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Chapter 17 The UNESCO global network of national geoparks

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-906884-09-3-1071

ISBN: 978-1-906884-09-3

Published: April 2010

Component type: chapter

Published in: Geotourism: the tourism of geology and landscape

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-906884-09-3-21



Today, at the start of the 21st century we can look back over a century that has seen enormous advances in our understanding of how our planet functions. While we might still not be able to predict exactly when an earthquake will happen or exactly when a volcano will erupt, we know why these phenomena occur. We know how and why mountain ranges are formed and we know how the very face of our planet changes over millions of years as the tectonic plates of the Earth’s crust continue their relentless move over the surface of the planet. But it wasn’t always like this. For centuries, people had no clear understanding of Earth processes. Nevertheless, people were in awe of their landscape and of the planet’s natural phenomena and stories, myths and legends arose to help explain them. We, as geoscientists, now have explanations for all these phenomena. However, perhaps we should ask ourselves: How successful are we at sharing this knowledge with those with no formal geological training? Moreover, how good are we at preserving these phenomena and special landscapes for future generations. Many people today still ask the same questions our ancestors of long ago asked. Yet, all across our planet we have places where the amazing story of our planet can be told to the non-specialist without the need for the use of the esoteric language so often employed by geoscientists. Moreover these places should be conserved for the future. But it should not be our aim to conserve them in a sterile way where only the geoscientist can visit, it should be our aim to conserve in a way that the local communities can take ownership of these places and where they can feel that these places contribute positively to their everyday lives.

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  • Patrick J. Mc Keever, Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (Author)
  • Nickolas Zouros, University of the Aegean (Author)
  • Margarete Patzak, UNESCO (Author)
  • Jutta Weber, Geo-Naturpark Bergstraße-Odenwald (Author)

For the source title:

  • David Newsome, Murdoch University (Editor)
  • Ross K. Dowling, Edith Cowan University (Editor)

Cite as

Keever, Zouros, Patzak & Weber, 2010

Keever, P.J.M., Zouros, N., Patzak, M. & Weber, J. (2010) "Chapter 17 The UNESCO global network of national geoparks" In: Newsome, D. & Dowling, R.K. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-906884-09-3-1071


Published in Geotourism: the tourism of geology and landscape

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