International projects have been quite a few in the last couple of years. 


Katla has been involved in various international projects with UGGp´s :


The Geopark has been working on various international projects such as Drifting Apart (2018), geoVR and geoMuseum (2018-2019), Ruritage (2018-2022), Nordplus: Geoheritage (2020-2023), geoFood (2021-2023), Building bridges (2021-2022),  


Drifting Apart ( – Reuniting our geological heritage. Subpartners of Reykjanes Geopark.


  • Started in 2015, ended in 2018. The project ended with a conference in Reykjanes Geopark and a field      trip to Katla Geopark.
  • The project outcomes were various and provided enhancements to Katla Geopark, such as:
  1. It partly funded the GeoSAGA exhibition put up in Katla Center, Vík late 2018, consisting of 19 educational boards introducing the main geosites in Katla Geopark.
  2. It also provided the making of ?6? information new panels( signage) in collaboration with Vatnajokull National Park, by geosites Eldgjá and Langisjór, increasing the visibility of Katla Geopark in the National Park / UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  3. The making of three educational digital hiking trails, through APP, with partner in WAPP Mr. Einar Skúlason. Trails: Sólheimajökull geosite, Landbrotshólar pseudocraters and Sveinstindur hyaloclastite ridge.

The project objectives are to: research, identify and promote the common geological heritage of the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme area, to develop quality material for the use of all in the development of interpretation and education programmes, encourage research and the use of new technologies, innovative tools and products to illustrate the common geological heritage of the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme area, and, realise the potential of our common geological heritage to provide sustainable economic opportunities for tourism businesses, education organisations and community groups in the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme area.

Participants:  Fermanagh and Omagh District Council,Northern Ireland. Geopark Shetland, Scotland. Kenozero National Park, Russia. Magma Geopark, Norway. Reykjanes Geopark, Iceland. Stonehammer Geopark, Canada.

Funded:Northern Periphery and Arctic Program, European Union. 

Partners developed several Toolkits providing guidance on how to manage a Geopark, engage with local communities and prepare marketing information for visitors. Toolkits are globally transferable and may support new aspiring territories to apply to the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network. The toolkits, together with enhanced visitor facilities and connections to global sites through the Transnational Visitor Trail improved the competitiveness of partners in the local, national and international tourism market.

The project developed 15 new visitor centres and enhanced access or interpretation at over 60 sites, including new information panels, booklets, show rooms, road signs and hiking trails. Virtual Reality platform GeoVR, helps to raise awareness of local geo-heritage and promotes connections to other global sites. New knowledge about the geology and the use of GeoVR acquired through training helps teachers and tour guides to deliver more informed tours and enhances children´s educational experience.


geoVR / geoMuseum


  • The project was lead by Magma UGGp, Norway and involved partners from Jarðfeingi Faroese Earth and Energy Directorate (Faroe Islands), Katla UGGp (Iceland) and Ilulissat Icefjord UNESCO World Heritage Site, Greenland.
  • Funded by NORA and Nordisk Kulturfond, Norden. (2016 – 2018)


The project      aims to valorize and disseminate the geological and cultural heritage of the Nordic Countries within educational and cultural itineraries displayed in the exhibition centres of the project partners. The main outcome of the project will be the organization of 4 GEOmuseums for the dissemination of the cultural heritage and the geological processes within innovative technologies already developed by Magma Geopark and Doublethink.


  • Through the project, materials for the museum were developed through combined efforts. Firstly, a 10 m x 2 m long timeline with the geological history of Katla UGGp and other partners on roll-up material, as well as spin-off product, a brochure based on this timeline. Virtual Reality for the GeoVR material was made from three locations in Katla Geopark with focus on three different types of eruptions, subaerial fissure eruption, subglacial eruption, surtseyan eruption.   Education along with this. This is now on display in the Katla Center (the timeline used for special occasions such as the Katla Conference, see picture).




RURITAGE: Rural regeneration through systemic heritage-led strategies. (2018-2022)


  • The Ruritage project is a large project based on rural regeneration with around 40 partners from different organisations around the world. Katla Geopark participates as a „role model“ through Resilience, one of the six systemic innovation areas defined. Through the establishment of rural hubs and participation of local communities in workshops and other methods, the idea is to form an enhancement plan involving local stakeholders, with the aim to further strengthen the rural development of the Geopark through heritage led strategies.
  • Total funding of the Geopark with almost 230.000 EUROS (Horizon2020) over four years.


RURITAGE is a four-year-long EU-funded research project, initiated June 2018, which strives to enable rural regeneration through heritage. The project aims to sustainably enhance local heritage for regional and community development. The intention is to regenerate rural areas with the help of the Systemic Innovation Areas (SIA) framework which identifies unique heritage potential within rural communities. The recognised SIAs are Pilgrimage, Resilience, Sustainable Local Food Production, Integrated Landscape Management, Migration and Art and Festivals.

Throughout the RURITAGE project, thirteen rural areas have been selected as Role Models. The Role Models are recognised as prosperous cases that have regenerated with the help of cultural and natural heritage. The Role Models have been selected in reference to the six different Systemic Innovation Areas. Prosperous practices of the Role Models are analysed and furthermore transferred to six selected Replicators. There is one Replicator per SIA. These Replicators represent local communities within rural territories that are in the process of building their own heritage-led regeneration strategies, although in need of support to improve their skills, knowledge and capacity building.

