The role of the British Geological Survey in the history of geoconservation
Over its 172 year history, the British Geological Survey (formerly the Geological Survey of Great Britain) has, through underpinning core activities, its archive and databases and its experienced field staff, provided the geological basis for geoconservation. Evolving activities of the Survey from primary survey and collecting to revision mapping to 3D/4D-modelling reflect changing national needs. In turn, BGS has developed its capability to provide new geological interpretations and a range of publications raising the profile of Earth sciences, both for professionals and for the popular market. Today, BGS's input through networks to geodiversity projects and to newly designated regions such as Geoparks marks a major transition towards a proactive geoconservation agenda in the twenty-first century.
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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.