For the first time an IUCN Congress Forum is addressing geoconservation — action taken towards the proper management and conservation of geodiversity and geoheritage, that is, the non-biological side of our natural diversity.
“The community working on this subject is small compared to those working on other issues within IUCN, but we are certainly very active and have made many advances in the last two decades,” says Enrique Diaz-Martinez, President, Commission on Geoheritage of the Geological Society of Spain (SGE) Vicepresident, European Association for the Conservation of Geological Heritage (ProGEO).
“Do you remember when biodiversity concepts were being developed by specialists and only very gradually being assumed by the global society in the eighties? Well, that is where we are now with geodiversity concepts. A 20-year delay, but we are trying to catch up!”
IUCN’s first geoconservation-oriented member was the Geological Society of Spain which joined in 2008, just in time to participate in the Barcelona Congress.
“There, we submitted and managed to get support for a resolution calling for geoconservation-related sessions in the next forum. So, here we are, at the next forum, and what do we have? ProGEO was the next geoconservation-oriented member, accepted by IUCN in 2011 and together, we have organized several events here in Jeju including a course on geoheritage and geodiversity: new concepts and applications in nature conservation, and a session on the contribution of geodiversity to natural resilience.”
Enrique and his colleagues are also promoting a motion that calls on IUCN Members to ensure that, in the IUCN Programme 2013–2016, when references are made to nature in general and not just to specific biological aspects,“We would like to see the use of inclusive terms like nature, natural diversity or natural heritage, instead of using the term biodiversity. Excluding a part of nature from IUCN’s objectives, programmes and policies just does not seem right!
So, join me into the new adventure of geodiversity and geoheritage conservation in IUCN"
For more information contact Enrique: firstname.lastname@example.org