World Parks Congress includes geoheritage for the first time
For the first time ever, the World Parks Congress has included geoconservation issues in its programme in Sydney, Australia (12-19 november 2014). Until very recently, the values of geoheritage have largely been overlooked in protected areas management. However, during the first week of the Congress, IUCN's geoheritage team of specialist advisors has now clearly highlighted the wider values and importance of geoheritage for nature conservation and the benefits for society. ProGEO members Margaret Brocx, John Gordon, Vic Semeniuk and Enrique Díaz-Martínez have been actively involved in the process. All of them are giving presentations, presenting posters and leading sessions in order to promote geoheritage and ProGEO's objectives.
Geoheritage represents the history of the Earth and the evolution of life recorded in its rocks and landforms. It includes iconic geological features and landscapes such as Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia and the Grand Canyon in the USA, and also many other less well known localities that illustrate the Earth's dramatic history of plate movements, volcanic eruptions and climate changes. The great variety of rocks, landforms and soils arising from these events provides the foundations for life on Earth. Our future existence and the survival of many species depends on the conservation of these non-living parts of nature and on a better understanding of geological history and processes.
The last geoheritage session at the Congress will take place on Tuesday 18 November and will highlight the role of geoheritage in reaching conservation goals in protected areas.
For further information on geoheritage related activities at the World Parks Congress, see http://goo.gl/91J1Fd