Brief outline of the project
The 3GEO project aims at strengthening the potential of UNESCO Global Geoparks, and aspiring Geoparks, by offering innovative tools for geoscience communication through geoclimbing and geotrekking. Natural climbing routes, only recently examined by geoheritage scientists, are rocky outcrops along geotrekking trails that bear witness to Earth’s history. These routes are visible places where people of different ages and backgrounds spend leisure time. Such trails are found in different landscapes globally and testify to regional geodiversity including the variety of rock types and related Earth heritage features such as landforms. As a resource, they represent the 3GEO-project core and will be investigated in detail using multidisciplinary approaches. The aim is to produce 3D models of specific geoheritage sites in different countries and related multimedia educational materials for schools and the general public. The aim is to improve geoheritage and geoscience communication techniques and content by pooling expertise of geoscientists in different countries where established or aspiring UNESCO Global Geoparks are present. The project is set in the context of knowledge transfer between developed and developing countries, existing and proposed Geoparks, to facilitate sustainable development of geotourism through geoeducation, also in relation to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
2021 Project Update
During the first year of the project, a team that includes participants from different countries (Brasil, Chile, Greece, Italy, India, Oman, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and United Kingdom) was created. Among them there are Geoparks belonging to the UNESCO Global Geoparks family (Estrela UGGp in Portugal Kutralkura UGGp in Chile; Psiloritis UGGp in Greece; Rocca di Cerere and Sesia-Val Grande UGGp’s in Italy), and aspiring Geoparks (e.g., Serra do Sincorá, Brasil, Charnwood Forest, UK), the latter are working with 3GEO project to find inspiration for elaborating innovative tools for geoheritage promotion in their own territories.
Several meetings were organized: a first kick off meeting, a thematic 1st Workshop "Case studies & Methodology for geoclimbing and geotrekking analyses" with key notes on the methodology to evaluate climbing cliffs and trekking sites; 3D models development; and geological and geomorphological survey on rocky cliffs, and a final meeting in December to sum up the activities of the first year.
More than 20 geoclimbing sites and 20 geotrekkings were identified, for which the participants are creating multimedia material. Several others are under evaluation.
Some of the participating countries presented oral or poster contributions to international congresses:
- X International Online ProGEO Symposium, Spain;
- 90th Italian Geological Society Conference “Geology Without Borders “, Italy;
- BeGeo Scientists 2021, Italy; EXPO DUBAI 2020;
- Jeju International Geopark Conference, Jeju Island;
- IV Simposio de Geoparque de Latin America, Chile;
- ProGeo Virtual Conference on Geoconservation, SW Europe.
New appointments are already planned for 2022 (e.g., Oxford Geoheritage Virtual Conference).
Moreover, for 2022 the researchers are planning online meetings to prepare the presence of the project during the 16th European Geopark Conference. This event will be organized in Italy by the Sesia-Val Grande UNESCO Global Geopark.