Special Issue "Selected Papers from the “14th European Geoparks Conference”"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. João Carlos Nunes

Departamento de Geociências, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade dos Açores, Rua Mãe de Deus, 9501-801 Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: volcanology; geological mapping; thermal waters; geoconservation; geoparks; geotourism
Guest Editor
Prof. Ross Dowling

School of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup WA 6027, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: geotourism and geoparks development, sustainability, impacts and opportunities; cruise ship tourism development, growth and industry impacts; ecotourism planning, development, management and impacts; regional tourism planning and development
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Maria Helena Henriques

Departament of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technology (Polo II), University of Coimbra, Rua Sílvio Lima, 3039-790 Coimbra, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Interests: palaeontology; biostratigraphy; palaeoecology; palaeogeography; Jurassic; Iberia; geological heritage; geoconservation; public understanding of science

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 14th European Geoparks Conference (EGNAZORES2017) will take place at the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark (www.azoresgeopark.com), 7–9 September, 2017, with the theme “Geoparks: Pathways of Sustainable Tourism for Development” (www.egnazores2017.com).

The conference is deeply engaged with the United Nations declaration of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development; thus, contributing to promoting the UNESCO Global Geoparks, collectively, as sustainable tourism destinations, build new links between geoscientists from all over the world developing research on geoconservation with the international tourism market, and raising the profile and visibility of the UNESCO Global Geoparks among the main players in the tourism industry.

The topics to be addressed in the EGNAZORES2017 include:

  • Geoparks and sustainable tourism
  • Conservation, science and research
  • Education, public awareness and communication
  • Good practices in geoparks
  • Engaging communities and networking
  • Aspiring geoparks

Prof. Dr. João Carlos Nunes
Prof. Dr. Maria Helena Henriques
Professor Ross Dowling
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Geosciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • geoparks
  • geotourism
  • sustainable development
  • geoconservation
  • geodiversity
  • UNESCO Global Geoparks
  • networking

