Conservation of Scotland’s geodiversity aligns with, and supports, the Scottish Government’s purpose of increasing sustainable economical growth and its five Strategic Objectives.
||Contribution of Geodiversity
Scotland’s industrial development during recent centuries has been founded on its geological resources. Today, these are fundamental to economic development as a source of:
soil and water resources;
energy and minerals;
contributions to tourism and the growing area of geotourism, including geoparks;
construction materials for new building projects;
materials for the restoration of the built heritage;
- collectable items (e.g. rocks, fossils, minerals, and semi-precious stones).
|Safer & Stronger Communities
||Geodiversity contributes to better quality of life and stronger local communities through:
- supporting services (e.g. soil formation, water cycling);
- provisioning services (e.g. products such as fresh water and building materials);
- regulating services (e.g. natural flood management, erosion control,coastal protection and water regulation, based on understanding and working with natural processes in an integrated through shoreline management and catchment management planning);
- cultural services (e.g. providing recreation and aesthetic experiences); people also value the ‘sense of place’ that is associated with recognised features of their environment, such as natural rock formations and landscapes, and the perceived ‘feeling of security’ and character created by those features.
||Geodiversity has educational values and provides opportunities to enhance learning achievements:
- across the spectrum of schools (supporting the Curriculum for Excellence), colleges, universities (underpinning world-class research into how the Earth works) and life-long learning (helping everyone to explore and appreciate the world around them and gain inspiration from it);
- through enhanced understanding of natural Earth surface processes such as erosion and flooding, geological processes that formed the landscape, climate change from geological records and the links between geological and cultural heritage, helping to contextualise human existence.
||Geodiversity contributes to:
- understanding the drivers and effects of environmental change (e.g. climate change, sea-level rise and carbon dynamics in organic (peat) soils);
- planning for adaptive management in response to climate change and rising sea-level, based on understanding and working with natural processes (e.g. through development of river basin management plans and natural flood management involving restoration of natural processes and an understanding of floodplain histories from sedimentary records);
in which to live, visit and do business; wise use of non-renewable geodiversity resources (e.g. minerals, soils, fossil fuels) is fundamental to sustainable development;
linking people, nature and landscape: geodiversity supports habitats, species and environmental quality and contributes to cultural heritage, sense of place and rural fabric; Geoparks and other tourism developments can help to sustain living and vibrant communities.
||The management of Local Geodiversity Sites contributes to:
- improving environmental health through soil and water quality;
- improving the quality and ‘liveability’ of local environments and greenspace, and providing recreation opportunities;
- fostering pride in the distinctiveness of local natural heritage and the aesthetic value of landscapes;
- fostering healthier lifestyles through the support of physical activity, such as recreation and adventure sports, and through spiritual enrichment, aesthetic experiences, mental inspiration and cognitive development.