The Vulkaneifel Geopark and three other geoparks in Spain, France and Greece are the founding members of the European Geoparks Network, established in 2000. Their aim is to promote the development of rural areas. In line with the European model, UNESCO has meanwhile developed a global network: the Global Geopark Network. There are now in excess of 70 geoparks in more than 20 European countries.
The Geopark Vulkaneifel was one of the first geoparks to be included. The Vulkaneifel Nature Reserve and Geopark, which covers an area of about 1,230 square kilometres, abuts the Hohes Venn–Eifel Nature Reserve. The relevant authorities aim to make the regional natural attractions accessible and to promote an appreciation of the beautiful landscapes. Volcanic cinder cones and maars are typical of this region, and have given rise to the diverse cultural landscape in the surrounding areas.
There are three geoparks altogether in Rhineland?Palatinate: the Vulkaneifel UNESCO Global Geopark, the Laacher See Geopark in the eastern Eifel and the Westerwald-Lahn-Taunus Geopark in the Rhenish Massif. The latter covers an area of about 3,800 square kilometres, about four times the size of the Vulkaneifel.