Geopark is clearly defined territory in which main activities are oriented to exploring, protecting and promoting not only internationally important geoheritage but also other valuable natural and cultural-historical resources in the area through tourism development, aiming to stimulate and engage the local communities, enhance their socio-economic status and advance conservation of natural and cultural heritage.
The Djerdap aspiring Geopark – a travel through geological history
What is geopark?
The European and
UNESCO global geoparks
One of the most important international initiatives in the field of geodiversity and geoheritage conservation was the establishment of geoparks, the European Geoparks Network (EGN) and the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network (UNESCO GGN).
The European Geoparks Network, founded in 2000, currently comprises 71 regions in 23 countries whereas the Global Geoparks Network, established in 2004, encompasses 140 areas worldwide, including European geoparks.
Djerdap area is the first nominated area in Serbia to the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network. The Djerdap aspiring geopark is located in the northeastern part of Serbia. Danube River is the natural and administrative border between the Republic of Serbia and Romania. It covers spatially an area of 1330 square kilometers and includes the area of the Djerdap National Park, established in 1974, but exceeds its territory for additional 692 square kilometers. The Djerdap aspiring geopark comprises riparian part of the Djerdap gorge in the middle course of the Danube River and its hinterland – parts of the massifs Kučaj and Miroč.
Djerdap Gorge is the most prominent natural phenomenon in the area. On its 117 kilometers long path from Golubac to Kladovo, the Danube River cuts into the perimeter of Southern Carpathians and connects the Pannonian Basin on the west and Dacian Basin on the east. Along the Djerdap Gorge, geoheritage sites from almost all periods of geological history, from about one billion yeas ago to the present, can be clearly observed. The Gorge is one of the best studied areas of the Balkan Peninsula; it has been, and still is, researched by renowned national and international geologists, geomorphologists, botanists, zoologists, archeologists, historians and ethnologists.
The main advantages of Djerdap are: unpolluted environment; diversity of natural resources, geological in particular; attractive landscapes; rich flora and fauna; numerous cultural and historical attractions; and kindness and hospitality of local residents. The Djerdap area has the chance to become a unique natural, open-air laboratory in which geological, ecological and civilization history of this part of southeast Europe will be presented and interpreted to visitors.
Future Djerdap Geopark offers visitors a wide range of possibilities: to see, walk, touch, perceive and enjoy one of the geologically, historically and culturally richest regions in Serbia. In direct and active contact with nature, it is expected that visitors will learn about local plants and animals and their habitats, as well as the environment of prehistoric man, and thus understand the unbreakable link between the two main components of nature – geodiversity and biodiversity.