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Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark 

Review of future management and development priorities


BTS has been appointed to review the future governance, management and development opportunities and priorities for the UNESCO Geopark, which is located on the Ireland/Northern Ireland border, straddling Cavan and Fermanagh. UNESCO’s global status for the Geopark is an important recognition of the international significance of the geological heritage of the area, and how that heritage supports local communities through e.g. sustainable tourism.

The objective of the commission is to research and catalogue the successes and remaining challenges for the Geopark, taking on board the views of stakeholders, local communities, businesses, education, recreational, environmental and conservation interests. While the geopark brand is a voluntary, quality label, the cross border designation brings with it some management challenges in integrating two different approaches and systems in many policy and operational areas. (For more information on geoparks visit the Geopark web site

The Geopark has expanded rapidly in a relatively short space of time, with some of the new geopark sites not yet well known as tourism facilities and others still being developed. It is clear that there is a significant amount of work still to be done in the coming years to consolidate the geopark and to integrate it as a single, effective entity, maximising the benefit and value it provides local communities while ensuring that the environmental, natural and cultural heritage of the area is safeguarded.

The outcomes of BTS’s work, prepared in partnership with the Councils and other key stakeholders, will provide the basis and justification for decision making on the promotion, implementation and timing of development initiatives in the Geopark and will also be of relevance to continuing governance and management.

Key issues that will be explored will include:

  • How to enhance the geopark’s contribution of tourism in Fermanagh and Cavan;
  • The integration of geopark marketing and promotion in the regional/Irish tourism product offer; 
  • Ensuring high quality visitor services in the geopark while maintaining high environmental standards;
  • Using the geopark to create opportunities for communities, businesses, farmers, schools and other stakeholders; 
  • Maximising the leisure, recreation and social benefits of the geopark for local people; 
  • Protecting the environment of the geopark.

BTS will be conducting a face to face, telephone and electronic consultation programme to gather agencies’ and people’s views on the future of the geopark, priorities for it and potential solutions. You can also have your say by completing our  BTS Projects Contact Form.

If you would like to contribute to this project please contact:  Ivan Broussine, BTS, 0044 (0)131 625 7043  or  0044 (0) 768 621137 or email 


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