The 1st International Summer University on Geoparks, Sustainable Regional Development and Healthy Lifestyles wil be held in University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (Vila Real, Portugal) between 3rd to 22nd July 2017.
The UNESCO Global Geoparks are considered as “the territories of education, science and culture of the 21st Century”. In this sense, they are permanently associated with the protection, promotion and awareness of geological heritage, in a territorial development strategy which integrates the remaining natural and cultural heritage of the regions in a holistic and bottom-up approach, essentially focused on its inhabitants.
Taking into account this background, these UNESCO territories becomes highly strategic for the implementation of North-South, South-South and North-South-South cooperation projects, in order to contribute for the achievement of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its 17 Objectives. Also assuming that we are dealing with territories that follow the one of the UNESCO goals which is the well-being of people and reducing inequalities between countries, the UNESCO Global Geoparks meet the necessary conditions for the implementation of an effective sustainable development for its inhabitants.
The International Summer University on Geoparks, Sustainable Regional Development and Healthy Lifestyles has been created in this framework, based in a new and multidisciplinary approach towards capacity building on these subjects. As educational offer hosted in the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (Vila Real, Portugal), this advanced educational and vocational training includes an intensive series of seminars and workshops during two weeks. This broad-spectrum educational initiative will be complemented with a strong practice component through mid-course field trips to Arouca and Terras de Cavaleiros UNESCO Global Geoparks, Alto Douro Wine Region (World Heritage Site), Prehistoric Rock Art Site in the Côa Valley (World Heritage Site), Meseta Iberica Transboundary Biosphere Reserve, Bisalhães black pottery manufacturing process – UNESCO Intangible Heritage, Natural Park of Alvão and Azibo reservoir protected landscape. To reinforce and diversify the knowledge about UNESCO Global Geoparks reality, a post-course field trip will be offer to visit the following Spanish UNESCO Global Geoparks: Basque Coast, Catalunya Central, Molina y Alto Tajo and Sobrarbe-Pirineos.
With this International Summer University it is intended that participants can experience an innovative practice in which they can confront the theoretical knowledge with concrete realities and good practices in the management of the territories and in the implementation of diverse initiatives, particularly those with local communities’ engagement.
Objectives: provide a broadband training course for students, researchers, managers, staff members and civil servants, among others, on Geoparks, Sustainable Regional Development and Healthy Lifestyles; create awareness about the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its 17 Goals and how these can be implemented and developed by the UNESCO territories; discuss the social relevance of the Top 10 topics within UNESCO Global Geoparks; share and review critically a set of examples about Education, Science and Culture initiatives developed in the UNESCO territories; impart knowledge, know-how and experiences on UNESCO territories management and touristic promotion; debate future perspectives for the development and affirmation of UNESCO territories.