The role of the voluntary sector in the evolving geoconservation movement
The role of the voluntary sector in geoconservation has a long history. However, its involvement in biodiversity conservation is even longer. A contrast is made between the biodiversity and geodiversity voluntary sectors through time. With the start of the movement arguably by the National Trust in the late nineteenth century, the baton (or hammer) has been taken up by geological societies locally and nationally, by individuals and more recently by the RIGS initiative. The word voluntary in no way diminishes the work undertaken and achieved by these people. It can be argued that without them geoconservation would not exist. This paper explores their contribution using case studies: National Trust and UKRIGS as national organizations, the RIGS movement as a local initiative, the Chester Society of Natural Science as ‘local’ interest and the work of individuals through time. The latest Local Geodiversity Action Plans (LGAPs) development as a recent historical phenomenon is explored and the importance of local as context for geoconservation illustrated.
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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.