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News from the Geopark

English Riviera Scoops International Conference

23 Sep 2014

The decision to award this prestigious UNESCO conference to the English  Riviera Global Geopark  was announced in yesterday in front of 500 delegates  attending this year’s Global Geoparks Network conference in Stonehammer Geopark  in Canada.  Representatives of the English Riviera Geopark bid committee , Nick  Powe and Melanie Border, received the news from the Global Geopark Network  executive board along with three young people from Torbay taking part in the  GeoCollective project.

Tarrin Marie, Joe Tomkinson and James Copland were young Geopark ambassadors  for the Bay, visiting schools, writing songs and making contacts with Geoparks  around the world, gathering inspiration and ideas for an innovative opening  ceremony in Torquay.                

Torbay Council submitted the winning bid to UNESCO’s head offices in July.   Matthew Sudders, ambassador and permanent UK Delegate to UNESCO said: “It is  great to see the English Riviera Global Geopark and the team behind it receive  the recognition they deserve through the opportunity to host the prestigious  conference on Global Geoparks.”

Torbay Mayor Gordon Oliver, who spearheaded the campaign in order to generate  economic and tourism benefits from holding a major international conference in  the Bay, said: “This is great news for Torbay. Hosting this prestigious  international conference will showcase the English Riviera’s unique geological  features on a global stage and bring over 600 delegates to Torbay for a four  day  itinerary of inspiring activities. We are delighted with the accolade that  UNESCO has bestowed upon Torbay by bringing the next international conference  here.”

Prof Iain Stewart, patron of the English Riviera Global Geopark and TV  broadcaster, said: “It’s fantastic news – testament both to the world-class  geology and landscape that we have along the Torbay coast and the exciting and  imaginative ways that the Geopark – the world’s first urban Geopark - has woven  the 400 million year old rocky history of this region into the everyday lives  of  modern Devonians.

“The geological jewels of the English Riviera are something that we in the  South West should be justifiably proud of. After all, they are the reason why  geologists from all over the world will be converging on our shores in two  years’ time. It’s going to be a rock party to remember.”

Nick Powe, chairman of the English Riviera Global Geopark organisation said:   “The prehistoric caves at Kents Cavern, Berry Head, Hope’s Nose and the  coastline of Torbay are all iconic features of the Geopark but equally  important  is the cultural heritage, the food and traditions that have evolved  from this  foundation, and we’ll be showing all this off to the delegates.

“We were short-listed with venues around the World and being chosen is a  massive achievement for Torbay. It catapults a well-known UK seaside resort  into  a completely different league, attracting international attention for our  amazing natural environment in its vibrant town setting, putting us on the  international map as a quality destination for visitors and investors.”

Melanie Border, English Riviera Global Geopark Coordinator said: “This really  is fantastic.  Without doubt, we were up against some strong competition so I’d  like to thank all, locally, nationally and internationally who supported our  bid.  To be chosen to host the Global Conference is a real honour and reflects  our standing within the Global Geopark Network.  Of course this is just the  beginning and I’m sure the next two years will fly by but how exciting.

“The GeoCollective were a massive hit with local children and residents and  were of particular interest to the delegates as they were able to share the  health and well-being benefits of creative engagement which will be a major  focus for our conference.”

Cllr Alan Tyerman, Torbay Development Agency board member and chairman of the  2016 Conference Bid Committee said: “The Riviera International Centre is a  perfect backdrop to the main keynote speaking events, and we are developing  a  fantastic programme   of activities that will enable delegates to explore the  unique features of Torbay’s natural environment  that they will  remember.”

Read more: http://www.torquayheraldexpress.co.uk/English-Riviera-Geopark-scoops-600-delegate/story-22966694-detail/story.html#ixzz3FjQnpIp0 Follow us: @TQHeraldExpress on Twitter | theheraldexpress on Facebook