Mourne Gullion Strangford Geopark Governance
The Mourne Gullion Strangford UNESCO Global Geopark is the legal responsibility of Newry Mourne and Down District Council. The Council coordinates the Geopark Management Group within the Council structure.
Governance at Mourne Gullion Strangford UNESCO Global Geopark
Newry Mourne and Down District Council: Guardians of the Geopark
Newry Mourne and Down District Council proudly assumes the role of guardian for the Mourne Gullion Strangford UNESCO Global Geopark. In its capacity as the legal custodian, the Council ensures the seamless and effective management and operation of the geopark.
Governance and Collaborative Management
The governance structure of the Mourne Gullion Strangford UNESCO Global Geopark reflects a commitment to collaborative and inclusive management, ensuring a comprehensive approach to the conservation and promotion of our unique geological, environmental, historical, and cultural heritage.
The Geopark Management Group: Steering Vision and Goals
Operational within the Council’s structure, the Geopark Management Group takes on the responsibility of steering the vision and goals of the Mourne Gullion Strangford UNESCO Global Geopark. The group’s functions encompass:
- Coordinate and Facilitate Geopark Management: The Geopark Management Group’s primary mission is to coordinate and facilitate the effective management of the geopark, ensuring it maintains its prestigious UNESCO Global Geopark status. Through strategic planning and collaborative efforts, the group works towards the sustained success of the geopark within the global network.
- Promote and Support Geopark Initiatives: Actively promoting, supporting, and facilitating a diverse range of local, national, and international projects, initiatives, and events, the Geopark Management Group is dedicated to safeguarding and enhancing awareness of the geopark’s geological, environmental, historical, and cultural heritage. By fostering a sense of stewardship, the group contributes to the conservation and appreciation of the geopark’s unique qualities.
- Strengthen Partnerships and Develop Networks: Integral to the group’s mandate is the building of partnerships and forging new connections. By establishing strong collaborations, the group ensures that the geological, environmental, historical, and cultural treasures of the Mourne Gullion Strangford UNESCO Global Geopark are not only preserved but also promoted. This commitment extends beyond the present, striving to secure these qualities for the enjoyment and understanding of both current and future generations.
The Geopark Management Group: A Collaborative Force
At the heart of our governance framework is the Geopark Management Group, a dynamic collective composed of representatives from diverse entities. Each entity plays a vital role in the stewardship of the geopark, including representatives from the three AONB Partnerships (Mourne AONB, Ring of Gullion AONB, and Strangford and Lecale AONB), the three Marine Protected Areas (Strangford Lough, Murlough Bay, and Carlingford Lough MPA), statutory bodies, and landowners.
AONB Partnerships and Their Forums
Instrumental in managing various forums dedicated to different aspects of the geopark’s well-being, the AONB Partnerships play a crucial role. These forums include the Environment Forum, Outdoor Recreation Forum, Heritage Festival Working Group, Rangers Forum, Officers Forum, and a Conservation Volunteers Forum. Each forum addresses specific aspects of the geopark’s management, ensuring a holistic and focused approach to its conservation and sustainable development.
Representation from NMDDC
Officers from the Newry Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) contribute significantly to the Geopark Management Group. Their involvement extends to facilitating key forums such as the Education Forum, Youth Forum, and Sustainable Tourism Forum. This collaborative effort ensures that diverse perspectives are considered in decision-making, creating a harmonious balance between preservation, education, and sustainable tourism practices.
Nurturing a Legacy for Generations to Come
Under the governance of the Newry Mourne and Down District Council and the vigilant oversight of the Geopark Management Group, the Mourne Gullion Strangford UNESCO Global Geopark stands as a beacon of responsible management and preservation. This collaborative effort ensures that the geopark continues to thrive, offering a rich tapestry of geological, environmental, historical, and cultural heritage for all to explore and appreciate. Join us in celebrating the legacy we are creating for the generations that follow.