The educational role of historical mining sights for sustainable use of geological ressources – examples from the UNESCO Global Geopark Bergstraße-Odenwald
In a Geopark, historical mining sights can act as showcase for landscape modification and education for sustainable development (ESD). As elements of the recent cultivated landscape, they provide an excellent motive to discuss aspects of utilization of geological raw materials in actual products, their provenance and related mining and processing. In addition, deep insights into visitor mines and historical mining landscapes by guided tours open the view to environmental consequences of historical mining up to now (e. g. with respect to soil erosion processes), awareness of human impact on our planet earth. Thus the processes of sustainable development and awareness building can be established easily.
The UNESCO Global Geopark Bergstraße-Odenwald realizes this strategy by a strong cooperation with the voluntary „Mining Research Group Odenwald“. Due to intense contacts with departments of monument protection and universities, the working group is able to carry out professional interdisciplinary research on historical mining and cultural landscape evolution in the Geopark region. On the other hand, the Geopark’s network enables preservation projects within the local mining landscapes, development of information panels and the operation of an own visitor mine. This scientific, geo-touristic and educational infrastructure is presented to the public by guided tours dealing with results of actual research and experimental archaeology events. In this context, ESD is the predominant concern.
All activities are reported at the Geopark´s network platform, within its calendar of events, and in online and print media. This combination of networking, local expertise, citizen science and collaboration with governmental institutions enables the reflection of the Global Agenda 2030 from a holistic point of view and also deeply rooted with the Geopark inhabitants and visitors appreciation.