Clare County Council has submitted an application to the European Geoparks Network (November 2010) for the European and Global Geoparks status for the Burren and Cliffs of Moher region of north Clare. The European Geoparks Network (EGN) was founded in 2000 to help protect geodiversity, to promote geological heritage among citizens, and to support sustainable economic development of regions through the development of geotourism. The network currently consists of 37 territories on 15 European countries, two of which are in Ireland – the Copper Coast Geopark in Waterford, and the Marble Arc Cave Geopark in Cavan and Fermanagh.
If successful, the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark project will provide the region with an identity as a region for sustainable ecotourism that is recognised across Europe. European Geopark status is a fundamentally non-legislative designation, and as such it holds no influence on planning issues or land management practices. The proposed European Geopark in north Clare will comprise of a network of managed publicly accessible sites, an established network of education and visitor centres, and the newly accredited Burren Ecotourism Network, as well as the existing Shannon Region Trails and National Walking routes.