Our histo­ry

The tab­le lands­cape in Väs­ter­göt­land gai­ned recog­ni­tion as Swe­den’s first Une­sco Glo­bal Geo­park in April 2022. This achi­e­ve­ment is the result of long-stan­ding efforts whe­re resi­dents of the area have aimed to pre­ser­ve and high­light the uni­que natu­ral and cul­tural envi­ron­ments sur­rounding the mountains. Per­haps this ini­ti­a­ti­ve began as ear­ly as the 1970s with pro­tests against new plans for ura­ni­um extrac­tion near Ran­stad­ver­ken out­si­de Sköv­de. Local enga­ge­ment pea­ked with “Väst­gö­ta Mountains Day,” celeb­ra­ted for a week in 1976 with lectu­res, hikes, and pro­tests. As a con­clu­sion, a sto­ne was erec­ted at Häggums Church inscri­bed with the words, “Devas­ta­tion thre­a­tened Bil­ling­en, Bor­gun­da­ber­get, Gerums­ber­get, Tova­ber­get, Gis­se­ber­get, Mygg­ber­get, Mös­se­berg, Plan­ta­ber­get, Varvs­ber­get, and Ålle­berg. West Gothlan­ders wil­ling to pro­tect their regi­on gat­he­red on May 1, 1976, in Häggum. The sto­ne ser­ves as a remin­der that the wrath of West Gothlan­ders affects tho­se who harm their mountains.”

In the ear­ly 2000s, a few ent­husi­asts and asso­ci­a­tions in Ska­ra­borg joi­ned for­ces under the name “Geo­a­re­na Ska­ra­borg,” a geo­lo­gi­cal network seek­ing to enhan­ce inte­rest in the regi­on’s geo­lo­gy. Key con­tri­bu­tors inclu­ded the Ålle­berg Group, SGS Ska­ra­borg Geo­lo­gi­cal Soci­e­ty, Qvarnstens­gru­van in Lug­nås, and Råbäcks Mecha­ni­cal Quar­ry­ing in Råbäck. Some of the driving for­ces were Inge­mar Bei­ron from Lug­nås­ber­get and Tor­björn Pers­son in Fal­kö­ping. By 2012, Qvarnstens­gru­van in Lug­nås had recei­ved the distin­c­tion of “Swe­den’s Geo­lo­gi­cal Heri­tage” from SGU, the Geo­lo­gi­cal Sur­vey of Sweden.

Simul­ta­ne­ously, a glo­bal geo­park network emer­ged world­wi­de. The con­cept behind geo­parks was to pre­ser­ve geo­lo­gi­cal heri­tage and con­tri­bu­te to sustai­nab­le deve­lop­ment by cre­a­ting a network of are­as with inter­na­tio­nal­ly valu­ab­le geo­lo­gy. The understan­ding of the need to pro­tect sig­ni­fi­cant geo­lo­gi­cal sites from vari­ous forms of explo­i­ta­tion had deve­lo­ped in the 1990s. In 2000, four Euro­pe­an are­as with valu­ab­le geo­lo­gy met to discuss how to best use geo­lo­gy for regi­o­nal deve­lop­ment, pri­ma­rily through geo­tou­rism. The result was the first geo­parks and the establish­ment of the Euro­pe­an Geo­parks Network (EGN). By 2004, the network had grown to inclu­de 17 Euro­pe­an are­as, along with eight Chi­ne­se geo­parks, for­ming the Glo­bal Geo­parks Network (GGN). Both EGN and GGN had strong ties to Une­sco, ope­ra­ting under Une­sco’s patro­nage, with the secre­ta­ri­at loca­ted as part of Une­sco’s hea­dquar­ters in Paris. In 2015, Une­sco’s mem­ber sta­tes voted to establish a new “site desig­na­tion,” Une­sco Glo­bal Geo­parks, making geo­parks part of Une­sco’s orga­ni­za­tion and a new pro­gram, IGGP (Inter­na­tio­nal Geo­parks and Geosci­ence Pro­gram­me). Geo­parks beca­me a new desig­na­tion for are­as world­wi­de, alongside World Heri­tage Sites and Biosphe­re Reserves.

