The success of the joint sessions on geodiversity and geoheritage from 2013 and particularly during the 2017 EGU demonstrates the importance of heritage issues to the geoscience community. It also highlights the capacity of geoheritage to link other disciplines in the natural and social sciences.
In the light of more than 30 years of international work on the topic, this EGU 2018 session aims to highlight the issues and challenges still pending or emerging.
Presentations are invited on the following issues (without strict limitation to these topics), that concern also transversaly the geosites (including geomorphosites):
- Concepts and methods for geodiversity and geoheritage: looking for standards? (co-conveners: Marco Giardino, Zbigniew Zwolinski and Kyung-Sik Woo)
Recognition of geodiversity and geoheritage by a larger scientific audience and within the society can be limited by the lack of an established conceptual and methodological framework. Are there solutions for reducing ambiguity of specialised terms and increasing the ability to exchange diverse data sets on geodiversity and geoheritage? What mapping and assessment methods can enhance knowledge, protection, promotion and management of geodiversity and geoheritage? Are these methods adapted to all spatial and territorial scales? And also to all types of geoscientific domains and objects: structural geology, geodynamics, geomorphology, palaeontology, …? Are there differences in methods used by scientists and practitioners?
Proposals are welcome for contributing to standardized geodiversity and geoheritage terminology within international data infrastructures and for developing comprehensive methods to adopt as standard assessment methods, especially for protected area networks, UNESCO Geoparks, World Heritage sites, and cultural landscapes.
- Geosystem services: an unrecognized part of ecosystem services.
(co-conveners: José Brilha and Fabien Hobléa)
The 2017 IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services argued that “Non-living natural resources which may benefit people and therefore contribute to a good quality of life, such as deep aquifers, mineral and fossil reserves, wind, solar, geothermal and wave power, are considered as part of nature, but their direct benefits (i.e. those that are not mediated by non-human living organisms) are not the focus of IPBES”. In this context, it is important to remain and demonstrate that geodiversity provides the fundamental foundation for biodiversity whether in terms of diverse substrates, hydrological environments and micro-topographies, or by providing essential biogeochemical and geomorphological processes such as water flow regimes, sediment supplies and depositional environments, all of which can drive key ecosystem functions. On this basis, geoscientists are called to develop and communicate work and studies on the concept of geosystem services, in an interdisciplinary and integrated approach with scientists working on ecosystem services (IPBES…).
- Geodiversity and geoheritage facing global change and natural risk.
(Co-conveners: Paola Coratza and Benjamin van Wyk de Vries)
Global change, as a combination of current climate and socio-ecosystem rapid evolution, is a concern for the geodiversity and the geoheritage. Both can suffer of the damaging consequences of these changes (by geohazards, anthropic activities…). They can also be used to manage areas to create resilience and protect areas from natural and social changes. Geoparks can be used to alert people and decision-makers to the adverse effects of these changes on the living Earth, and to raise awareness in order to facilitate adaptation and transition. Geotourism can raise the risk, by bringing in more vulnerable people, but provide also a way of creating interest and income to develop integrated risk strategies that increase the areas resilience. Geodiversity and geoheritage put the current change at the time scale of the Earth in perspective, allowing a broader, wiser outlook to develop. Within such managed areas the interaction between society and the geological heritage is seen through culture, official and social media. This area of interaction between society and geodiversity and geoheritage is a growing subject, where the efficacity of geoheritage needs to be tested by rigorous analysis of the socio-geosystem interaction.
- Heritage stones and geomaterials for smart and resilient cities.
(Co-conveners: Lola Pereira and Kevin Page)
One of the challenges of the present century is to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. How to integrate heritage stones and traditional or/and innovative geomaterials in this approach? What are the advantages, obstacles and difficulties to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural stone heritage in regard to the sustainable development stakes?
In order to maximise exchange and discussion, the session is planned to be as an ORAL + POSTER session.
The session will be accompanied by a Splinter Meeting where the main themes will be reviewed, and the second edition of the Geodiversity Picnic will be organised to broaden the discussion and increase links with members of other disciplines within the EGU community.
The session is co-organized by the Working Group on Geomorphosites and the Working Group on Landform Assessment for Geodiversity of the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG); ProGEO, the European Association for the Conservation of the Geological Heritage; the IUGS International Commission on Geoheritage and its subcommissions on Geoheritage Sites and Collections and on Heritage Stones; the Geoheritage Specialist Group of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (UICN); and the International Lithosphere Program, Commission for volcano Geoheritage of IAVCEI.