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Tanzania takes over the Presidency of African Geoparks Network

Tanzania has just taken over the Presidency of the African Geoparks Network from Morocco during a recent conference held in Morocco.

The former President of African Geoparks Network, Driss Achbal who also heads the Geopark M’Goun Association of Morocco handed the banter to the incoming leader, Joshua Mwankunda from Tanzania.

Mwankunda is in charge of the Ngorongoro-Lengai Global Geopark in Tanzania.

So far there are only two countries in Africa, hosting global Geoparks, these are Tanzania and Morocco.

Morocco was the first country in Africa to establish the M’Goun Global Geopark which was designated in 2016.

Tanzania followed with the setting up of the L’engai Geopark which was endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2018.

On the other hand, Tanzania is working to set up the country’s second Geopark through the Arusha-Meru site, while its neighbour, Kenya also plans the Baringo site to become a Geopark.

The city of Marrakech recently played host to the 10th International Conference of Geoparks of UNESCO

The event brought together a group of experts, government officials, researchers, scientists and representatives of Geoparks from all over the world.

The Tanzania delegation included, the Commissioner of Conservation for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, Dr Fred Manongi, the Assistant Commissioner, Joshua Mwankunda and the chairperson of the NCAA Board of Directors General (Retired) Venance Mabeyo.

The conference celebrated the achievements of Geoparks around the world in recent years and to promote collaboration and the exchange of knowledge and good practices for the conservation of the world’s geological and cultural heritage.

Initiated by the Council of the Beni Mellal-Khenifra Region, in partnership with the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network (GGN) and the UNESCO Global Geoparks Association M’Goun in Azilal, the event gathered more than 1,800 participants from 60 countries.

The global event was organized for the first time on Arab and African soil.

More than 600 scientific interventions formulated by geoscientists and experts in the management of Geoparks on a global scale were received at the conference which featured plenary sessions, thematic workshops and field visits to the territory of the M’Goun Geopark.

There was also the processing of applications for the organization of the next edition of UNESCO Geoparks, formulated by four countries, including Brazil, Chile, Korea South and Indonesia.

More than 14 partnership and twinning agreements were initialled on this occasion between the M’goun Geopark and Geoparks in several countries, including Canada, Brazil, China, Japan, Romania, Malaysia, Spain, France and Portugal, noted