Global Geoparks: Linking Geological Heritage and Local Development

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9780124114562: Global Geoparks: Linking Geological Heritage and Local Development

Global Geoparks: Linking Geological Heritage and Local Development is the first reference available on how to apply for inclusion in the International Network of Geoparks and meet the criteria for becoming an officially-recognized UNESCO Geopark. As the number of officially-recognized geoparks in the world is expected to triple within the next decade, with governments recognizing the importance of sustaining the geological heritage of their country’s geography and taking advantage of their economic potential, this work presents a great reference on the topic.

Authored by the world’s foremost experts, this guide is essential reading for geoscientists and regional stakeholders who want to fully understand key concepts and learn how to transform identified geographic territories into official geoparks as so defined and recognized by UNESCO.



  • Authored by the world’s top Geoparks experts, ensuring authoritative coverage across the history, theory, heritage, sustainability, economic benefits, and future of geoparks
  • Features end-of-chapter case studies from across the geoparks network to illustrate key concepts
  • Includes more than 100 illustrations and full-color photographs―vividly bringing existing geoparks to life
  • Compiles the rules and regulations that geoparks must follow, serving as a one-stop reference for future applicants to the Global Geoparks Network

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About the Author:

Dr. Alcala earned his PhD in Geology from Complutense University in Madrid, the top geosciences university in Spain and one of the oldest universities in the world. Dr. Alcala is Director of the Paleontological Foundation in Madrid and a representative of the European Global Geoparks Network and a catalyst for its Thematic Group on Fossils.
A prolific author and editor, Dr. Alcala currently serves as co-editor of the Journal of Taphonomy and has authored more than 100 journal articles, nine books, and has served as a contributing author in an additional 48 publications. Dr. Alcala also leads several geosciences research teams, including the Research Group FOCONTUR on Turolian Continental Fossils, and is currently the director of the weekly sections of Paleontological Fundamentals and GeoParks Corner, which have published more than 400 issues collectively since 2003.

Nikolas Zouros, Associate Professor, Department of Geology, University of the Aegean, Greece

Prof. Dr. Patrick James Mc Keever received his Ph.D. in Geology in 1990 with his dissertation on “Studies on the Sedimentology and Palaeoecology of the Permian of Scotland. From 1990 to 1995 he was employed by the Department of Geology, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, as Post-Doctoral Research Associate to research aspects of the diagenesis of quartz cements from hydrocarbon reservoir sandstones from the North Sea. From 1995 to 2012, he worked in the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland as Principal Geologist to encourage the wider understanding of geology and geological heritage; and to assist communities and organisations in promoting sustainable economic development by use of their geological heritage.

Since 2001, Prof. McKeever has been working with the UNESCO-endorsed European Geoparks Network. Initially providing geological support and advice for the Marble Arch Caves Geopark (County Fermanagh, Ireland), he was elected vice-coordinator of the wider Network in 2002 and re-elected to this position in 2005, 2007 and again in 2009. He is also very active in promoting the network, advising potential new members and carrying out evaluation and revalidation missions. He was an advisor to the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences at UNESCO for the Global Network of National Geoparks (GGN) and has undertaken many expert missions on their behalf.

Prof McKeever is a scientific evaluator for IUCN on behalf of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. In 2006 he was invited to join the UK’s Geoconservation Committee of the Geological Society and in 2007 he was invited to become a member of the World Convention on Protected Areas. He is a member of the scientific board of the International Geoscience Programme on behalf of Ireland and in October 2009 he was the official representative for the Republic of Ireland to the biannual UNESCO General Conference. In 2008 he was invited as a visiting professor to the Institute of Environment Research (Lestari) at the National University of Malaysia.

In May 2012, Prof Mc Keever joined UNESCO as the new Chief of Section at the Global Earth Observation Section and as Secretary of the International Geoscience Porgramne.

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