A cross-border geopark between Austria and Slovenia
The Karawanken-Karavanke UNESCO Global Geopark is a cross-border geopark between Austria and Slovenia, stretching across a geologically diverse area of over one thousand kilometres. It spans 14 municipalities and has approximately 53.000 inhabitants.
Where conservation and community meet
The Geopark has taken notable steps to establish itself as a green destination, implementing a broad range of strategies which address pressing issues such as biodiversity conservation, environmental preservation, and carbon storage. The Geopark makes these features accessible to the public and often collaborates with the local community.
UNESCO Global Geoparks thrive on their remarkable geodiversity, and strives to share and conserve its unique attributes. In the Karawanken-Karavanke UGG area, 49 geosites and 14 geopark sites are under protection. The focus is on conservation, like wetlands and species monitoring, and enhancing accessibility. Projects encompass invasive species removal, visitor monitoring, and interpretational infrastructure. This strategy aims to minimize environmental impact by expanding infrastructure in existing areas rather than vulnerable ones.
Cross-border, Trilingual Geopark
The Geopark has created a digital, trilingual ‘Geopark Guide’ with various excursions to raise awareness of the important geo- and biodiversity. Each excursion focuses on geological, natural, or cultural and historical features through arranged paths and biking trails. There is also a long-distance Karawanken-Karavanke Trail of 265km long, divided into 13 daily stages of varying difficulty for different target groups.
The Geopark has an established network of kindergartens and schools from the area, as well as a network of certified geopark schools, kindergartens and educational centres. By assimilating the annual Geopark program in both national catalogues of further education and training programmes for education staff, a large number of teachers and educators are attracted to the park’s mission, to integrate geodiversity and nature conservation into their syllabuses.