International Geologiical Congress - Oslo 2008


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IES-02 Earth heritage: Science, education and capacity building


Partnerships for Geoheritage Conservation


Wesley Hill, Geological Society of America (United States)


What makes the concept of geoheritage exceptional is its universal application. The values which geoheritage sites bring forth belong to all peoples of the world, regardless of territory or country on which they are located. Some of the values considered most important for preservation of our geologic heritage include: intrinsic values, cultural values, aesthetic values, economic values, ecosystem values, scientific values, and educational values. Scientifically significant sites consist of geologic features and type sections, rock or mineral types, invertebrate, vertebrate, trace and plant fossils and landscapes that represent the best examples of their kind. They also include those sites that are so rare that they have great significance for scientific research and education. Culturally significant sites are places where cultural or historical events have occurred because of a geologic feature or landscape. Aesthetically significant sites include landscapes that are visually appealing and important tourism destinations because of outstanding geologic settings and features. Thus, conservation and protection of our greatest geologic sites should be a top priority for every geoscientist. Many NGOs, governmental bodies, and UN organizations work through partnerships to strategize and implement best geoheritage conservation practices in order to ensure the values of our most important sites are passed on to the next generation of great scientists, or daily visitors. Various types of partnerships and methods will be presented as examples for citizens, scientists, site managers, and visitors to encourage enthusiasm about their own geoheritage conservation movement.


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