Each Role Model and Replicator has established a so-called Rural Heritage Hub. The hub is constituted by a community of local stakeholders as well as a physical meeting place where co-creation activities take place. The knowledge and skills coming from Role Models’ experience are transferred to Replicators through a participatory planning process that allows to tailor and adapt the Role Models’ strategies to specific needs and challenges faced by Replicators. It is thereby a living lab where local stakeholders and inhabitants cooperate for developing new heritage-led regeneration strategies for their territory.


Three plans, with local working groups, are to be developed through the Ruritage enhancement plan.

  1. The first, to raise awareness and preparedness of geohazards in Katla Geopark. This will strengthen the Geopark´s role and participation in local authority hazard preparations, providing a platform to assist the communities and civil protection in knowledge exchange, increasing methods and ideas on how to work together as a community on preparing for hazards.
  2. B.    Research and preserve old travel paths within the Geopark, along with the traditions and superstitions connected to them– increase the knowledge about the area and its legacy. Keeping our intangible heritage alive.
  3. C.   Laying the foundation for a local network of tourism operators and producers. Looking into strengthening cooperation, strengthening the local product logo of Katla Geopark and introducing new trademark GEOfood a growing network of partners in UGGp using heritage-linked food to enhance sustainable development. Making of local food trails and other festivities in this relation.



Geoheritage, culture and sustainable communities in rural areas in Finland, Iceland and Norway.


  • This project, funded by Nordplus, is a cooperation between Geoparks, a National Park and secondary schools in Finland, Iceland and Norway. The three schools are Vaalan lukio/Vaala Upper Secondary School from Finland (as a coordinator) and Brønnøysund videregående skole from Norway and Framhaldsskólinn í Austur-Skaftafellssýslu from Iceland as partners. The Geopark´s are Katla Geopark, Iceland, Trollfjell UGGp, Norway, Rokua UGGp, Finland and then there is one UNESCO WHS and National Park, Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland. This is a four-year project involving two visits to each country, the Geopark and National Park are together in this project as one partner and will share efforts.


  • Katla UGGp´s role in this project is as mentors, educating students and teachers on how our landscape/geosites relate to each SDG goal being discussed for each visit to each country. The project had to make some adjustments due to covid, with the first mentoring „visit“, that was supposed to be located in Iceland late 2020, but instead being streamed online through youtube to Norway and Finland (but involved Icelandic students having a field trip to site though).



The aim is to study the formation of the environment in the long term since the Ice Ages. The environmental conditions to the humans as well as the sustainable development of rural societies in the past, at present and in the future. The project supports the goals of the curricula in the schools as to phenomenal learning and ecological culture. The schools will be trained to cooperate with researchers and experts from other institutions. One of the main goals is to support nordic cooperation and identity. The idea is to choose six of the sustainable development goals (by the United Nations) so that every country is responsible for two of them. We have chosen the following goals: Goal 6 / Water and sanitation for all, Goal 7 / Sustainable and modern energy, Goal 9 / Inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, Goal 12 / Consumption and production pattern, Goal 13 / Climate Change and actions to compact climate change and its impacts and Goal 14 / Use of the oceans, seas and marine resources.



Building bridges – Sharing of Good Practices between UNESCO Global Geoparks – Estrela UGGp, Portugal (lead), GeoNorvegica UGGp, Norway, and Katla UGGp, Iceland.


  • This project is still in its beginning phase, but will involve sharing best practices through exchanged visits, between Iceland and Portugal, and Portugal and Norway. Funded by the EAS Bilateral agreement fund.


The project consists of joint exchange and seminars between the staff of the three Geoparks to share knowledge and experiences in the various areas intrinsic to the mission of any UNESCO Global Geopark, such as the Conservation of Geological Heritage, or Education and Community Development, for example. In addition, partners can use the opportunity to promote abroad the heritage and activities of each territory with the “Rocks with History” exhibition, which will take place simultaneously in the three countries. (Just starting - 2021-2022)



GEOfoodEDU: Two year project financed by NORA (Nordic Atlantic  Cooperation). 


  • The project is led by Magma UGGp, Norway, and combines local food production, education and heritage to make educational teaching materials and encourage food production based on the local heritage, it will be involving the TEACH-OUT app, producing promotional materials such as maps and booklets with recipes based on intangible heritage.
  • Two year project (just starting - 2021-2023). Partners are Magma UGGp, Katla UGGp, Faroes Geological Survey.


The project, led by Magma Geopark, will sustain the areas involved in developing innovative strategies focused on sustainable development, good practices related with food consumption through the development of tailored educational materials.

GEOfoodEDU will disseminate good environmental practices related with use of local food also thanks to the GEOfood brand, owned by Magma UGG and in use in 16 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 9 Countries. GEOfoodEDU aims to expand the use of the brand into the NORA Region, involving local food producers, restaurants, incentivising the use of km-zero food chain and use of traditional regional food. The GEOfoodEDU partners will explore possibility for GEOfood trails and routes tailored for slow tourism based on local heritage, implementing with innovative contents the TeachOut APP for outdoor education,