Last week representatives from all partner countries traveled to Iceland for the second Drifting Apart project meeting. A project funded by the European Regional Development Fund, through the Northern Peripheries and Arctic Area Programme. Due to an incoming snowstorm the location of the meeting was changed from Saga Aspiring Geopark to Grindavik, a town within Reykjanes UNESCO Geopark, located a short distance south of Keflavik airport.
Our Icelandic partners quickly organised the logistics of our new meeting location and it was soon down to work for representatives from each of our partners locations; Canada, Scotland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Northern Ireland (& Republic of Ireland).
The meeting focused on progress of the project, now six months in, with the geological story line of the project area documented and an evolving set of interpretations guidelines for best practice created by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council (Marble Arch UNESCO Global Geopark).
We looked to upcoming projects and milestones such as the creation of educational tool kits and the use of innovative technology to capture geological sites and enhance these so they can be explored online and virtually.
Furthermore, Stonehammer UNESCO Geopark will lead Canadian partners New Brunswick Museum and Cabox Aspiring Geopark, in research which will focus on profiling Geoparks, their character, management structure and geoheritage management among other key attributes. This research will be used to great a go-to management toolkit for existing and aspiring Geoparks.
The meeting also provided representatives the chance to share ideas, advice and build relationships which will no doubt create ideas and further project partnerships.