History & Background Information
The Geosites programme was an idea evoked by IUGS in 1994. The project was to involve the global geological community in providing inventory and data to support national and global outreach to protect geological resources for scientific and education objectives. Its aims were designed to mesh with national and global initiatives and address the issue of how best to represent the diversity and richness of key geoscientific sites.
In 1995, IUGS subsequently with the support of UNESCO, promoted the project to compile a global inventory and related database. IUGS?s Global Geosites Working Group (GGWG) had the following terms of reference:
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.
7) To advise IUGS and UNESCO on the priorities for conservation in the global context, including World Heritage.
These terms were undertaken in connection with ProGEO, but has been inactive for several years.
Geoheritage education and protection is a responsibility of geoscientists internationally. Geosites are not confined by national borders since geology crosses all borders. The objective of the Geosites project is to display an international list of the most important sites for geological science. A list of 310 sites have been documented through the project (120 with geographic coordinates.) The documented sites (with geographic coordinates) are reported on the Google map listed on the webpage (see figures). The list intends to present the most important geosites of the world and is a growing dynamic project.