The history of geoconservation: an introduction
In many parts of the world, the regeneration, economic growth and social changes that took place in the two decades that followed the Second World War, led to increased leisure time and tourism and a greater awareness of the world around us. In addition, the realization of our ability to destroy both ourselves and the environment in which we live, clearly evident during the Cold War years, led to a greater appreciation of the fragile nature of the natural environment. By the late 1960s, increasing loss of countryside to development, and the ability to see our planet from space, led to an enhanced regard of the fragility of the environment in which we live. By the 1970s an environmental revolution, with conservation at its core, was in full swing, highlighted by the pioneering 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm. By the 1990s the Earth Summit, held in Rio in 1992, had placed the environment, through its role in achieving sustainable development, on the global political and social agenda. Today, it is climate change that reminds us that we have the power to do irreparable damage to the natural environment that supports us.
This book provides the first collection of papers to address the history of geoconservation. It seeks to explore the origins of the subject and the concepts that helped to define it; it describes the history of geoconservation in the UK, looks more widely to the Republic of Ireland, mainland Europe and Australia and explores
Figures & Tables
The History of Geoconservation
This book is the first to describe the history of geoconservation. It draws on experience from the UK, Europe and further afield, to explore topics including: what is geoconservation; where, when and how did it start; who was responsible; and how has it differed across the world? Geological and geomorphological features, processes, sites and specimens, provide a resource of immense scientific and educational importance. They also form the foundation for the varied and spectacular landscapes that help define national and local identity as well as many of the great tourism destinations. Mankind’s activities, including contributing to enhanced climate change, pose many threats to this resource: the importance of safeguarding and managing it for future generations is now widely accepted as part of sustainable development. Geoconservation is an established and growing activity across the world, with more participants and a greater profile than ever before. This volume highlights a history of challenges, set-backs, successes and visionary individuals and provides a sound basis for taking geoconservation into the future.