Valorising the remarkable and unique geological, historical and naturalistic heritage of North Macedonia, which is still very little exploited and unknown, is one of the main objectives of the KEP project GECCOSPARK (Promoting geological, ecological and cultural heritage through sustainable development and creation of geo-parks).
The project officially launched in Skopje (North Macedonia) on 12-14 February is supported by the CEI Know-How Exchange Programme through the CEI Fund at the EBRD. It will serve as a feasibility study to prepare the Macedonian partners to approach UNESCO and receive an acknowledgment of the status of their identified sites. The activities will include know-how transfer from the University of Ferrara and Gaya CER on mapping and updating results on mineralogical, petrographic and geochemical analysis.
Four sites have been identified as potential target areas for setting up geo-parks:
- the area of Demir Kapija, where ophiolite rocks (testifying ancient oceanic conditions) outcrop;
- an area in the north of the country, close to Kokino, with characteristic volcanic rocks;
- the surroundings of Alchar, famous for rare minerals and more in general for mines;
- the surroundings of Prilep, famous for marbles quarries as well as for precious gems such as rubies.
The project activities are expected to be completed by July 2021.
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GECCOSPARK is promoted by the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences of the University of Ferrara (Italy) and by the NGO Gaya, based in Skopje, together with the Goce Delcev University of Stip (North Macedonia).