Guidelines for geoconservation in protected and conserved areas

Recently published, this guidance recognises the importance of effective means of protecting geoheritage, World Heritage Sites and Geoparks, the latter an expanding global network under the aegis of UNESCO.
There is a view that geoheritage is robust and can look after itself. As these guidelines show, this is not the case. Many of the features are fragile and can be easily damaged by overuse or by exploitation for rock and minerals. Dealing with such threats is a constant challenge for managers of sites. The increasing effects of global climate change means it is even more important
to ensure that geoconservation is effective in aiding understanding of how nature responded in the past to natural climate changes and how best to give it a helping hand now and in the future. A dynamic and flexible approach to site identification and management is, therefore, most appropriate.
Geoconservation focusses on protecting and conserving the best examples of particular fossils, rock formations and minerals, and particular landforms representing the different climatic regimes throughout the Earth’s history. It also seeks to ensure that current natural, non-biological, processes are properly conserved and managed.

Crofts, R.*, Gordon, J.E., Brilha, J., Gray, M., Gunn, J., Larwood, J., Santucci, V.L., Tormey, D., and Worboys, G.L. (2020). Guidelines for geoconservation in protected and conserved areas.

Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines Series No. 31. IUCN.
ISBN: 978-2-8317-2079-1 (PDF)

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