looks forward to working with them and the wider community in promoting the future, sustainable management of this important and geologically significant region,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark is hosting the Irish Global Geoparks’ annual seminar at the Falls Hotel.

The seminar will kick-off on Thursday evening with a dinner in which guest speaker Professor Patrick McKeever, Chief of Earth Sciences with UNESCO will outline the benefits of this designation for Global Geoparks worldwide.

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