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Theme Announced for International Geodiversity Day 2024

The theme for this year’s International Geodiversity Day, to be held on Sunday 6th October 2024, will be ‘Conserving The Past – Sustaining The Future.’


International Geodiversity Day was proclaimed by UNESCO in 2021, following a grassroots campaign by geoscience organisations around the world. Geodiversity is all around us, and includes the parts of nature that aren't alive; like minerals, fossils, soils, and landscapes. Geodiversity Day is a worldwide celebration to bring people together in promoting the many aspects of geodiversity, and its importance to society.


This years theme is an opportunity to provide a particular focus on several aspects of geodiversity. Firstly, there are many sites around the world where geodiversity of particular significance has been recognized – what is known as geoheritage. These sites, from local nature reserves to UNESCO Global Geoparks, need to be conserved otherwise these precious examples of our planet’s history will be lost. Secondly, geodiversity will play an increasingly important roll as we plan for the future. As a record of past events it helps us better adapt to geological hazards, as a resource it provides the minerals that are vital as economies transition towards a more sustainable future, and as the foundation for our most stunning landscapes geodiversity underpins the growing geotourism industry that is supporting local communities around the world. International Geodiversity Day, and the days around it, is a special moment in the year to celebrate and promote all these aspects of geodiversity, and individuals and groups are encouraged to organize events on geodiversity and specifically this year’s theme ‘Conserving The Past – Sustaining The Future’.


The theme for 2024 was proposed by Maria Knadel from Denmark. For the past 15 years she has worked as a research scientist in the Dept. of Agroecology at Aarhus University. Her research focuses on soil characterization and mapping, where she utilizes innovative sensing techniques to provide greener soil management and monitoring.


On hearing that here theme had been selected, Dr Knadel said “I'm excited that my suggestion for the 2024 International Geodiversity Day theme was chosen, especially as it coincides with my recent career change. Starting February 1st, I've taken on a new role as a geologist at the UNESCO Global Geopark in Vestjylland. Geoparks serve as exemplary models for preserving our geological past while striving for a sustainable and harmonious future. This year’s theme aligns with the commitment of all UNESCO Global Geoparks to geological conservation, sustainable development, and the integration of cultural and natural heritage, and I’m excited to take an active part in this effort.”


Jack Matthews, Co-coordinator of International Geodiversity Day said “This year’s theme, proposed by Maria, is an excellent opportunity to focus society’s attention on the increasingly important role geodiversity plays in all our lives – especially as communities work towards a more sustainable future. With the support of people all around the world, we very much hope that this year’s International Geodiversity Day will be bigger than ever.

 

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