UNESCO Recognizes Iceland’s Katla Geopark Skip to content

UNESCO Recognizes Iceland’s Katla Geopark

UNESCO recently added nine geoparks out of 16 applicants to its Global Network of National Geoparks, including Katla Geopark in the region surrounding Mýrdalsjökull glacier in south Iceland, which covers the volcano Katla.


The infamous Eyjafjallajökull is included in Katla Geopark. During the 2010 eruption. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The Katla region also includes the infamous Eyjafjallajökull volcano which upset air traffic around the globe when it erupted last year, visir.is reports.

The region is said to be characterized by landscapes that have been sculpted by glaciers and volcanic activity which impacts human habitation.

All the areas recognized by UNESCO as geoparks have unique importance in the field of education and science and are also considered to have unique natural beauty.

The network is intended to strengthen cooperation between geoparks and across different sectors of society for equitable and sustainable utilization of natural resources and protection of the world’s geological heritage.

There are now 87 places in 27 different countries on the list of networks; Katla Geopark is the only location in Iceland to be included.

The Katla Geopark was formally established on November 19, 2010. The purpose is, among others, to protect and develop the region’s geological assets for the benefits of sustainable economic development.

Geotourism, which emphasizes education on geological remains, the interplay between man and nature and outdoor recreation, will be developed in the area. The local municipalities involved are Rangárthing eystra, Mýrdalshreppur and Skaftárhreppur.

For further information about the geopark, visit its website.

Click here to see the list of UNESCO’s new geoparks and here to read more about Katla, which is currently under close observation by scientists.


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