Geodiversity: Developing the paradigm

Category Other
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Gray, Murray
Holding Date 03 September 2008

The term "geodiversity" was first used in 1993 as the geological equivalent of biodiversity. It has gained in international acceptance and usage in recent years and now warrants the status of a geological paradigm. Although first used only relatively recently, the principles behind geodiversity and its application to conservation of the geoheritage have a much longer history and can be identified in several national geoconservation systems. This paper develops some new theoretical and practical aspects of geodiversity, including a discussion of the definition and scope of "geodiversity", the origin and evolution of the geodiversity of Planet Earth and whether there are geodiversity hotspots. It then discusses the aims and methods of geoconservation and how these vary depending on which element of geodiversity is being considered. The importance of geoconservation in the wider landscape, in addition to site conservation, is emphasised. In particular, the paper identifies that there are "point" and "diffuse" threats to geoheritage, and the management of sites and landscapes must reflect these differences.