Historically, nature conservation efforts have concentrated on preserving biological diversity and living elements of nature. This has changed in recent decades, however. There is growing recognition of the importance of non-living elements of the natural environment. Geoconservation has become a central focus of nature conservation in many parts of the world, although it is still a fairly new concept in Iceland.

Currently, no international agreements have been signed on the preservation of geological and geomorphological diversity comparable to those protecting biodiversity. Efforts are underway to incorporate geoconservation into nature conservation agreements in Europe. ProGEO (The European Association for the Conservation of the Geological Heritage) works to promote the protection of geological sites and landscapes and to act in an educational capacity. ProGEO is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and an affiliated organisation of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).

There is a pressing need for geoconservation efforts in Iceland. Sites must be protected on the basis of their scientific relevance, but it is also necessary to protect the landscape and the geological countenance of Iceland. It is important to improve public knowledge and awareness about the value of geoheritage and its preservation for the future.

Picture: Kristján Jónasson

Teigarhorn in Berufjörður

  • Sources


    Dixon, G. 1995. Geoconservation: an international review and strategy for Tasmania. A report to the Australian Heritage Commission, Occational paper No. 35. Tasmania: Park & Wildlife Service.

    Helgi Torfason og Ingvar Atli Sigurðsson 2002. Verndun jarðminja á Íslandi: tillögur vegna náttúruverndaráætlunar 2002. Náttúrufræðistofnun Íslands, NÍ-02019. Reykjavík: Náttúrufræðistofnun Íslands.

    Kristján Jónasson og Sigmundur Einarsson 2009. Jarðminjar á háhitasvæðum Íslands: jarðfræði, landmótun og yfirborðsmerki jarðhita. Náttúrufræðistofnun Íslands, NÍ-09012. Reykjavík: Náttúrufræðistofnun Íslands.

    Sharples, C. 2002. Concepts and principles of geoconsercation. Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service.

    Sigmundur Einarsson, Kristján Jónasson og Lovísa Ásbjörnsdóttir 2012. Landið var fagurt og frítt: um vernd jarðminja. Náttúrufræðingurinn 82 (1–4), bls. 151–159.

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