The Drifting Apart project will unearth and strengthen the understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the fascinating and interconnected geological heritage of the Northern Periphery and Arctic region, and its many links to natural, built and cultural heritage – It will support the development of new and aspiring Global Geoparks, the promotion of innovative products and services for social and economic prosperity and to continue to build a strong network of Geoparks in the Northern Periphery and Arctic Region.
The geology of the Northern Periphery and Arctic provides a common link between diverse regions. Millions of years of moving continents, mountain building, volcanic activity, changing climates and sea levels, erosion and deposition have shaped our landscape. Not only does the resultant geodiversity help us understand the history of our Earth but it also profoundly shapes the world around us. It also offers great opportunities to further develop new economic opportunities, enhance culture and sense of place and conserve this historical link between the regions.
Drawing upon the diverse expertise of the partners the project will provide a shared opportunities for learning about the area’s geology and related heritage, will enhance visitor opportunities on site and off site, will increase visitor numbers into the partners’ areas, diversify visitors from generalist visitors to specialist visitors, provide economic opportunities for local businesses to harness the opportunities linked to the areas geologic heritage, provide opportunities for all partners to share experiences and learn best practice, and to develop a model for sustainable management of the geological areas designated as geoparks supported by UNESCO.
Expected Results (EN):
Preparedness of responsible authorities in remote, sparsely populated areas for environmental management in relation to climate change and impacts of new investments in exploitation of natural resources
Expected Outputs (EN):
Through the development of a transnational trail, where the shared and common geological story will be told, the project will address the Arctic dimension of the programme, linking peripherical and remote areas aroung a shared product, providing enhanced opportunities for visitor experience (both generalist and specialist visitors) shared amongst the regions.
Through the development of training opportunities for tourism businesses, education organisations and local communities the project will provide opportunities to strengthen local, remote communities and provide opportunities for new entrepreneurship.
The project will provide opportunities throughout the 3 years and beyond for learning at various level:
• learning opportunities for area managers on how best to manage our unique environmental assets in the long term,
• learning opportunities for decision takers through the involvement of regional and national organisation in the process,
• learning opportunities for visitors through the development and enhacement of visitor experience on geological features and natural and cultural heritage linked to these features,
• Learning opportunities for specialist groups looking to further develop knowledge of the earth geological story through a physical or online travel in the ‘Drifting Apart’ regions,
• Learning opportunities for local businesses and communities on how best to harness opportunities linked to geological heritage.
The project, through the development of a long term management model of the geological assets, will look at issues such as climate change, its impact on geological features and how best to prepare. The 3D recording of key sites will help monitor changes.
The development of viable management model and tools will be developed for areas of geological interest through the achievement of Geopark status but also for other similar organisations in the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme area, within the rest of the EU and further afield. This will be further promoted to Geoparks networks in the EU and the world and other relevant networks as most project partners are actively involved in these networks. No ‘geopark’ long term management tool has yet been developed, it is hoped through the project to developed a new and innovative approach to long term management of geological interest areas.
The project will use innovative technologies such as 3D laser scanning, virtual reality headset (such as oculus rift) or tablets to provide new ways to learn about our geological heritage, enhanced visitor experience, and monitor and manage landscape changes.