PRESS RELEASE, 6/18/2020

Training seminar for the Vikos-Aoos Geopark in the framework of the European Geoparks Week, Saturday 13 June 2020

Vikos Aoos Geopark as a member of the UNESCO Global Geoparks network participates in the “European Geoparks Week” with the online promotion and general promotion of the area, as well as with an intensive Geology seminar in the highlands of Mount Tymfi. In this context and taking all the necessary measures due to the coronavirus pandemic, students of Konitsa IEK with the specialty “Mountain escorts” with their instructors, as well as collaborators of the Laboratory of Geographical and Environmental Education of the University of Ioannina participated in the geological topic “Limestones and glaciers in the highlands of Tymfi” that took place on Saturday, June 13, 2020. The route followed was “Mikro Papigo – Astraka refuge – Drakolimni”. The 22 participants had the opportunity to learn about the unique geological history of the area and especially about the geological phenomena that took place in the relatively recent past, whose “evidence” is scattered all around the area and can be observed, such as the remnants of the last glaciers. The presentation of geology and geotopes was made by Mr. Panagiotis Paschos Dr. Geologist of IGME Periphery Unit of Epirus and supplemented with data of the wider natural environment by Mr. Haritakis Papaioannou, Dr. Biologist / EPIRUS SA.

The knowledge gained by the participants from this seminar is valuable. With the methodical and successful actions of the geopark, on the one hand, the first generation of Geo-guides is created, which is expected to contribute to the fuller information of the visitors of the area, and on the other hand, the educational material created for the first time by the University of Ioannina is enriched. The actions for the Vikos-Aoos Global Geopark are carried out in the framework of the cooperation of Development Epirus SA with the Region of Epirus. European Geoparks Week: In June of each year, the 74 European UNESCO World Geoparks simultaneously carry out a series of activities to promote their areas. These actions are always carried out under a different slogan and are part of the “European Geoparks Week”. 2020 is a difficult year in many ways due to the coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, having in mind that 2020 corresponds on the one hand to the 20 years of the establishment of the European Geoparks Network and on the other hand to the 10 years of the establishment of the Vikos-Aoos Geopark, it was not possible for the geoparks to remain completely inactive. Thus, the central motto for this year in the framework of European Geoparks Week is “UNESCO Global Geoparks – areas of resilience” and more specifically for Greece and Cyprus “Greece-Cyprus UNESCO Global Geoparks: Discover safe natural and cultural monuments”, suggesting the special value but also the dynamics of these areas to “resist” serious disorders, one of which is this year’s coronavirus pandemic. In this context, all the geoparks were adapted to the existing conditions and it was decided that the majority of all relevant actions be done online, with a few exceptions, assessing the situation locally each time, as was done for this seminar in the Tymfi highlands. The relevant projection-promotion material (video-spot, posters, etc.) is already being formed. We hope that a new cycle of actions will follow with the initiative of the Vikos – Aoos Global Geopark for the awareness of the local citizens.