A New Slovakian-Hungarian Cross-Border Geopark in Central Europe – Possibility for Promoting Better Connections Between the Two Countries

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Abstract

In the past years, many geoparks have been established all over the world, based mainly on the geoheritage, and partly on the cultural heritage, of the regions. Their main aim is to promote the spatial development of certain regions, especially by the development of tourism, including geo- and ecotourism. One of the newest geoparks is the Novohrad-Nógrád Geopark along the border of Slovakia and Hungary, which, having a high status, belongs to the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network. What is remarkable about it is that it was the very first cross-border geopark. Because of historical elements and due to political intentions, borders often play a more disjunctive than connective role, and the changes of the borders in the 20th century often distorted the spatial structure and turned former peripheries into flourishing regions. This was characteristic also of the regions where the Novohrad-Nógrád Geopark was established. Beyond the perspective for the spatial development of these regions, this cross-border geopark forces directly the local authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on both sides of the border to maintain tighter contacts for co-operation, promoting by this means also better connections between the two countries.

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