Read more about Une­sco glo­bal geoparks 

In Väs­ter­göt­land, a pre-study was con­duc­ted under the lea­ders­hip of the Biosphe­re Office in Mari­estad from 2014 to 2015. The con­clu­sion of the pre-study was that nine muni­ci­pa­li­ti­es wished to col­la­bo­ra­te furt­her in establishing a geo­park in the area. However, no desig­na­ted pro­ject owner was found to car­ry it for­ward, and after 2015, the work took a pau­se for a whi­le. In 2016, Grästorp Muni­ci­pa­li­ty announced that they could be the pro­ject owner, and some fun­ding was secu­red through muni­ci­pa­li­ti­es and muni­ci­pal asso­ci­a­tions. A pro­ject mana­ger was hired, and the work on the geo­park truly began in August 2017. In the coming years, the­re were seve­ral chal­leng­es: the tab­le mountain lands­cape is a vast area that nee­ded deli­ne­a­tion, and fin­ding both stab­le fun­ding and a long-term orga­ni­za­tio­nal structu­re pro­ved dif­ficult. However, the­re were many posi­ti­ves, with strong sup­port from peop­le in the area, com­mu­ni­ty life, pub­lic part­ners, and geo­lo­gists from almost all major uni­ver­si­ti­es in Swe­den. And, of cour­se, the tab­le mountain lands­cape itself was the founda­tion for suc­cess: an extra­or­di­na­ry area with uni­que natu­ral and cul­tural environments.

In Novem­ber 2019, the appli­ca­tion for sta­tus as Swe­den’s first Une­sco Glo­bal Geo­park was sub­mitted. The eva­lu­a­tion was ini­ti­al­ly sche­du­led for the following year, but the pan­de­mic inter­vened, lea­ding to the can­cel­la­tion of all assess­ments. The geo­park’s acti­vi­ti­es con­ti­nu­ed as usu­al during the wai­ting peri­od, mee­ting Une­sco’s requi­re­ment that app­ly­ing geo­parks should alre­a­dy be ful­ly ope­ra­tio­nal befo­re sub­mit­ting the appli­ca­tion. When the appli­ca­tion was sub­mitted, the geo­park tran­si­tio­ned from being a pro­ject to becoming a long-term ope­ra­tion. The orga­ni­za­tio­nal structu­re was established with Grästorp Muni­ci­pa­li­ty remai­ning as the ope­ra­ting orga­ni­za­tion, whe­re all muni­ci­pa­li­ti­es sha­red respon­si­bi­li­ty through a poli­ti­cal owners­hip council and a ste­e­ring group con­si­s­ting of offi­ci­als. Three employe­es work in the geopark.

Final­ly, in the fall of 2021, the eva­lu­a­tion was con­duc­ted, and in Decem­ber of the same year, the posi­ti­ve news arri­ved that the board of the Glo­bal Geo­parks Network recom­men­ded Pla­tå­ber­gens Geo­park for appro­val as a mem­ber of the network. In April 2022, Une­sco’s board for­mal­ly made the deci­sion: Swe­den has its first Une­sco Geo­park, and the glo­bal geo­park network has a new mem­ber country! The tab­le mountain lands­cape now holds the sta­tus of a Une­sco Glo­bal Geopark.

Pla­cing and bor­ders of the geopark

Geo­park loca­tion (Euro­pe)
Geo­park loca­tion (Swe­den)


The aspi­ring Pla­tå­ber­gens Geo­park is a coo­pe­ra­tion between nine muni­ci­pa­li­ti­es: Troll­hät­tan, Väners­borg, Grästorp, Lid­kö­ping, Göte­ne, Ska­ra, Mari­estad, Sköv­de and Fal­kö­ping. The geo­park office is in Grästorp.

The basic fun­ding for Pla­tå­ber­gens Geo­park comes from the nine muni­ci­pa­li­ti­es, which toget­her pro­vi­de approx­i­ma­tely € 45,000 (SEK 450,000) per year. In addi­tion to that, we have basic fun­dings from Skaraborg’s and Fyrbodal’s asso­ci­a­tions of local aut­ho­ri­ti­es. We also have pro­cet fun­dings from the Euro­pe­an Regi­o­nal Deve­lop­ment Fund, LONA funds from the Swe­dish Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agen­cy, and funds from vari­ous savings bank foundations.


Anna Ber­gen­gren

Geo­park mana­ger and geoscientist
pho­ne: +4673–910 89 51

Sofia Hult­man

Tou­rism developer
pho­ne: +4673–247 03 06

Hen­rik Theodorsson

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Officer
pho­ne: +46 70–148 29 07

Adri­an Gyllingberg

pho­ne: +46 70–340 13 09