Recently, Mawmluh Caves located in the East Khasi Hills district made it to the first 100 geological heritage sites listed under International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) by UNESCO. The first 100 sites were chosen from 56 countries. The full list will be presented at the IUGS’s 60th anniversary event, which will take place in Zumaia, Spain. This announcement will kick off an endeavor to designate geological sites from around the world that are iconic, recognized by all geoscience community for their impact in understanding the Earth and its history.
They have been around for ages, and you may have heard of them. However, the idea behind UNESCO designating them as geodiverse hotspots is conservation.
Recently, the concept of geodiversity has become important for understanding the importance of abiotic nature. Although the idea has significant implications for shaping research on tourist sustainability, tourism scholarship has not yet demonstrated sufficient engagement with the idea.
Geodiversity refers to the existence of a wide variety of different geologic forms and processes within a specific geographic region. Maintaining a wide diversity of abiotic habitats and systems is vital to life on Earth.
Geodiversity and the “ecosystem services” provided by geoheritage resources has been promoted as important to successful conservation of protected areas. As stated on the UNESCO site, “An IUGS Geological Heritage Site is a key place with geological elements and/or processes of scientific international relevance, used as a reference, and/or with a substantial contribution to the development of geological sciences through history “ Since the 1990s, the IUGS’s Global Geosites Working Group has been developing a database of geological sites of international relevance. A preliminary database was implemented in several European countries.
Here are 5 stunning places around the world that showcse the diversity of the planet’s geology, and have been designated as geoparks by UNESCO.