Geoparks – a regional, European and global policy
Vulkaneifel, since this reveals the decision-making processes required for creating perspectives relating to sustainability. In this case, the decisions were not made on a purely geoscientific level but involved a close association between decision-makers from politics and business, scientists and regional managers. In order to clarify this aspect, this chapter will present the experience gained with the ‘learning by doing’ implementation in the Geopark Gerolstein and Geopark Vulkaneifel, as well as the scientific approach for structuring. The chapter also shows that the practical results and evaluation of the operative level in geoparks are a necessary part of the structural political hardware needed for the ideal as well as financial security in the future. This concept is supported by UNESCO programmes. In conclusion, the chapter establishes that geoparks are not necessarily mutually competitive, especially if they are located in different tourist regions. However, they must develop their own profile in accordance with the specificity of their geology, local traditions, and political, administrative and economic conditions.