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Sustainable use of geological resources in geopark areas

In addition to the world cultural and natural heritage and biosphere reserves, Geoparks were established as a third category by UNESCO in 2015. Since then, the claim has been formulated to develop UNESCO Geoparks into model areas for sustainable development. Unlike in large protected areas, where the use of resources is largely prevented, in geoparks it is more about the sustainable use of geological resources. A key aspect in geoparks is sustainable regional development, which on the one hand ensures the use of resources for future generations and on the other hand does not lose sight of nature conservation and climate goals. The spectrum of conflicting goals to be resolved ranges from groundwater protection to sand, gravel and solid rock mining, energy generation and storage including geothermal energy, to the dumping of nuclear waste and other waste materials in the geological subsurface. Last but not least, the recultivation or renaturation or subsequent use of former open-cast mining areas is one of the currently pending fields of action.  


Zellmer, Dr. Henning (1); Wilde, Dr. Volker (2); Röhling, Dr. Heinz-Gerd (3)
1: Geopark Harz, Braunschweiger Land, Ostfalen, Germany; 2: Senckenberg; 3: DGGV
GeoKarlsruhe 2021