Ancestors and relatives of the GTG
for the history of several organizations related to natural heritage
IUGS Geosites Working Group
Created in 1993.
Goals: "1) to compile the Global Geosites list; 2) to construct the Geosites database of key sites and terrains; 3) to use the Geosites inventory to further the cause of geoconservation and thus support geological science in all its forms; 4) to support regional and/or national initiatives aiming to compile comparative inventories; 5) to participate in and support meetings and workshops that examine site selection criteria, selection methods or conservation of key sites; 6) to assess the scientific merits of sites in collaboration with specialists, research groups, associations, commissions, subcommissions, etc.; to advise IUGS and UNESCO on the priorities for conservation in the global context, including World Heritage" (Summary of Progress for the Executive committee, November 1999).
J. Cowie, was the first Chair
For 1997 until 2003 the Chair was Wimbledon.
Main developments: (according to minutes of the IUGS Executive committee)
1997. In the Minutes IUGS EC meeting 43 (Coyhaique) is listed as a UNESCO-IUGS WG. At that time the idea was to establish and test the group in Europe, to create guidelines on how to choose geosites and to build a contact network.
1998. Minutes of IUGS meeting 44 (Vienna). The EC discussed a new proposal for Geosites and Geoparks Network with UNESCO. It was decided to have little commitment because little science was involved.
1999. Minutes of IUGS meeting 45 (Florence). Listed as a UNESCO-IUGS WG. There is no report from Wimbledon. It is mentioned that UNESCO has wanted IUGS to join the program on Geoparks. It was decided to wait and see.
2000. Minutes of IUGS meeting 46 (Cairo). Publication of the first list of Geosites in Europe. An agreement between IUGS and IUCN is mentioned. It is also mentioned that the WG was reviewed by the ABRD. Its conclusion (p. 44): "the group as being very active and doing an excellent and interesting job. Many books published". The ABRD "expressed profound satisfaction with the working group's activity and commended the Chairman".
2001. Minutes of IUGS meeting 48 (Hyderabad). It is mentioned that "an IUGS/IUCN joint proposal to UNESCO for the identification of Geosites/World Heritage Sites" received the attention of the Group. The concordat between IUGS and IUCN on geological input to the World Heritage Series was finalized". The EC "complimented the Group and its Chairman on their good work" (p. 28).
2001. Minutes of IUGS meeting 49 (Yichang). The Group is included in the IUGS budget but reports by IUGS bodies are not considered.
2002. Minutes of IUGS meeting 50 (Wellington). It is mentioned that no report had been received from the WG on Global Geosites (p. 21). There is a report presented by W. Eder (UNESCO) on the Geoparks Initiative established by UNESCO on the basis of national requests. It is mentioned that members of the IGCP Scientific Board expressed their interest to serve on a review group for the initiative. The EC "agreed to work on a more visible role of IUGS in the Geoparks Initiative and try to explore how IUGS can be involved at a later stage" (p. 43).
2003. IUGS meeting 51 (Windhoek). No reports. It is mentioned that the WG is not functioning. It is proposed to reformulate it in a new group. There is a mention to the possibility to contribute to the World Heritage Sites.
2004. IUGS meeting 52 (Oslo). It is informed that "the Task group was disbanded last year" (p. 35). The EC approves the new GEOSEE initiative. It is mentioned that China will provide the Secretariat and that in four years the visibility of IUGS would have increased.
Termination: 2003 (see above).
Remaining: The IUGS Secretariat holds a pdf file called IUGS Geosites with about 370 files. These files were sent to GEOSEE. It is not clear if they ever reached the Geoheritage Office in Beijing (see below).
Created in June 2004
2004. EC Meeting 52 (Oslo, 2004). According to a report the group does not deal just with geoparks, but with all aspects of geotourism, geosites, etc. Their tag line is "A GEOparks approach - science, heritage, Socio-Economies and Education. "IUGS will bring things together initially and then the group can go on alone... Many groups are involved, including ProGeo, European Geoparks Network (EGN), IGU, COGEOENVIRONMENT, UNESCO. The Initiative will coordinate activities to assist exchange of information. IUGS does not want to remain in charge" (p. 27-28). It was also defined as "Unifying task force between UNESCO, IUGS and IGU, to coordinate "a myriad of poorly coordinated, concurrent activities demonstrating the vale of geological heritage and the beauty of landscapes to the public" (Report November 2005). The main idea was "to have a role in geoscience, education, culture, communication and sustainable development", in such a way that "IUGS would (finally) have a strategie position on these activities" (Report 7December 2005).
Chair: W. Janoschek (IUGS Secretary General up to 2004).
Activities developed between June 2004 and November 2005: participation in series of meetings (Denver, Beijing, Paris, Germany, New York, Salt Lake City, Krakow, Lesvos, and Salt Lake City, among others).
Terminated: At the end of 2005 the Chair of the WG presented a report and among others, recommended IUGS to abandon the GEOSEE concept and replace it by a Communication Officer "to the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network", and "to use already affiliated bodies to support the European and Global Geoparks Networks".
