What is Geoheritage and Geoconservation and why are they important?

Geoheritage and Geoconservation are concerned with the preservation of Earth Science features, and are important endeavours globally, as reflected in various international and intra-national bodies set up for conservation.

The United Kingdom is considered the birthplace of the discipline of Geology and, with its history and leadership in the preservation of geological sites, it is also the birthplace of Geoheritage and Geoconservation,

Geoheritage in recent years has gained worldwide recognition and prominence as an important part of the history of the abiotic world and, through geodiversity, in its control of biodiversity Thus, Geoheritage is an endeavour that needs to be addressed in any environmental assessment.

Geoheritage encompasses global, national, state-wide, and local features of geology, at all scales that are intrinsically important sites or culturally important sites offering information or insights into the evolution of the Earth; or into the history of science, or that can be used for research, teaching, or reference. That is, Geoheritage encompasses features of geology that have heritage value; it involves all features that are geological (igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, stratigraphy, minerals, fossils, geomorphology, soils, hydrology). Geoconservation is the preservation of Earth Science features for purposes of heritage, science, or education.

Geoheritage and the Semaphore-Grange coast

The relevance of this to the Semaphore-Grange Coast is that: (1) the relative and comparative conservation significance of landforms in the dune barrier of the Semaphore-Grange Coast fall within the realm of Geoheritage: (2) geoheritage features need to be considered in the assessment of the area: and (3) the comparisons of the dune barrier of the Semaphore-Grange Coast needs to be undertaken on geoheritage criteria.

A semi-quantitative method to assess the levels of geoheritage has been developed and this sets out criteria as to whether a site is Internationally significant, Nationally significant, Statewide to Regionally significant, or Locally significant.