In July 2020, Canada’s collection of UNESCO Global Geoparks grew by two: The Cliffs of Fundy in Nova Scotia and Discovery on the Bonavista Peninsula, located on Newfoundland’s east coast. Geoparks are recognized for “their exceptional geological heritage” and the prestigious designation better ensures these special places are protected and sustainably managed for tourism. In total, UNESCO approved 15 new sites, bringing the number of worldwide geoparks to 161 in 44 countries.
At the Cliffs of Fundy UNESCO Global Geopark, visitors can explore 40 “geosites” stretched across 165 kilometres while viewing Canada’s oldest dinosaur fossils and Earth’s highest tides in Minas Basin. Inhabited for more than 11,000 years by the Mi’kmaq peoples, the Cliffs of Fundy also mark one of the earliest known human settlements in eastern North America.
Spanning 280 stunning kilometres, Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark’s rugged coastal caves, arches and sea stacks are worth a gander alone, but it’s the park’s half-a-billion-year-old rocks that convey the site’s geological significance. Here, visitors observe some of the world’s most exceptionally preserved Ediacaran Period fossils—an important period in Earth’s history associated with the emergence and rise of animal life. Cliffs of Fundy and Discovery join Stonehammer (NB), Percé (QC) and Tumbler Ridge (BC) Global Geoparks.