People from the local community are being invited to get involved with a major international conference coming to Torbay in September.

The 7th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks, taking placing at the Riviera International Centre in September, will see up to 1000 delegates visiting Torbay from over 50 countries worldwide.

Running from Tuesday 27 – Friday 30 September, the main conference takes place at the Riviera International Conference Centre (RICC), with break out meetings and events at Torre Abbey Historic House, Occombe Farm, The Cary Arms and the Imperial Hotel.

Field trips have been arranged for delegates to visit key sites throughout the Bay. The delegates will visit a number of locations including Kents Cavern, Hope’s Nose, Cockington Manor, Torquay Museum and Brixham Museum and many more.

Gordon Oliver, Elected Mayor of Torbay, said: “The conference is a major global event, which takes place every two years, is coming to Great Britain for the first time and I’m proud that Torbay will be welcoming visitors from all over the world to the beautiful English Riviera.

“This is a great opportunity for local people who are interested to find out more about the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark, the place where we live, and to help us give the warmest of welcomes to these important visitors to the Bay. The conference is sure to offer a rewarding and fascinating experience to volunteers and delegates alike.”

Nick Powe, owner of Kents Cavern and Chairman of the conference board, said: “The Global Geoparks conference will offer an exciting opportunity for volunteers to discover more about this global agenda, and share in the experience our visiting delegates have of Torbay. We would particularly welcome interest from people with local knowledge who can act as guides and hosts on the field trip coaches. Whether you have a specialist interest in tourism, local culture, heritage, geology or just want to be part of it, this will be an exciting opportunity to become involved in an event of global importance.”

Conference Director, David Randall, said: “We would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in helping out at the conference, whether they can commit to a little time or even the entire event. Opportunities include welcoming and registering delegates when they arrive, helping out at the Riviera International Centre and accompanying delegates on field trips to sites of cultural, historical and geological interest throughout the Bay.

“Please help to make this event another success for the English Riviera. We’ll make sure you take away some mementos of the conference as well as hopefully some new friends and fond memories!”

The conference organisers would also welcome volunteers who have conversational languages skills, particularly in Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Portuguese and French.

Anyone who is interested in helping out can attend a Volunteer Recruitment Fair for the conference taking place 6.30pm on Monday 25 July at Kents Cavern to find out more, or register your interest on the website

Follow @GGN2016 on twitter or find GGN2016 on Facebook for latest news about the conference. 

Notes to Editors 

The English Riviera Global Geopark successfully bid for the 7th International Conference on Global Geoparks with the support of Torbay Council, Torbay Development Agency, Plymouth University, Exeter University, The Geological Society, British Geological Survey, English Geodiversity Forum, Natural England, Arts Council England, Natural History Museum and Flybe.

The conference takes place every two years and has previously been staged in China (2004) Northern Ireland (2006) Germany (2008) Malaysia (2010) Japan (2012) and Canada (2014.) 2016 will be the first occasion that the conference takes place in Great Britain.

There are seven Global Geoparks in the UK, out of a total UNESCO network of one hundred and twenty in thirty three countries. A Geopark is concerned with conservation of natural heritage, sustainable economic development, promotion of science education and community engagement.

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