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Geosciences 2018, 8(3), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8030100

An Emerging Paradigm for the UNESCO Global Geoparks: The Ecosystem’s Health Provision

1
Department of Sport Sciences, Exercise and Health, Centre for Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes & Alto Douro, Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
2
Department of Sport Sciences, Exercise and Health, Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health and Human Development, Centre for Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes & Alto Douro, Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
3
Department of Geology, Centre for Mechanical Engineering, Materials and Processes of the University of Coimbra, University of Trás-os-Montes & Alto Douro, Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
4
Department of Sport Sciences, Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health and Human Development, University of Beira Interior, Rua Marquês D’Ávila e Bolama, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
5
Portuguese National Forum of UNESCO Global Geoparks, Portuguese National Commission for UNESCO, Largo das Necessidades,1350-215 Lisboa, Portugal
6
Department of Geology, Geosciences Center of the University of Coimbra, University of Trás-os-Montes & Alto Douro, Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 February 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the “14th European Geoparks Conference”)
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Abstract

During the 38th General Conference of UNESCO, the Member States ratified the creation of the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme (IGGP) expressing governmental recognition of the importance of managing outstanding geological sites and landscapes in a holistic manner. In this context, the importance of human interactions with the natural environment to promote healthy lifestyles was primarily a response to the need to preserve and enhance the value of the UNESCO Global Geoparks as well as highlighting their usefulness for the sustainable development of local populations. The aim of this paper is to suggest an interdisciplinary approach to be applied to UNESCO Global Geoparks for a standardized survey and grading methodology that can be used to assess the ability to provide and promote healthy lifestyles, which is called the Ecosystem’s Health Provision Spectrum (EHPS) on an ecological scale. The suggested EHPS is in line with UNESCO’s priorities, in particular with the IGGP and its motto of “Geosciences in the Service of Society”. Therefore, the EHPS on an ecological scale will be another important tool for the UNESCO Global Geoparks, facilitating efficient management and promoting economic development, wellbeing and health. View Full-Text
Keywords: geoparks; healthy lifestyles; health services; ecosystem services geoparks; healthy lifestyles; health services; ecosystem services
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Gabriel, R.; Moreira, H.; Alencoão, A.; Faria, A.; Silva, E.; Sá, A. An Emerging Paradigm for the UNESCO Global Geoparks: The Ecosystem’s Health Provision. Geosciences 2018, 8, 100.

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