CENTRE FOR PROMOTION OF GEOHERITAGE & GEOTOURISM (CPGG) DOWNLOAD PDF
Geodiversity constitutes the natural diversity of planet Earth. It is the variety of nature elements, such as minerals, rocks, fossils, landforms and their landscapes, soils, and active geological/geomorphological processes. The conservation of these geological heritage (Geoheritage) is important because it is non-renewable natural resource that is affected by human and natural factors. As such, Geoconservation is considered as an emerging discipline within geosciences.
Why is geoheritage at risk ?There is scope of partial or total loss of geological sites triggered by urban development, vandalism, smuggling, absence of a proper legal protection and international agreements, lack of expertise, and unawareness of international, national and local authorities.
WHY DOES SOCIETY NEED GEOCONSERVATION ?
The implementation of effective geoconservation strategies brings great advantages to society. Firstly, it raises awareness of the need to understand natural systems and the geological component of ecosystem services. Moreover, well-managed geological sites can support different types of sustainable use with clear benefits for the society, such as scientific, educational and economic use. This is already happening in many territories around the world such as with Global Geoparks, which have been fully recognized by UNESCO.
Geotourism and recreational activities based on geodiversity elements are completely integrated in the aims of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, proclaimed by the United Nations for 2017.
Geological outcrops are the natural laboratory of geoscientists. Therefore, our basic interest is to preserve it as far as possible. These outcrops are like history book providing details of evolution of Earth through time. Further, there are several unique geological features of national and global significance that can be classified as �Geoheritage sites�. These Geoheritage sites are lessons of geological events and processes, which are not only of the interests of geoscientists but also for the common people and students. Like cultural and historical site, these �Geosites� provide information about the past events.
The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development defines 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be universally applied in all countries. Many of these goals will demand proper management of nature, including both geodiversity and biodiversity.
STATUS OF GEOHERITAGE IN INDIA
There are about 195 UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGs) in 48 countries (by the year 2023) including some very small countries. BUT, India do not have even a single UGG while we have 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This is because we are still lacking the knowledge about the concept of Geoheritage conservation and development of Geoparks. We also need to understand that Geoparks are not Geological Parks. Geoparks are amalgamation of geological, cultural and historical heritage with geology in the centre. Involvement of community is the core aspect of every Geopark. Therefore, making government and developmental agencies aware of this concept is the need of time.
Further, there are several geoheritage development projects in different states and good work is being done, but there is no central thought about the development plan of any geoheritage site, no proper understanding about the concept and even it has been observed that development works has harmed the geoheritage sites due to lack of proper scientific support. After the declaration of Mawmluh Cave of Meghalayan Age fame among the First 100 IUGS Geoheritage Site, whose type specimen is in the museum of BSIP, the awareness about the conservation and geotourism potential of geoheritage sites have taken a momentum. BSIP has been instrumental in several geoheritage conservation projects and organised awareness drives in association with other organisations.
The sustainable approach of geoheritage conservation is the Geotourism. The Geoparks/sites should be developed in such a way that they are self-sustainable with least dependency on funding agencies. Further, PPP model needs to be implemented in the promotion of Geotourism. However, there is no centre or agency to advice/support developmental agencies/state governments in planning, development and establishment of Geoheritage sites or Geoparks in India. As such, isolated efforts are not bearing required fruits. There is no networking, cooperation and understanding between various agencies due to lack of a platform for interaction. Therefore, it is need of the time to establish the �CENTRE FOR PROMOTION OF GEOHERITAGE & GEOTOURISM�(CPGG) under the ambit of BSIP, Lucknow with available expertise.
ROLE OF CPGG:
- Take selective in-house projects of geoheritage sites to prepare developmental proposals to submit to State Governments.
- Take up consultancy projects of State governments/developmental agencies to prepare dossiers, plans and time-to-time guidance in any Geoheritage site plan.
- Prepare national dossier of Geoheritage sites, popular printed/soft copies of brochures, short promotional films, deliver lectures to young students and professionals.
- Work as nodal agency for inter-departmental interactions and mutual cooperation among various developmental agencies.
- Prepare a platform for interdisciplinary interactions, organising training courses, conferences and networking.
- R&D scope for Ph.D. scholars from geology, geography and tourism sectors.
For further enquiries please contact
Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences,
53, University Road , Lucknow - 226007, Uttar Pradesh, India
website : www.bsip.res.in
Phone : +91-7607374176, +91-522-2742901
ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
BSIP signed MoU with MPEDB
Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow and Madhya Pradesh Ecotourism Development Board (MPEDB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 25th July, 2023 to have mutual cooperation for conserving and promoting the geoheritage and geotourism. Dr. Sameeta Rajora, CEO, MPETDB, Bhopal visited BSIP, Lucknow to sign the MoU and discussed plans with Dr. Vandana Prasad, Director, BSIP.
Inauguration of CPGG
Newly established �Center for promotion of Geoheritage and Geotourism� was inaugurated by Prof. Nitin R Karmalkar, Chairman, Governing Body, Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow in presence of Dr. Vandana Prasad, Director, Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow on 28 June 2023. The Governing Body and Research Advisory Committee members and senior scientists were present during the ceremony.