cliffs of fundy

These breathtaking cliffs in Canada are now officially a UNESCO Global Geopark

Canada’s beautiful landscapes and vast biodiversity have captured the attention of UNESCO with the addition of two new Geoparks, the Cliffs of Fundy in Nova Scotia, and the Discovery Global Geopark on the Bonavista Peninsula in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Today UNESCO announced the Cliffs of Fundy and Discovery Global Geopark were officially designated UNESCO Global Geoparks — joining 13 other parks around the world and bringing Canada’s total number of Geoparks to five.

Percé in the Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec, Stonehammer on New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy, and Tumbler Ridge in the Hart Ranges of the northern Rocky Mountains of British Columbia are Canada’s three other Geoparks.

To earn a Geopark designation the park must have international geological heritage value; be managed under national legislation; promote sustainable local economic development; and cooperate and network with other Geoparks around the world.

The Cliffs of Fundy, located on the north shore of the Minas Basin, was selected by UNESCO for its “varied landscape of hills, mountains, valleys, heavily forested areas, and coastal marshlands.”

The inlet of the Bay of Fundy is known for having the highest tides on earth and the Geopark features “the largest outpouring of lava in Earth history, fossils of early dinosaurs, vertebrates and more,” according to UNESCO.

The Mi’kmaq, have lived in the area for thousands of years, “making it one of the earliest known sites of human habitation in northeastern North America,” the UNESCO description continues.

Donald Julien, an executive director for The Confederacy Of Mainland Mi'Kmaq, told CBC, he hoped the UNESCO designation will help teach people about the history of the Mi'kmaq.

"This is probably history in the making. Everybody is going to benefit,” Julien said.

Discovery Global Geopark, located in the east part of Newfoundland Labrador, covers over 280 kilometres of “rugged coastline full of remarkable views on caves, arches and sea stacks,” according to UNESCO.

The area has a rich geological history with a “complex assemblage of Neoproterozoic sedimentary, volcanic and plutonic rocks.”

It is a place to study “one of the most significant transitions in Earth’s history: the Ediacaran Period, and its associated rise of animal life.”

The Geopark has rocks that are over a half a billion years old, and “some of the most spectacular and exceptionally preserved Ediacaran fossil sites on Earth.”

With travel in Canada starting to reopen, the east coast communities are preparing for more tourism.

"We've been told by evaluators ... that once you get UNESCO designation, expect that you'll be inundated with visitors," Jim Miller, a volunteer on the committee for Discovery Global Geopark and the mayor of Trinity, told CBC.

Lead photo by

Cliffs of Fundy

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