Geotourism in Latin America and Caribbean UNESCO Global Geoparks: Contribution for Sustainable Development Goals

  • Emmaline M. Rosado-González
  • José Luis Palacio-Prieto
  • Artur Abreu Sá
Part of the Studies on Entrepreneurship, Structural Change and Industrial Dynamics book series (ESID)


A key feature of the UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGps) is their contribution to regional sustainable development through initiatives and strategies of geoconservation, geoeducation and geotourism, promoted in cooperation with the local communities. In this sense, UGGps are committed to promote and carrying out activities that contribute to Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). This Agenda, established in 2015 by United Nations, is assumed as a plan for planet, people, peace, prosperity and partnerships.

The geotourism as one of the main axes of the UGGps, sensu Arouca Declaration (2011,, and the geotouristic initiatives developed on UGGps could be an effective tool to contribute for the sustainable development of these territories.

This work is part of a broader research that aims to characterize the contribution of UGGps in Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region to the Agenda 2030 and its 17 SDGs. However, in this work we focused mainly on the impacts of geotourism in the UGGps. The main objective is to show some evidences on how the geotourism strategies and activities carried on the four UGGps in LAC until early 2019 (Araripe UGGp in 2006—Brazil; Grutas del Palacio UGGp in 2013—Uruguay, Comarca Minera UGGp and Mixteca Alta UGGp in 2017—Mexico) are contributing in the scope of the SDG 8, SDG 9, SDG 10, SDG 11 and SDG 15.

The field work research was composed on the application of questionnaires and the development of workshops with the local communities of these four territories. The obtained results were based on the perception of the local communities and the impression they have of the impacts of the UGGps on their territories. This allowed to describe the evidences on how UGGps contribute on different ways to the Agenda 2030, particularly showing the impact of geotourism in specific targets, such as employment promotion, establishment of sustainable infrastructures, reduction of inequalities and the environmental conservation, among others. This work explains with a concrete case study the benefits that each territory can gain with a good promotion of geotourism strategies under the UGGp label.


UNESCO Global Geoparks Sustainable Development Latin America and Caribbean SDG 8 SDG 9 SDG 10 SDG 11 SDG 15 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emmaline M. Rosado-González
    • 1
    • 2
  • José Luis Palacio-Prieto
    • 3
  • Artur Abreu Sá
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.UNESCO Chair on Geoparks, Sustainable Regional Development and Healthy LifestylesUniversity of Trás-os-Montes e Alto DouroVila RealPortugal
  2. 2.Geoscience Centre of University of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  3. 3.Earth Sciences National School and Geography InstituteNational Autonomous University of MexicoMexico CityMexico

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