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Geoconservation and geodiversity: What? Who? Where? - and why should I care?Whilst "geoconservation" is a relatively new sub-discipline in academic geology and earth science departments, this presentation argues that an appreciation of our 'geodiversity' is an important but often overlooked element of the background to development work. For practising engineering geologists or geotechnical engineers, taking up a role in one of the formal geoconservation bodies (be it a local geoconservation group, a Trust or a Geopark) can be a useful networking tool, can offer increased geological awareness and be a source of beneficial continuing Professional development (CPD)). However, the value of geoconservation needs to be brought to a wider audience, since at the moment threats to elements of geological natural heritage are only addressed when important geological landscapes are threatened by development (such as have been seen at Siccar Point and at Wenlock Edge in recent months). Because geodiversity is only rarely fully considered in the planning process, it can be difficult to differentiate between genuine local concern, and irrational "Nimbyism". It is time that those of us working in the geotechnical industry who have backgrounds in geology, drive forward an agenda that establishes our geological heritage as a cause for consern alongside ecology and archaeology. Failure to do so reflects badly on us as individuals and as an industry.
Geodiversity Action Plans – A method to facilitate, structure, inform and record action for geodiversity.Geodiversity Action Plans are used widely within the United Kingdom to inform and record action for geodiversity and geoconservation. They encompass both site-based audit and conservation with a wider perspective on geodiversity resources available in an agreed area (such as geological sites, museum collections and building stones) with ambitions to present and communicate, influence policy and practice, and to secure resources in relation to geodiversity. Geodiversity Action Plans (GAPs) are used particularly at local and company level to focus and highlight the work needed to be carried out and a as key mechanism to facilitate and support the delivery of the overarching UK Geodiversity Action Plan (UKGAP). Importantly, GAPs cross cut interests and are multidisciplinary. Although they are mainly a UK tool for geoconservation the principles and approach are easily transferred and could be duplicated in other countries.