EGU21-16328, updated on 09 Jan 2024
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Maximising the leverage of geoheritage research for effective sustainability policy and territorial management

Sophie Justice, Chiara LoDestro, Marco Giardino, and Jean-Baptiste Bosson
Sophie Justice et al.
  • Chablais UNESCO Global Geopark, FR; University of Turin, IT; University of Turin, IT; Conservatoire d’espaces naturels Haute Savoie, FR

The dissemination of Geoheritage research can be reinforced by building solid partnerships between researchers and national and regional stakeholders as practical experience has shown in the Chablais UNESCO Global Geopark. Increasingly, territorial management bodies, particularly those hosting UNESCO designations such as UNESCO Global Geoparks, public agencies with environmental preservation or resource management responsibilities and managers of national or regional geoheritage inventories actively seek to build partnerships with geoheritage researchers.  These entities document and manage geoheritage as part of their overall responsibilities and have wider roles than conservation bodies. The non-academic professional teams responsible for geoheritage documentation, management and awareness raising include experienced geoscientists and highly trained science communicators. Professional geoheritage stakeholders have well-developed dissemination channels with public and private sector decision makers as well as the general public and schools that complete and complement academic geoheritage communication networks.

Recent examples from the Chablais UNESCO Global Geopark demonstrate how geoheritage professionals from the local development agency have worked in partnership with geoheritage researchers to maximise the impact of new scientific research in the territory.  These examples highlight how collaboration between researchers and professionals embedded in the study region can leverage research results to a wide audience: decision makers, stakeholders, local population and school children.  Three case studies highlight the different partnerships and how collaborations led to improved project robustness and scope.  In addition, the examples underline how early collaboration leads not only to project improvements but also transmission through highly effective embedded communication channels that complement those of geoheritage researchers.

Each case study addresses a different geosite within the Chablais UGGp with different issues and stakeholders: a retrogressive landslide at Reyvroz, dolines at Nifflon and a series of lakes of varied origin at Saint Paul en Chablais.  The examples demonstrate the scope for the application and recognition of research but also the need of researchers and territorial managers to make connections early on for these projects to achieve their full potential. This permits thorough, structured dialogue between researchers and stakeholders that result in geoheritage issues being recognised, understood and incorporated into territorial management decisions and sustainable policy.  This is a crucial step given that the value of the natural environment from a general public and political standpoint continues to be equated with biodiversity and ecosystemic services to the detriment of geoheritage and geosystem services.

How to cite: Justice, S., LoDestro, C., Giardino, M., and Bosson, J.-B.: Maximising the leverage of geoheritage research for effective sustainability policy and territorial management, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16328,, 2021.


Display file