At the suggestion of the National Commission for UNESCO Global Geoparks, the Croatian Ministry of Environment and Energy has submitted an application for establishment of a new geopark ‘’The Vis Archipelago’’ within the UNESCO Global Geoparks network.
The area of the Vis archipelago is a significant zone in the Adriatic Sea within which, in the geological past some 220 million years ago, large changes occurred due to the breakthrough of diapir, burning deep-water salt mass, which breached the surface by elevating the sediment plates formed by petrifying of sand and organism shells.
Today, pinnacles or ‘leftovers’ of this magma breach are islands of Jabuka, Brusnik, Biševo and Palagruža, as geologically the oldest island in the Adriatic, which, like the island of Brusnik, is constantly growing due to the influence of tectonic activity.
The Vis Archipelago also encompasses seven areas protected by the Nature Protection Act. The islands of Brusnik and Jabuka are protected in the category of monuments of nature (geological), Modra Špilja, Medvidina Špilja and the cave on the island of Ravnik in the category of nature monuments (geomorphological), whilst the Bay of Stiniva and island of Ravnik are protected in the category of a significant landscape.
Furthermore, the archipelago also has a great geotouristic potential, large biodiversity and landscape diversity, rich cultural, historical and traditional heritage, as well as a diverse and exceptionally valuable geological and geomorphological heritage. The establishment of the geopark ‘’The Vis Archipelago’’, the second geopark on the territory of the Republic of Croatia (the Nature Park Papuk is the first), would contribute primarily to rising awareness of the importance of protecting geological and geomorphological heritage and recognizing geotourism as a unique tourist offer.
The decision on including the Vis Archipelago in the UNESCO Global Geoparks network is expected in the spring of 2019.
At present, there are 127 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 35 countries around the world.