The concept of biodiversity and our need to protect this natural heritage at local, national and global scales is well developed. The concept of geodiversity, however, is less well appreciated, although it is now beginning to develop a momentum of its own.
At the global level a number of initiatives are now beginning to recognise that geodiversity is an important element in our natural heritage and must be managed effectively. In addition, various initiatives are reflecting the realisation that geodiversity is important not only in its own right but as an essential support to biodiversity. Opportunities are therefore developing that provide an opportunity to link geodiversity conservation to biodiversity, cultural programmes and sustainable development strategies. These initiatives can be used not only to conserve geodiversity, but also to promote geodiversity and to make it more accessible to the public.
These global programmes, which include the World Heritage Convention, the Global Geoparks Network and the Convention on Biodiversity, provide the basis for international recognition of natural heritage management but draw upon local and regional actions to make them a reality. Many global programmes can only be effective if they recognise the need for close involvement by local communities in heritage management programmes.
Site-based protection on a national scale within the UK is considered on the 'Sites' section, but other countries have their own schemes. For information on geoconservation strategies in other countries, click here:
UNESCO and the World Heritage Convention
Convention on Biodiversity
Other international initiatives