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Geosites as Educational Key-Elements For Sustainability: The UNESCO Global Geoparks Model
1  Universidad Camilo José Cela
Academic Editor: Karoly Nemeth

Published: 30 November 2022 by MDPI in The 4th International Electronic Conference on Geosciences session Geoheritage

Geosites, or commonly called places of geological interest, have gained notoriety nowadays, positioning themselves as one of the most important resources in educational strategies for earth and environmental sciences. The possibility of observing the results of the different geological processes, morphologies, or minerals in situ helps us to understand how our planet works and how we, as a society, have taken advantage of its elements to progress in all areas of daily life. Their particularity and, above all, its variability, make them unique places that range from outcrops to mining complexes or outstanding viewpoints where we can learn about the message that the landscape conveys. For this reason, geosites are an incredible opportunity to learn about geolosciences, but also about history, traditions and everything related to the territory in which they are located. The UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGps) are an international example of how to craft a sustainable development strategy focused on the educational potential of geosites. Complementing them with interpretation centers, information panels, QR codes and specialized guides, these territories have come to be considered as benchmarks within the so-called sustainable tourism, transforming the land into authentic open-air educational museums. Following a personal style and defending the appellation of origin, the UGGps create an exceptional model based on educational foundations that aims to bring the territory closer to the greatest number of people possible.

Keywords: Education; Geoparks; Sustainability; Heritage; Geosites