Legal aspects of creating geoparks in Ukraine

  • Oleh V. Yaholnyk Oles Honchar Dnipro National University
  • Volodymyr Manyuk Oles Honchar Dnipro National University
Keywords: geopark, geodiversity, juristic map, geological heritage, legal acts.


This article covers the question of creating geoparks in Ukraine, for they are still absent in this country. The creation of geoparks is one of the ways of solving a global problem on which the international community is focused  - protection of the geological heritage (Geoheritage). It turns out that one of the reasons for such situation in Ukraine is imperfect legislation and absence of a “legal map” for creating a geological park. After analyzing all current normative acts in the country`s legislation, we found that the terms “geological park” and “geological heritage” are absent. We analyzed other countries` legislation regarding this issue and also the acts of international organizations, including the UNESCO. The results of the analysis show that the term “geopark” can legally exist only as a status provided by UNESCO to a protected nature-reserve territory including geological objects of international value. After  reviewing the main criteria of UNESCO, we found that to obtain the status of an international geopark the object of geoheritage should belong to nature-reserve fund and possess management institutions at all possible levels, have protected status, and, most important,  operate within the framework of the country`s legislation (at local or national levels). We examined all relevant legislation of Ukraine and distinguished the main normative-legal acts which regulate the issues concerning creation, protection and functioning of the territory of a future international geopark. Study of the legislation provided the results which led to development of a “legal map” corresponding to the three main issues: the preconditions for creation, the creation itself and the responsible organs, protections and the organs responsible for the protection of the future geopark territory. The results show that creating a future geopark corresponds to the priority directions of development of science and the technical sphere for the period until 2020, and is also one of the strategic aims of state ecological policy of Ukraine for the period until 2020. It was found that creating or providing any status to a territory is regulated by the Land Code of Ukraine, which states that territories of a geopark correspond to the categories of the land of the nature-reserve fund and other nature protection purposes, covers the full definitions of such territories and for more detailed consideration includes references to other legislation, The Law of Ukraine on the Nature-reserve Fund of Ukraine, which is one of the main normative-legal acts of regulating the issue of creating territories of future geoparks. It was shown that among all classifications of objects of the nature-reserve fund which the legislation provides, the category national nature park best suits the creation of a geopark  – its main aims and organs responsible for its functioning are defined. We found which normative-legal acts regulate practical creation of such territory and which organs are responsible for it. This article describes which legal actions should be performed for the achievement of this aim. This article describes for the first time the creation of a geopark as a scientific park managed by a university with geological specialities according to the new Law of Ukraine on Scientific Parks, which will be analyzed in more details in future articles. We analyzed the normative-legal acts concerning the protection of territories of national nature parks, defined key points of this issue and organs responsible for it. The data provided in the paper is relevant to all recent changes in the legislation in 2017. The results can be used for creation of a real geopark or used by scientists studying the geological heritage. 

Author Biographies

Oleh V. Yaholnyk, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University
graduate student of Oles Honchar Dnipro National University
Volodymyr Manyuk, Oles Honchar Dnipro National University
Director of Research Institute of Geology Oles Honchar Dnipro National Universityassistant professor (docent) Department of geology and hydrogeologyCandidate of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences (PhD)Member of ProGEOVice-chairman of Dnepropetrovsk department of Ukrainian National Union Regional Studies


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How to Cite
Yaholnyk, O., & Manyuk, V. (2017). Legal aspects of creating geoparks in Ukraine. Journal of Geology, Geography and Geoecology, 25(2), 136-145.