Rokua UNESCO Global Geopark?
Rokua Geopark is the only tourist destination in Finland to have UNESCO Global Geopark status. In addition to this, Rokua Geopark is the northernmost UNESCO Global Geopark in the world. UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, is a specialised agency of the United Nations system. Global Geopark status is a UNESCO designation earned by unique regions worldwide. The status is awarded to special regions with outstanding geology and local culture – regions that support sustainable development, research, education and cultural heritage by working closely with local communities and agencies.
There are 140 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 38 countries around the world, each with its own distinctive theme. The theme of Rokua Geopark is the Ice Age, it’s story is embedded in the history of the unique bedrock of the geopark that spans millennia. Geology has influenced the development of the area’s biodiversity, history, archaeology, culture and human settlement in many ways. Besides being a UNESCO Global Geopark, Rokua Geopark belongs also to the Global Geoparks Network and the European Geoparks Network.
The geological story of the birth of the Rokua Geopark area has also shaped the soil and climate of the region, making it ideal for the production of locally grown food. Today the geopark produces unique local food, “Geofood”, which is closely linked to the regions geological heritage. The geological heritage and agricultural heritage of the geopark region are thus seamlessly combined in Geofood products.
Rokua Geopark comprises three different landscape areas: the Oulujoki River Valley, Lake Oulujärvi and the Rokua Eskers and Dune area. Together they form an unbroken area covering over 1,300 m2. The Geopark begins in the town of Muhos, about 20 km from the city of Oulu, continuing for over 90 km to the southeast to the northern part of Lake Oulujärvi. The legacy of the Ice Age and the history of the area’s development can be seen in the natural phenomena of Rokua Geopark, with its high dunes and deep kettle holes hidden deep within its boundless forests, spectacular sandy shorelines along its glistening lakes and rivers, and boreal forests carpeted with white lichen, mushrooms and berries. Come and explore!