UNESCO recognises Schelde Delta as a Global Geopark

UNESCO has recognised the Schelde Delta as a Global Geopark, a designation for landscapes of special geological, ecological and cultural-historical value. It is the first Global Geopark in Flanders and the second in Belgium, after Famenne-Ardenne was designated in 2018.

The Schelde Delta is a transboundary geopark, as it is located in both Belgium - Antwerp, East Flanders and West Flanders - and the Netherlands. Scientifically speaking, it is not a delta but an estuary, where fresh and salt water merge.

UNESCO recognised the delta because of its landscape, which has been shaped both by the course of the river Scheldt and by human activity, such as dykes, drowned villages and tidal mills.

Climate change

"The Geopark uses a multifaceted narrative that interweaves geological and human history to raise awareness of the region's critical vulnerability to climate change," says the organisation.

Recognition involves no additional protections or obligations but does bring increased international attention and opportunities for scientific research and tourism. There are 213 Global Geoparks around the world, including the black volcanic beaches of Lanzarote, the geothermal activities of Iceland and the Colca Canyon in Peru.


#FlandersNewsService | Saeftinghe in the Netherlands © PHOTO BLICKWINKEL/W. PATTYN

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