GEOHERITAGE BEIJING OFFICE
Created in September 2006 during a Bureau meeting in Belfast-Dublin, on the basis of a former GEOSEE office which was established in Beijing in 2004 (see above under 2004).
Goals: "to assist in the promotion of GeoHeritage issues including geoparks in China, the Global Geopark Network, database of geoparks and many other important cultural/geological heritage related issues".
GEOHERITAGE TASK GROUP
February 2009 : The IUGS?board asked to PDW to settle the GTG
November 2010 : The GTG is created (see Anual reports / Task Group Activities)
February 2011 : PDW, chairman of the group, is informed of the official decision
IUCN (The International Union for the Conservation of Nature)
Created: in 1948 as the World?s first global environmental organization. It has more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries.
Goals: helps the World find pragmatic solutions to most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the World and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice.
Relationship to IUGS
2000. Minutes of IUGS EC meeting 46 (Cairo). An agreement between IUGS and IUCN is mentioned.
2001. Minutes of IUGS EC meeting 48 (Hyderabad). It is mentioned that "an IUGS/IUCN joint proposal to UNESCO for the identification of Geosites/World Heritage Sites" received the attention of the Group. The concordat between IGS and IUCN on geological input to the World Heritage Series was finalized".
2006. An IUGS-IUCN "Working Relationship for Geological World Heritage" was established on 6 June 2006. There IUCN is defined as an advisory body to the World Heritage Committee on natural and mixed World Heritage, which wishes to work closely with IUGS. Through this agreement "IUGS is willing to offer assistance to IUCN's work on World Heritage through facilitating access to a global network of scientific expertise in the earth sciences. Such advice is particularly important in making comparative assessments of World Heritage nominations, and evaluating the present status of the World Heritage List". Key point contacts are Tim Badman (UK) for IUCN and Peter Bobrowsky for IUGS. Among the required assistance it is mentioned: to develop a global network of reviewers and advisers who are willing to provide voluntary assistance with reviewing World Heritage nominations; develop, in conjunction with the Geoparks programme, a small group of site evaluators; identify and act on opportunities for coordinated action to support and develop the Geoparks programme, in conjunction with UNESCO Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences.
2007. 57 EC meeting (Nara). The IUGS EC is informed by the Secretary General that a MoU with IUCN was signed to evaluate new GeoHeritage proposals. IUCN will send a new list of sites (20) and IUGS has to provide a technical report. IUGS readers are only one group of 10 sets of reviewers; with one leader reviewing the reviews. The SG recommended compiling a list of evaluators by asking through the E-bulletin, as "this process will help IUGS do a better job for IUCN".
2008-2009.EC meetings. No reports. IUCN is only mentioned in passing.
2010. EC meeting (Paris). A report is given at the IUGS President request. The Secretary General informed that the list of reviewers is available in the Secretariat. This list has been compiled by the SG throughout the years. Each year he circulates to the IUGS membership a "Call for Evaluators for geologically based heritage sites"
Both the IUCN and IUGS are members of the Board of the Global Geoparks Network
1991. 1st International Symposim on Protection of Geological Heritage (Digne-les-Bains, France)
2000. Creation of the European Geoparks Network ?EGN- (Lesvos, Greece)
2001. Agreement between EGN and UNESCO (.Parc Cabo de Gata,Spain)
2004. Formation of the Global Geoparks Network (Paris, France)
Geoparks and the IUGS
1998. Minutes of IUGS EC meeting 44 (Vienna). The EC discussed a new proposal for Geosites and Geoparks Network with UNESCO. It was decided to have little commitment because little science was involved.
1999. Minutes of IUGS EC meeting 45 (Florence). It is mentioned that UNESCO has wanted IUGS to join the program on Geoparks. It is decided to wait and see.
2002. Minutes of IUGS EC meeting 50 (Wellington). There is a report presented by W. Eder (UNESCO) on the Geoparks Initiative established by UNESCO on the basis of national requests. It is mentioned that members of the IGCP Scientific Board expressed their interest to serve on a review group for the initiative. The EC "agreed to work on a more visible role of IUGS in the Geoparks Initiative and try to explore how IUGS can be involved at a later stage" (p. 43).
2006. IUGS Bureau meeting in Belfast-Dublin. It is decided to create the Geoheritage Beijing Office on the basis of a former GEOSEE office which was established in Beijing in 2004. The goals are "to assist in the promotion of GeoHeritage issues including geoparks in China, the Global Geopark Network, database of geoparks and many other important cultural/geological heritage related issues".
2009. Following conversations of the IUGS President with UNESCO officers held in Paris in February 2009, on 6 May, 2009, the Bureau of the Global Geoparks Network informed that it decided to enlarge its membership and invited the IUGS President to join the GGN Bureau. The IUGS President designated IUGS Councilor Colin Simpson as representative to the GGN.
ProGEO (The European Association for the Conservation of the Geological Heritage)
Created: in 1993.
Goal: ProGEO is working to promote the protection of Europe's typical and important landscapes, as well as its many-faceted inheritance of geological phenomena, all of the greatest scientific and cultural importance.
Publications: e-newsletter, GeoHeritage Journal
The IUGS logo is included in the Geoheritage Journal. The Journal is edited by Springer in Germany