ProGEO - International Association for the Conservation of Geological Heritage
Meetings on EGN and GGN geoparks
The coming events and meetings of the European Geoparks Network (EGN) are announced on their web site
The coming events and meetings of the Global Geoparks Network (GGN) are announced on their web site
and on Unesco's web site
In recent years, ProGEO has been working hard to strengthen its role as a leading body in the international geoconservation movement. On the scientific side, our journal Geoheritage (published by Springer), is recognised as the international standard for the publication of scientific papers on geoconservation, with contribution from authors from all continents.
Being one of the few IUCN members devoted to geoconservation, ProGEO takes its responsibility in this agency very seriously. We are convinced that the raising of awareness inside IUCN is an essential step forward for the future recognition of geoconservation in Europe and in the rest of the world. Our main goal is to guarantee the justified place of geoconservation at all levels of nature conservation and land-use policies. We believe that this not only will benefit geoconservation, but also nature conservation as a whole since geodiversity is a fundamental prerequisite for biodiversity and together form nature diversity. Read more about the IUCN motions ( from 2008; 2012; 2016).
Following the same strategic line, ProGEO has also participated in the European Commission initiative for the Fitness Check of the EU Birds and Habitats Directives (the entire EU package regarding nature conservation) and has also sent its position to the European Environment Agency concerning the document SOER 2015 (The European environment – state and outlook 2015).
A glossary of geoconservation terms is being prepared by ProGEO. The aim is to contribute to a standard in what concerns concepts and terminology on geoconservation.
In order to boost geoconservation worldwide, ProGEO needs to establish links with key partners. The recent implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding with EuroGeoSurveys – The Geological Surveys of Europe is just an example.
The natural heritage of any country includes its geological heritage, made up of a diversity of geosites and landscapes, profoundly shaped and defined by their geology. Fossils, rocks and minerals are just as much part of our natural heritage as living plants and animals. Today, however, geological heritage is under-valued everywhere and under threat, even in countries that have relevant conservation legislation.
Practice varies between countries: in one a scientifically unique site might be being quarried away or filled with waste; in another valid geological research is obstructed by oppressive bureaucratic regulations; while in a third commercial dealers at some sites are busy removing every fossil they can for sale - leaving little behind for scientific pursuits or wider educational use.
In a minority of countries geoconservation is seen as an essential activity. However, in many there is still absolutely no official recognition even that geosites are cultural and scientific goods of national importance (and worth protecting). Yet, the vital evidence for the 4600 million year history of the Earth is an undisputed, shared international heritage.