Papuk was proclaimed as a protected area by the Croatian Government in 1999 on the basis of its exceptional geological, biological and cultural diversity, rarely seen elsewhere in Croatia. Since the very establishment of the Papuk Nature Park, its management authority has recognised the outstanding value of its geological heritage and the idea of joining the European Geopark Network has been born. The Application Dossier was developed as a result of joint efforts of the Papuk Nature Park Authority and the representatives of Croatian Geological Survey and Zagreb University. The Papuk Nature Park submitted its application to join the EGN in September 2006.
A visit from EGN in April 2007 resulted in a very favourable report. As a consequence, at the seventh European Geopark Network Open Conference, hosted by North West Highlands Geopark in September 2007, the Papuk Geopark became the first Croatian Geopark and 30th member of the European and UNESCO Global Geopark Network.
Geopark designation will raise awareness of importance of geological conservation and will contribute to promotion of local and regional products along with local crafts, events, festivals, local traditions and accommodation.
Geopark is a great opportunity to introduce visitors to sites that tell the 600 million-year story of the planet Earth.