Geotourism, Conservation and Society

Pages: 
pp. 97-100
English Nature, Northminster House Peterborough PE1 1UA, UK
English Nature, Northminster House Peterborough PE1 1UA, UK
Abstract: 

Geotourism is a rapidly increasing industry. In the UK areas such as the Giant’s Causeway on the Antrim Coast, Northern Ireland and the Dorset Coast of Southern England are world famous and visited throughout the year. The intrinsic attraction of these areas is geology whether as part of the landscape or as a resource to more directly enjoy and use. Geotourism offers both opportunity and threat to Earth heritage conservation. There is an established and strong framework for Earth heritage conservation in the UK involving site selection, documentation and safeguard. Central to this process is the need to promote our Earth heritage and its conservation. Gaining awareness and understanding at all levels, from international or national government to local community, will ensure continued support and backing for Earth heritage conservation. Geotourism offers a means for achieving such wider appreciation. The message and the audience must be carefully considered. An holistic approach, one that places geology in a wider context is deemed essential. Geology not only as part of the wider landscape and environment but also as central to our culture and history. Such an approach widens the appreciation of the specialist researcher or geology student and increases the personal relevance to the non-specialist — the wider public. Initiatives such as the identification of "Natural Areas" in England and the development of the Pan-European Biological and landscape Diversity Strategy now start to address these very issues. It is essential, however, that geotourism is achieved in a framework of sustainable development. The needs of the environment, economy and society must be carefully balanced now and in the future. The impact of wider use through increased value must be carefully managed; the economic resource generated through geotourism should contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of the Earth heritage resource; and the needs of society, particularly the local community (not just the geotourist) should be met. The opportunities (and threats) that geotourism brings to Earth heritage conservation are discussed. In particular, the value of wider and integrated promotion is considered in establishing a societal culture that increasingly values our Earth heritage resource and the need to conserve it.

VOLUME 28 (3-4)/December 1998 “Geological Heritage of Europe” Dedicated to the memory of George P. Black – First ProGEO President

Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

UNESCO, Division of Earth Science, 1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France
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UNESCO, Division of Earth Science, 1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France

Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Nature Consrvation; 46 Lubicz St.; 31-512 Kraków, Poland

Departament de Geologia, Universitat Autònoma de Balcelona, 08193 Ballaterra (Barcelona), Spain
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Departament de Geologia, Universitat Autònoma de Balcelona, 08193 Ballaterra (Barcelona), Spain

TEI of Athens, Egaleo 122 10, Athens, Greece
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University of Athens, Dept. of Geology, Univ. Campus, Athens, Greece
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TEI of Athens, Egaleo 122 10, Athens, Greece
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TEI of Athens, Egaleo 122 10, Athens, Greece
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TEI of Athens, Egaleo 122 10, Athens, Greece
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TEI of Athens, Egaleo 122 10, Athens, Greece
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University of Athens, Dept. of Geology, Univ. Campus, Athens, Greece
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TEI of Athens, Egaleo 122 10, Athens, Greece
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TEI of Athens, Egaleo 122 10, Athens, Greece

School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54006 Thessaloniki, Greece
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School of Geology, National Kapodistrian University of Athens, 15784 Athens, Greece
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IGME, Direction of Mapping, Messogion 70, 11527 Athens, Greece

Department of Biodiversity and Systematic Biology, National Museums and Galleries of Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff CFJ 3NP, UK
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Department of Geography, University of Wales Lampeter, Lampeter, Ceredigion SA48 7ED, UK

Geographical Faculty, University of Belgrade
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Institute for Nature Protection of Serbia, Belgrade
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Institute for Nature Protection of Serbia, Belgrade

Faculty of Leisure and Tourism, Wellesboume Campus, 8uckinghamshire Chi/terns University College, Kingshill Road, High Wycombe, HP/3 588, UK

Sofia University
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Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
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Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

Institute of Geological Reserach, Tirana, Albania
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Institute of Geological Reserach, Tirana, Albania

English Nature, Northminster House Peterborough PE1 1UA, UK
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English Nature, Northminster House Peterborough PE1 1UA, UK

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Department of Geology, Division of Dynamic Tectonic Applied Geology, Panepistimioupolis liJgrafou, GR I 57 84 Athens, Greece

Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali. Universita dell'Aquila, 67100 L'Aquila - Italy
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Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali. Universita dell'Aquila, 67100 L'Aquila - Italy
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Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali. Universita dell'Aquila, 67100 L'Aquila - Italy

Mirnyi, Sakha Republic, Russia

Geological Research Institute, Tirana, Albania
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Geological Research Institute, Tirana, Albania
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Geological Research Institute, Tirana, Albania

Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
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Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

Institure of Geology and Mineral Exploration, 70 Messoghion Street, Athens 11527, Greece

Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria

Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Nature Conservation; 46 Lubicz Str., 31-512 Krakow, Poland
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Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Nature Conservation; 46 Lubicz Str., 31-512 Krakow, Poland

lnstilttte of Geological Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences, Geological Museum, Minsk 220141, 7 Kuprevich str., Belarus

lnstilttte of Geological Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences, Geological Museum, Minsk 220141, 7 Kuprevich str., Belarus

Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Via Trentino 51, 09127 Cagliari, University of Cagliari
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Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Via Trentino 51, 09127 Cagliari, University of Cagliari
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Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Via Trentino 51, 09127 Cagliari, University of Cagliari