A proposal for a geopark in Nannup has been granted over $98,000 in funding in an “amazing boost” to the project, which will feature Indigenous culture in the landscape and history of the region and is seeking to have the park recognised by UNESCO. The Nannup Geopark proposal has been granted $98,035 under the Community Small Grant Fund, as a part of the State Government’s Native Forestry Transition plan, which supports timber towns and communities through the transition from commercial logging of the region’s native forests. The Nannup Western Australia Geopark will be developed in line with the rules and guidelines set for international geoparks by UNESCO, which does not restrict or limit access to or activities on the land used as a part of the geopark, Nannup WA Geopark Association chair Mark White noted. “The most important thing is that we don’t have land tenure and legislation, as it’s not the same as a national park, and we won’t lock the land down, like a national park with legislation would do,” he said. The association’s vice-chair, Crystelle Evangelista, said the park would prioritise Indigenous history and culture and hoped to have it recognised by UNESCO down the line, which would provide a new market for visitors to the area. “The project will have a strong focus on the place of Indigenous culture in the landscape and history of the region and we are looking forward to working closely with the local Indigenous people,” she said. “With the grant funding we will be able to get ourselves in a position to be designated an ‘aspiring geopark’ and then work on the rigorous process to be recognised by UNESCO. “This will open up a whole new international market segment for visitors to Nannup.” Mr White said the funding would be an “amazing boost” to the project and would allow the park to showcase the region by fostering both geo-tourism and eco-tourism through the creation of geological, ecological and cultural trails, and through supporting educational and research initiatives. “We will now be able to make a start on something that will not only boost economic activity and add value to the tourism experience in the Shire of Nannup, but will increase the awareness and pride of the local people in the amazing environment and culture of our region,” he said. “Our geopark will be supported by an app and website, so we do not have the cost of brochures and promotional materials.” He said the park’s establishment and development would commence once funding was received, and hoped the park could be opened up to the public within the next year. “Once we receive the funding in a couple of weeks, we’ll get started on the park. We’ve got trails that are already developed and parts of the project that are already done,” Mr White said. “We won’t rush it and we’re planning to work on the park on our own pace, with the opening hopefully happening in nine to twelve months from now.” The funding application for the grant prioritised four components, which highlighted the geological, biological and cultural features within the Shire of Nannup. The four components were Indigenous heritage engagement; the development of app technology which offers access to education, research and geo-tourism and eco-tourism trails; the development of a website that will allow easy access to education information; along with provision of advertising opportunities for local businesses and design work for a static display comprising a vertical geological model, a timeline fence and a tectonic movement model.