We are pleased to announce the successful delivery of “Geodiversity: Local, National and International Significance for Societies” Virtual Panel, on 6 October 2021 organized by the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO in cooperation with the Chamber of Geological Engineers. UNESCO Secretariat disseminated the event by inviting the participants from Member States.
The initiative for the establishment of International Geodiversity Day was supported by over 100 organizations from civil society and the academic world, including major international geoscience and nature conservation organizations. Following the submission of this request to the UNESCO’s 41st General Conference for final approval, an international celebration was held on October 6, 2021, perhaps the first one on the proclamation of "International Geodiversity Day ".
This online meeting lasted more than two hours with an enthusiastic and interactive panel. The speakers were Prof. Dr. José Brilha (Minho University, Portugal), Dr. Ozlem Adiyaman Lopes (UNESCO, Natural Sciences Sector), Prof. Dr. Ezzoura Errami (Cadi Ayyad Univ, Morocco), Prof. Dr. Raif Kandemir (RTE University, Turkey). The panel was moderated by ProGEO Turkey representative Prof. Dr. N. Kazanci.
More than 140 participants, mostly from Turkey, but also from 13 different countries (Colombia, Greece, Hungary, India, Northern Cyprus, Romania, Russia, San Andrés, S. Korea, Spain, Sweden, China) participated to this panel.
It was remarkable that the majority of participants were non-geologists showing social and general public interest in the subject. Panelists presented diverse topics such as: Geodiversity’s role for the sustainable management of our planet and as the source of minerals and materials needed for our sustainable development and for the energy transition, as well as the background and formal processes of the Geodiversity Day proclamation and the status of geodiversity in Africa and Turkey, threats to geological heritage and conservation efforts.
High number of questions, active and energetic approach of the participants made the panel productive. The frequently asked subject was how to find solutions for nature production in different countries. The high interest in Geopark concept was remarkable.
During the pandemic period, Turkish NatCom, Chamber of Geological Engineers and other organizations held many meetings and discussed the topics of Geopark, geological heritage, geological protection, Ocean Decade, Climate Change, 2030 Goals, natural disasters and disaster damage reduction. The main reasons for the extraordinary interest in this last meeting are the thanks to the diverse background of the panelists, the variety of panel topics, and the participants’ interest about potential finding solutions which could be initiated by international organizations to common problems on a global scale the panel attracted extraordinary interest. Participants agreed that thanks to IUGS, UNESCO, IUCN projects and programs ensuring the participation of civil societies on geodiversity topic, our common home, "the earth" will be better protected for future generations.