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Geo-Heritage Sites UPSC NOTE

 Geo-heritage sites

  • Geo-heritage refers to the geological features which are inherently or culturally significant offering insight to earth’s evolution or history to earth science or that can be utilized for education.

  • Geological Survey of India (GSI) is the parent body which is making efforts towards identification and protection of geo-heritage sites/national geological monuments in the country.

  • Geo-heritage sites are educational spaces where people acquire much needed geological literacy

  • The importance of the shared geological heritage of our planet was first recognised in 1991 at a UNESCO-sponsored event, ‘First International Symposium on the Conservation of our Geological Heritage’.

  • This declaration foresaw the establishment of geo-parks as sites that commemorate unique geological features and landscapes within their assigned territories; and as spaces that educate the public on geological importance.

Importance in India

  • With landscapes that range from the world’s greatest peaks to low-lying coastal plains, India showcases a diverse morphology that has evolved over billions of years. 

  • In several places, we find a variety of rocks and minerals and distinctive fossil assemblages

  • These geological features and landscapes tell us the spectacular ‘origin’ stories derived not from mythology but from scientific interpretations

Geo-Conservation Challenges

  • Despite international progress in this field, geo-conservation has not found much traction in India. 

  • Many fossil-bearing sites have been destroyed in the name of development and real estate growth, Destructive stone mining activities also add to this misery. 

  • The magnitude of these activities is evident from the fact that the area covered under stone-mining operations exceeds more than 10% of the total area of India.

Way forward

  • India at first should create an inventory of all prospective geo-sites in the country (in addition to the 34 sites identified by the GSI) 

  • Frame geo-conservation legislation for the country along the lines of the Biological Diversity Act 2002; and 

  • Have a ‘National Geo-Conservation Authority’ along the lines of the National Biodiversity Authority, with independent observers, while ensuring that the establishment will not lead to red tape and encroach on the autonomy of researchers and academically-inclined private collectors.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Geo-Heritage Sites UPSC NOTE
Geo-Heritage Sites UPSC NOTE
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