May 28, 2024

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Iran is hoping to gain UNESCO tag for Aras Geopark

TEHRAN –Iran is hoping to win a UNESCO tag for Aras Geopark, which has been nominated for new UNESCO Global Geoparks in March, a local official has said. 

Aras Geopark, which covers an area of about 1670 square kilometers, has been put on a shortlist along with other 18 geoparks from across the world, Mohammad Farzad Mirzai explained on Tuesday. 

The possible registration of Aras Geopark will make it Iran’s second registered geopark after Qeshm Geopark, the official added. 

Situated in East Azarbaijan province, Aras Geopark covers an area of about 1670 square kilometers, sprawling across the whole Jolfa county. The topography is generally extremely steep and forms astonishing landscapes so the highest point in the Jolfa region is the Kiyamaki mount with 3347 meters and the lowest points include the northern boundary and the Aras River valley with 720 to 390 meters.

The property has an appropriate geo-tourism attraction, because of its mountainous landscapes, outcropping of different sedimentary and igneous rocks, diversity in tectonic structures, semi-cold and semi-arid climate, and diverse flora and fauna.

The UNESCO-designated Qeshm Geopark in the Persian Gulf embraces a wide range of ecotourism attractions such as the Hara marine forests and about 60 villages dotted mostly across its rocky coastlines. Qeshm Island has an abundance of wildlife, including birds, reptiles, dolphins, and turtles as well.

A UNESCO definition of the global geopark is a unified area with a geological heritage of international significance.

Experts say geoparks usually promote awareness of geological hazards, including volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis and many help prepare disaster mitigation strategies with local communities. Moreover, they yield records of past climate changes and are indicators of current climate changes as well.


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