To date, there are 120 geoparks in 33 countries around the world, particularly in Europe and Asia. All these geoparks have recently been integrated into the new International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme of UNESCO and are now territories formally known as "UNESCO Global Geoparks". At the moment, there are 4 "UNESCO Global Geoparks" in Portugal and one in Brazil. This course aims to provide the conceptual bases on geoparks, present initiatives to be developed in geoparks and discuss examples of sustainable actions with real impact in these territories. This course also aims to give additional training to staff in nature conservation and land management, geologists, geographers, tourism and regional planning managers, as well as university students.

The four-week course is preceded by hands-on training a week (10-16 October 2016) on how to use the UMinho e-learning platform.​