The Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark
The Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark supports people and organisations to work together to ensure a cared-for landscape, a better understood heritage, more sustainable tourism, a vibrant community and strengthened livelihoods.
Just like the Geopark itself, our organisation would not be here were it not for what came before us. We are very proud of the UNESCO Global Geopark designation. This is not easily achieved and therefore it’s highly valued. The designation also honours the successes in creating partnerships between local interests and national agencies in making the tourism and conservation a passionate common interest. The planning and hard work of so many people through the years is a shared success. It simply wouldn’t have been possible without an enormous and committed local, county and state collaboration. Our Geopark champions are many and varied.
All UNESCO Global Geoparks are externally re-validated every four years which means we are constantly striving to improve.
The Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark’s ultimate aim is to spearhead sustainable tourism that develops and promotes the area as a truly special encounter-rich destination, strengthens the local economy and improves the visitor experience. To achieve this goal, we work on the following areas:
It has been working closely with tourism businesses in the region on its highly innovative Geopark code of practice for sustainable tourism programme which enables tourism businesses to monitor and improve their environmental impact.
Code of practice for sustainable tourism programme
- Working together
We collaborate with all stakeholders to collectively develop the Geopark as a sustainable tourism destination.
- A Cared-for landscape
We actively participate in conserving our natural and cultural heritage.
- A Well-understood heritage
We offer quality information and interpretation to communicate our stories and the unique character of our Geopark to guests.
- Vibrant communities
We work to ensure that tourism makes a positive social contribution so that it benefits our community as well as our guests. We aim to make our services available to the widest possible audience.
- Strengthened livelihoods
We contribute to the local economy by maintaining and supporting local employment, by sourcing services and produce locally wherever possible, and by engaging with other businesses in promoting our Geopark as a sustainable tourism destination.
- Sustainable environmental management
We are guided by our environmental policy and we work to an Environmental Action Plan, which includes actions and targets for improvement that are reviewed annually. We have effective systems for monitoring and adequately managing our waste, water, wastewater, energy, travel impact and purchases.
Our main partners
Clare County Council
The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark is managed and co-funded by Clare County Council who recognise the need to balance tourism and conservation in the Burren region. Since 2008, Clare County Council has been working in the Burren to address the balance of tourism and conservation. Initially through the Burren Connect project and now through the Geopark they are supporting the development of a sustainable tourism destination that gives direct benefits to the local community, promotes and celebrates local culture and preserves the environment.
Geological Survey Ireland
Geopark Status could not have happened without the support and funding from the Geological Survey Ireland. The GSI sees Geoparks as a vital public interface for education and outreach, through the promotion of geology – and its integral relationship with habitat and human history – to locals and visitors alike, and as an important catalyst for local economic development.
Burren Ecotourism Network
Burren Ecotourism Network was established with the support of what has become the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark. It is a network of tourism business that are passionate about the environmental and economic sustainability of their tourism enterprises and the well-being of the Burren. All members must complete the Geopark Code of Practice for Sustainable Tourism Businesses which is externally audited.
Fáilte Ireland is the National Tourism Development Authority, whose role is to support the tourism industry and work to sustain Ireland as a high-quality and competitive tourism destination. They provide a range of practical business supports to help tourism businesses better manage and market their products and services. Failte Ireland have been a very active partner of the Geopark since its establishment in 2011 and a big supporter of its predecessor Burren Connect since 2006. They have provided much support from funding and training to advice and mentoring. Their positive engagement has provided huge encouragement to the Geopark team.
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