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Why is geodiversity important?

Geodiversity is now increasingly recognised as crucial to the delivery of ecosystem services external site and functions for the benefit of Scotland's people and environment.

Scotland's geodiversity is the foundation upon which plants, animals and human beings live. It is a unique teaching and scientific resource, helping us understand issues such as climate change, and sea level rise. It is the physical basis for our varied landscapes and is a vital component of our cultural and built heritage. It also provides an important source of basic raw materials. Geodiversity, therefore, affects all our lives and delivers important economic, social and environmental benefits for the people of Scotland. Unsurprisingly, Scotland's geodiversity also contributes strongly to the Scottish Governments Strategic Objectives.

Looking after our geodiversity is a vital part of conserving Scotland's landscapes and nature. It is also important to ensure that geodiversity continues to be available to help us predict and adapt to future change. Adopting an Ecosystem Approach, as outlined in our Ecosystem Approach framework  PDF document , means taking an holistic view of ecosystems (both their geodiversity and their biodiversity) during decision-making processes, and valuing the services they provide.

Sgurr Ban and Liathach from Bodaich Dhubh (Black Caris). ©John MacPherson/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright

Scottish Government's strategic objectives and geodiversity

Scotland's geodiversity contributes strongly to the Scottish Government's Strategic Objectives.

Clashach site. ©Gillian Forbes/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright

Geodiversity as a source of raw materials

Scotland's geodiversity provides a source of basic raw materials (coal, sandstone, soil). These resources have influenced landscape, land use and industry.

Edmondston's Chickweed, Unst, Shetland. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright

Ecosystem dependence on geodiversity

Our geodiversity forms the foundation upon which plants, animals and human beings live. It is crucial for sustaining natural systems, such as rivers and coasts.

Young geologist preparing fossils on a rocky shore, St.Andrews. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright

Geodiversity as an educational and scientific resource

Scotland contains an unrivalled geodiversity providing a unique teaching and scientific resource, for supporting scientific investigation and life-long learning

Dundee Law and the River Tay from Newport. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright

Climate change and geodiversity

Geodiversity helps us understand issues such as climate change, and sea-level-rise, enabling us to better deal with flooding, landslides and coastal erosion.

Callanish standing stones, Isle of Lewis. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.snh.gov.uk/copyright

Geodiversity influencing our cultural and built heritage

Geodiversity is a vital component of our cultural and built heritage, influencing many things from settlements & transport to recreation, tourism, poetry & art.


Related Links

An ecosystem approach for Scotland

An ecosystem approach for Scotland

An ecosystem based approach is now being taken for delivering biodiversity action in Scotland

'Engaging with Geodiversity - why it matters'

'Engaging with Geodiversity - why it matters'

Outputs for the conference held in Edinburgh, 1 December 2010



Last updated on Wednesday 25th April 2012 at 16:09 PM. Click here to comment on this page