The designation of the Ecuadorian province of Imbabura as a World Geopark by Unesco is a "pride" for the country and a challenge to improve on issues of tourism, environment and security in the area, said on Wednesday its governor, Galo Zamora.
Representative of the Executive in the province, Zamora told Efe that the designation "prides" the inhabitants of Imbabura because "they will notice the beautiful nature of our province", and this will benefit tourism.
For the official, not only Imbabura "but Ecuador must feel proud" for a province "that wants to be always welcoming".
"Being considered among the best in the world gives us the opportunity" to demonstrate "that Imbabura is a province of peace, where you can breathe tranquility and, above all, live in harmony," he added.
Extending over just over 4,500 square kilometers and with nearly 400,000 inhabitants, Imbabura is located in the northern inter-Andean region of Ecuador, and is famous for its large number of lakes and its magnificent geological formations, such as the Peguche Waterfalls.
The highest mountain summit of the site is the Cotacachi volcano, 4,939 meters high and is located within the perimeter of the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve.
The province of Imbabura, whose capital is Ibarra, has numerous indigenous villages and colonial towns that attract thousands of visitors each year.
The current population includes diverse indigenous and mestizo groups: caranquis, cayambis, otavalos, zuletas, natabuelas, montubios, Afro-Ecuadorians and awás.
Organized in 6 cantons and 36 rural and 6 urban parishes, Imbabura has geographical conditions that determine a great diversity of climates and ecosystems with climates that include the warm dry, warm humid, temperate and cold.
Geologically it is characterized by outcrops of metamorphic rocks, volcanic sequences and minor sediments, as well as a marine sequence of sandstones, basaltic lavas and grouped interspersed sediments, among others.
The designation "means to make known to the world the natural beauty we have in different environments," said Zamora, recalling that Imbabura is also known as the "blue province" for its lakes.
Entering the list of Geoparks also becomes a challenge for the province in order to improve tourism, environmental and security aspects, added the governor before pointing out that his is the first of the 24 Ecuadorian provinces to achieve that designation. of Unesco.
Unesco reported in Paris that along with Imbabura, three other natural areas of Chile, Peru and Spain are now part of the group of World Geoparks, a list that includes places that are considered examples of the geological diversity of the planet.
With the new designations, the International Network of World Geoparks of Unesco has 147 disseminated in 41 countries.