UNESCO has declared the Đerdap area a global geopark, which is the first geopark in Serbia. The decision on this was made by the Executive Council of UNESCO on July 10, and Đerdap was inscribed on the UNESCO list “Global Geoparks”, which made it one of the 15 new parks in the world, the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Serbia announced.
The proclamation of the Đerdap Geopark, it is stated in the announcement, created conditions for the development of practices and models for a unique connection between the protection of the geological heritage and the regional sustainable economic development of this area.
By expanding the list of 15 new geoparks in the world, today 161 areas of exceptional international geological significance are included in the global network of geoparks, which extends to 44 countries.
Geoparks are unique, geographically complete areas that are characterized by sites and landscapes of international geological significance, but at the same time with exceptional natural and cultural heritage.
Đerdap Geopark covers an area of 1,330 square kilometers, encompassing extraordinary sites and phenomena of a geological character, and among the most impressive is the Djerdap Gorge, which, with a length of more than 100 kilometers, is the longest gorge in Europe.
In this area, the Danube deeply carved the strong rocky mountains of the Southern Carpathians, where, discovering the exceptional beauty of geoheritage, he left behind “a book of the geological evolution of the Earth’s crust on the Danube from the Proterozoic to the last ice age.”
The area of the Đerdap gorge is characterized by a complex relief with a network of gorges, canyons and deep bays, but it contains localities and segments that represent significant evidence of the geological and geomorphological development of the Earth.
Therefore, it is not surprising that there are numerous karst phenomena, geological sites protected as protected areas: natural monuments “Prerasti in the Vratna canyon”, “Prerast Šuplja stena”, “Tunnel cave Prerast in the Zamna canyon” and “Blederija”, as well as protected areas from the local of importance – natural monuments “Rajkova pećina”, “Bigrena accumulation near the monastery Tumane” and “Bigrena accumulation Beli Izvorac” which, except for the area of the National Park “Đerdap”, are included in the Geopark.
Due to its specific geographical position, mild climate and available, diverse natural resources, this area was a millennial settlement of several civilizations, dating from the Mesolithic / Lepenski Vir, around 9,500-5,500 BC /, Eneolithic / the oldest mine in Europe – Rudna Glava near Majdanpek, around 5,000 BC /, as well as from the Roman, Byzantine and Turkish periods / Trajan’s tablet, Golubac fortress and Fetislam, Diana /, and there are also traditional houses, churches and monasteries.
The proclamation of the area of the Đerdap gorge and its hinterland – parts of the Kučaj and Miroč mountain massifs, as the first area in Serbia to be inscribed on the UNESCO list “Global Geoparks Network”, is the result of many years of work and engagement of state bodies and experts.
In 2014, the Ministry of Environmental Protection launched an initiative to establish geoparks in Serbia.