WHY GEOHERITAGE MATTERS?
The identification, management and interpretation of geoheritage can certainly help to raise awareness of general public on geology. A basic knowledge about Earth's materials and processes can help citizens to make responsible choices and to better understand the challenges we have to face, such as climate change and geological risk reduction.
The conservation of geosites with high scientific value is determinant to guarantee the advancement of geosciences research that is essential to humans' well-being and for the maintenance of healthy ecosystems. Geoheritage with high aesthetic value, good and safe accessibility and effective interpretation resources can be converted into a high-quality tourism attraction. Like in many countries worldwide, the rich mining history in many U.S. regions could also be seen as a potential tourism resource with the capacity to promote jobs creation and the revitalization of local economies.
The geoscience community is asked to play a crucial role on geoconservation. Together with park managers and community leaders, geoscientists can help to define the best conservation and management strategies of sites, in particular when they present significant degradation risks.
In order to reinforce the role of geoscientists on geoconservation, it is important that universities offer training on geoconservation to young geoscientists and that funding agencies recognize this topic with the same priority level as other geosciences domains.