“Although the council should operate from a global perspective, it gives me the opportunity to share the experience or the voice of what has been done in Mexico or in Latin America, so that the global geoparks program develops under a broad vision; in my case, based on the experience of working for a period of Eight years at Geopark Comarca Minera de Hidalgo,” he stated in an interview.
The researcher from UNAM’s Institute of Geophysics (IGf) – who will take up the position from September 2022 to September 2026 – emphasized that working on the international case increases the potential for developing sustainability projects in Mexico related to the Geopark programme.
It is worth noting that as part of the appointment, he has been invited to participate in the seventh meeting of the World Council of Geoparks of that international organization, which will be held in Thailand from September 4 to 11.
The Scientific Coordinator of the Comarca Minera Geopark, in Hidalgo, recognized as of 2017 as a world geopark by UNESCO, will have the function of advising the Director-General of this world organization on the strategy and implementation of these places.
In addition, approval of new re-certifications; Studying new proposals and modifications to programs. fundraising and allocating funds; coordination of international cooperation; As well as participating in decision-making in the field of global geoparks, among other competencies.
Kaneh Mekel indicated that the Mexican government nominated him for this representation through the Mexican Committee for Cooperation with UNESCO (CONALMEX). The statute states that in order to be part of the World Council, it is important that its members exclusively adhere to expertise. According to the expert, the appointment depends on the profile of the person, but the geographical and gender balance is taken into account.
He explained that the experts who are part of the World Geoparks Council are appointed by the director of the international organization, Audrey Azoulay, on the recommendation of member states and the Global Geoparks Network. They are high-level experts who promote international cooperation in the field of Earth sciences.
For the undergraduate, the appointment marks the work of the team he leads in Comarca Mineira, a well-performing region due to its outstanding scientific and educational projects promoted by UNAM. “They recognize us as a team for several years, as well as the geopark itself.”
He explained that there are two geoparks in the country, in the Mixteca Alta in Oaxaca and in the Comarca Minera, Hidalgo; Two others are in an advanced appraisal process: Huasteca, in San Luis Potosi, and another, called Rutas del Agua, in Aguascalientes. The latter was advised by the scientific team Comarca Minera.
From the university “We have promoted, as best we can, that the program is growing in the country, but this mission will be more successful if the work is promoted by the World Council on Geoparks, because that is where we will be able to show that our work is different from what is being done In Canada or in France, Spain or China, for example.”
Kané Mikkel explained that geoparks are open areas, usually made up of groups of municipalities with historical and geographical coherence, an identity that is formed, above all, around a geology of international importance. Strategies are implemented in these areas to strive for sustainable development around this geological natural wealth, mainly through educational activities and the promotion of responsible tourism.
In this regard, he explained that the certification awarded by UNESCO to these areas signifies a prestige seal that recognizes good practices for the advancement of societies, linked to sustainability and conservation.
For the Deputy Secretary-General of Conalmex, Salvador Bercaster Mendezábal, the appointment of a university researcher for that subordination to the Federal Government, the National University and the Mexican State is appropriate.
“Being an academic of the country’s top study house, such as Carles Canet, part of the Principal Scientific Council of the UNESCO Global Network of Geoparks, puts Mexico and UNAM on the international map, also recognizing the path and expertise as well as the academic, scientific and societal involvement of the researcher.
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