EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Initiative to establish the International Geodiversity Day

Zbigniew Zwoliński1, Jose Brilha2, Murray Gray3, and Jack Matthews4
Zbigniew Zwoliński et al.
  • 1Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland,
  • 2University of Minho, Portugal,
  • 3Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom,
  • 4Oxford University Museum of Natural History, United Kingdom,

On May 22, 2020, when International Biodiversity Day was celebrated, Murray Gray and Zbigniew Zwoliński independently wrote an email to José Brilha with a proposal to make efforts to establish the International Geodiversity Day (IGD). This was on the eve of the Oxford Geoheritage Virtual Conference (OxGVC) launch. Therefore, at the end of the conference, a declaration of establishing the IGD was prepared, which was supported by over 600 participants from over 60 countries. Virtual PICO presents further and ongoing scientific, organizational and diplomatic efforts to proclaim the IGD: starting from the Oxford Declaration, through letters of support from 108 individuals and international and national professional earth science nature conservation organizations and the International Union of Geological Sciences to Natural Sciences Sector – Division for Earth and Ecological Sciences UNESCO and Executive Board of UNESCO.

The proclamation of an International Geodiversity Day would provide an annual reminder of the essential role of geodiversity for human well-being. It provides the foundations and habitats for all living things. It is the source of materials that build our towns and cities; it provides our energy resources, including renewable energy and the materials mined to manufacture wind turbines and solar panels; it allows us to bury our waste, provides us with freshwater and attenuates our pollution; it helps us to understand and predict natural hazards, it inspires our artists and provides us with incredible landscapes from mountains to coasts. Geodiversity gives us evidence of past climate and landscape changes and their causes, and therefore helps us to understand and plan for the impacts of future environmental changes.

How to cite: Zwoliński, Z., Brilha, J., Gray, M., and Matthews, J.: Initiative to establish the International Geodiversity Day, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13977,, 2021.


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