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Can Indigenous Knowledge Contribute to the Sustainability Management of the Aspiring Rio Coco Geopark, Nicaragua?
Geosciences 2018, 8(8), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8080277
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 10 July 2018 / Published: 27 July 2018
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Abstract
Indigenous knowledge in the UNESCO Global Geoparks represents an important emerging research topic. This study investigates aspects of the indigenous environmental knowledge in the southern part of the aspiring Rio Coco Geopark (Nicaragua) and its potential to enhance the sustainability management of geotourism
[...] Read more.
Indigenous knowledge in the UNESCO Global Geoparks represents an important emerging research topic. This study investigates aspects of the indigenous environmental knowledge in the southern part of the aspiring Rio Coco Geopark (Nicaragua) and its potential to enhance the sustainability management of geotourism and other geopark activities. The ethnographic method has been implemented in the form of semi-structured interviewing of the representatives of local households and through the application of participant observation. Related field research methods included documentation of the life history of Elders, focal group discussions, GPS mapping, photo-documentation, and problem tree analysis. The results indicate that the best-conserved indigenous environmental knowledge relates to the use of land, rocks, and plants, while the expression and transmission of the spiritual dimension of this traditional knowledge are declining. The key implications of the observed indigenous knowledge for the geopark decision-makers include the identified potential for its sustainability management, geotourism and geo-interpretation opportunities, as well as the conditions for the implementation of this potential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the “14th European Geoparks Conference”)
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Open AccessArticle The Majella National Park: An Aspiring UNESCO Geopark
Geosciences 2018, 8(7), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8070256
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 30 June 2018 / Accepted: 5 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
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Abstract
Majella National Park is located in the central Apennines (Italy), in a vast mountainous area of about 740 km2. Owing to the complex geological history of the Majella Massif and surrounding areas, it features many different landforms. Woodlands rich in water
[...] Read more.
Majella National Park is located in the central Apennines (Italy), in a vast mountainous area of about 740 km2. Owing to the complex geological history of the Majella Massif and surrounding areas, it features many different landforms. Woodlands rich in water characterize the wide tectonic depression of Caramanico, which separates the rounded gentle profile of the Majella to the east from the impervious steep slope of the Morrone Mt. to the west. Bare pitted highlands, like lunar landforms, characterize the top of the Majella (i.e., Femmina Morta Valley) shaped by flowing ice that long ago covered the higher parts of the massif. Sedimentary structures and fossil content recovered in carbonates attest to a long period of sedimentation in warm, shallow-marine environments, revealing that the Majella and the surrounding carbonate mountains looked, approximately from 140 to 7 Ma, like the present-day Bahamas and Persian Gulf. The Park hosts at least 95 geosites, some of which (22) are well-known in the international literature because of their scientific relevance. In addition, its natural and cultural wealth, deeply fused together with geoheritage, preserves several features of national and world rarity. Therefore, the Park Authority decided to put forward its territory as a candidate to become part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Global Geoparks Network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the “14th European Geoparks Conference”)
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Open AccessArticle Matrix of Priorities for the Management of Visitation Impacts on the Geosites of Araripe UNESCO Global Geopark (NE Brazil)
Geosciences 2018, 8(6), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8060199
Received: 22 May 2018 / Revised: 29 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
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Abstract
In order to safeguard the material and immaterial heritage and to foster delightful experiences for visitors, this investigation aimed to define a Matrix of Priorities for management of Visitation Impacts Management on the Geosites of Araripe UNESCO Global Geopark. With a quantitative approach
[...] Read more.
In order to safeguard the material and immaterial heritage and to foster delightful experiences for visitors, this investigation aimed to define a Matrix of Priorities for management of Visitation Impacts Management on the Geosites of Araripe UNESCO Global Geopark. With a quantitative approach involving the revision of documents, the methods used in this paper determined what the demands for visitation are as well as the impacts of these demands. We identified the offers for activities and occurrences in the geosites. Using this model, we calculated the following variables: (i) evident impacts, (ii) management profile, (iii) visitor demand and (iv) activity zone. We also classified the recommended management actions and presented the priority matrix. We classified the geosites of Ponte de Pedra, Riacho do Meio and Cachoeira de Missão Velha as requiring immediate or priority management action, in view of the high impacts of visitation evidenced. The geosites of Pedra Cariri, Floresta Petrificada and Parque dos Pterossauros were classified as programmed action, highlighting the difficulty of accessing them and the low demand for visitation. The geosites Pontal de Santa Cruz, Colina do Horto and Batateiras presented the best scores and require feedback action. It is emphasized that the deepening the investigations is required in order to produce and interpret the data complexity that guides the management of a dynamic territory such as a UNESCO Global Geopark. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the “14th European Geoparks Conference”)
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Open AccessCommunication Geodiversity Research Methods in Geotourism
Geosciences 2018, 8(6), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8060197
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 29 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
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Abstract
With the emerging new approaches in the field of geodiversity, we can get better use of geographic space in geoparks and increase the number of geotourism destinations. Depending on what we want to study in geodiversity, a suitable research method should be adopted.
[...] Read more.
With the emerging new approaches in the field of geodiversity, we can get better use of geographic space in geoparks and increase the number of geotourism destinations. Depending on what we want to study in geodiversity, a suitable research method should be adopted. No method is wrong, because various features of objects be examined this manner. In this study, the main objective is to identify and present not only quantitative but also qualitative character of geodiversity issue. Qualitative and quantitative features of objects based on appropriate categorization and their reference to scales, are to designate areas suitable for sustainable geotourism. It is important to develop a methodological approach in line with the chosen objective. The following material is a presentation of the most frequently used methods in the geodiversity of their purposes and use in geotourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the “14th European Geoparks Conference”)
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Open AccessArticle Beyond Time and Space—The Aspiring Jurassic Geopark of Figueira da Foz
Geosciences 2018, 8(6), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8060190
Received: 1 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 24 May 2018
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Abstract
Figueira da Foz municipality has a very important geoheritage significance and the local authorities, the population and the academics recognize it. Even though it is a small-scale coast, unique geological and geomorphological features are found. It is well-known due to its international stratigraphic
[...] Read more.
Figueira da Foz municipality has a very important geoheritage significance and the local authorities, the population and the academics recognize it. Even though it is a small-scale coast, unique geological and geomorphological features are found. It is well-known due to its international stratigraphic relevance given by the establishment of two stratotypes. The rocks of the region are well exposed along the shore, the archaeological patrimony, the cultural heritage and the biodiversity complete the region with high quality, and provide a global classroom. It is a catalogue of scientific, touristic and educational values that is being used for a long time. Because of all this became officially by UNESCO an Aspiring Jurassic Geopark of Figueira da Foz in 2018. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the “14th European Geoparks Conference”)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle UNESCO Global Geoparks, Geotourism and Communication of the Earth Sciences: A Case Study in the Chablais UNESCO Global Geopark, France
Geosciences 2018, 8(5), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8050149
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 22 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (6875 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The last twenty years have seen considerable developments in geotourism, a form of sustainable tourism. This has been also a period of significant development for UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGps), on one hand with the creation of the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme, and
[...] Read more.
The last twenty years have seen considerable developments in geotourism, a form of sustainable tourism. This has been also a period of significant development for UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGps), on one hand with the creation of the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme, and the other, in the number and diversity of UGGps recognised across the world. Geoparks have particular characteristics, such as a spatial engagement across an area, as well as the long-term commitment associated with this type of label. UGGps take a broad approach to geotourism, and seek to engage with all demographics, including “unsuspecting” geotourists. This is particularly relevant when considering that the Geopark profile has evolved since the introduction of the UNESCO label, and that a number UGGps are pre-existing tourist destinations and have diverse economies and strong growth. UGGps draw on professional, multidisciplinary teams that combine scientific knowledge, science communication, and outreach events to achieve effective heritage transmission through actions that target schools, the local population, and the general public. These are not traditional structures and do not have behavioural constraints imposed on them as experienced by some educational structures or museums. The present case study is an example of the type of innovation seen in UGGps, whereby novel solutions are employed in order to touch as wide a public as possible. The action presented is a winter outreach event for the general public in the Chablais UNESCO Global Geopark (France), that was developed in partnership with the Portes du Soleil association of 12 ski resorts. This consisted of an orienteering/treasure hunt game across one of the world’s largest ski domains, that included panels with anecdotes presenting different aspects of the Chablais geoheritage. It demonstrates that it is possible to engage with a sporting public that is seeking experiences and is not expecting to sacrifice time or exert effort to deepen knowledge or gain cultural insight. Interestingly, the study shows that careful event design, including concise language choice and a strict avoidance of technical vocabulary, results in the effective transmission of heritage information. The game participants were not geotourists, and yet displayed a good appetite for Earth science and cultural heritage knowledge. The study concluded that the sporting general public retained information about the geoheritage of the area, was open to participating in future Chablais UGGp events, and that they were interested in returning both to explore other aspects of the territory, and to visit in other seasons. The Chablais UGGp assessed the success and quality of the event and confirmed the relevance of a well-considered and layered geotourism strategy for territories with an UGGp label. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the “14th European Geoparks Conference”)
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Open AccessCommunication An Emerging Paradigm for the UNESCO Global Geoparks: The Ecosystem’s Health Provision
Geosciences 2018, 8(3), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8030100
Received: 12 February 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (925 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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
[...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from the “14th European Geoparks Conference”)
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