Actions for the constitution of a Geopark in Central Patagonia

Category Other
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Haller, Miguel J.
Holding Date 23 September 2008

The Cerro Volcan Basaltic Field (CVBF) is a Plio-Pleistocene volcanic field displaying spectacular volcanic features that are relatively well preserved. Six years of scientific research in the CVBF have culminated advances in the science of volcanology, and also resulted in the opportunity to bring economic benefit to the region by making the area accessible to the public through establishment of a Geopark.
To establish the Geopark, with the support of the original American inhabitants, information (educational) expeditions were organized to demonstrate the benefits and feasibility of the Geopark project and gain the community participation. New educational field trips have been planned to inform people with no previous experience or understanding of the earth sciences about volcanic geomorphology and volcanic processes. In addition, interested people will be trained as visitor guides. These experiences help local people to understand and value their landscape, environment and natural heritage, and also lay the foundation for future geotourism in this unique region with the potential to provide great benefit to the local economy.
To help visitors navigate through the Geopark field trip guides have been created based on scientific discoveries during the last six years. Interpretive signage explains the volcanic processes that formed the observed features to potential visitors. Future steps will include the development of curricula for primary and secondary schools based on the local geology and geomorphology. As the project expands, the CVBF may be included in a local Geopark network, which includes Payun Matru Geosite and Gwyn Bwyn paleontological park. This network will serve to encourage and promote geotourism on a wider basis. The CVBF has great scientific experience. Formation of a Geopark in the area is an example of a research application that facilitates sustainable economic development, bringing economic benefits to a region by creating opportunities for employment and business development, directly and indirectly related to the Geopark, in an area where there are very few other opportunities for employment and job creation.