Black Country Geopark

News - Young person selected for Global Forum

A young person who works in the Black Country has been praised by the Mayor of Dudley after being selected to represent the UK at the UNESCO Global Geoparks Youth Forum.

Emma Forde, age 25, applied to be part of the Global Youth Forum after nominations opened for a UK candidate.

She currently works in the Economic Intelligence Unit at the Black Country Consortium and has close working links with the Black Country UNESCO Global Geopark.

The Youth Forum aims to give young people an opportunity to engage with the activities of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.

On being selected Emma said:

“I put myself forward as I was eager to represent the Black Country Geopark and to promote it via the Global Geopark Youth Network.  

“I believe that young people are the future and we should have more representation and influence in what is happening now. 

“This is particularly true for the Geopark Network and beyond.  Decisions made today will greatly affect all our lives tomorrow, so it’s really important to have a diverse and wide-ranging voice and input into policy and decision making. 

“Also, I am interested in promoting the UK’s geological and cultural heritage to people across the world and forge relationships with other Youth Geopark Networks overseas to share information and ideas.”

Councillor Anne Millward, the Mayor of Dudley, said:

“I would like to congratulate Emma on her achievement. The Black Country is the newest global Geopark in the UK and it’s fantastic that someone from our patch has been selected to represent the whole of the UK at an international level.

“I echo Emma’s words. Young people are the future and it’s only right they are at the table now to help shape and influence decision-making going forward.

“I also know Emma will carry the torch for the Black Country and shine a light on the region’s world-class geology and cultural heritage.”

The Black Country UNESCO Global Geopark was endorsed in 2020 in recognition of the global significance of its geological and cultural heritage.

Notes to editors

It was in the summer of 2020, more than ten years since the project was first conceived, that the Executive Board of UNESCO confirmed the Black Country had been awarded UNESCO Global Geopark status.

This was in recognition of the region’s internationally important geology, its cultural heritage and the active partnerships committed to conserving, managing and promoting it.  More than 40 sites across the Black Country make up the geopark.

The geopark is led by all four Black Country authorities – Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton as well as key partners including Natural England, the Canal and River Trust, the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country, the Black Country Consortium and the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership.

To find out more go to www.blackcountrygeopark.org