The Royal Society

Supplementary material from "Global geodiversity components are not equally represented in UNESCO Global Geoparks"

Posted on 2024-01-17 - 06:38
The aim of UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGs) is to protect globally significant geoheritage and geodiversity, but quantitative evidence on the global representativeness of geodiversity components (i.e. geology, soils, geomorphology and hydrology) in these geoparks is lacking. Here, we provide a first assessment by deriving a global map of geodiversity to test whether the presence of geodiversity components in UGGs is representative for the global availability, and distribution of geodiversity. Using openly accessible global datasets and a newly developed workflow, we calculated metrics for each geodiversity component and a global geodiversity index, and then quantified whether UGGs represent global geodiversity and its components compared to a randomized spatial distribution of geoparks. Our results show that lithological and topographical diversity are more represented in UGGs than outside, while soil type and hydrological diversity are not significantly different from areas outside geoparks. Furthermore, individual soil types and lithological classes are underrepresented and unevenly distributed in Asian and European UGGs. This is likely caused by the concentration of geoparks in Asian and European mountains. To better conserve geodiversity, we suggest to consider the protection and representation of all geodiversity components in their global context.This article is part of the Theo Murphy meeting issue ‘Geodiversity science for society’.


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