New guidance to safeguard and manage Northern Ireland’s rocks and landscape has been produced by the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (GSNI).
Northern Ireland’s first Geodiversity Charter, designed to provide guidance to help safeguard Northern Ireland’s rocks and landscapes was launched at an event at the Ulster Museum. The Charter recognises the important contribution rocks and landscapes have on the environment and sustainable development.
The Charter has been compiled by the GSNI, part of the Department for the Economy, with financial assistance from the Environment Fund from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.
A total of 25 organisations from a wide variety of sectors ranging from business, academia and education to local authorities and public agencies have all given their support to the Charter.
Dr Michael Dempster, Earth Science and Heritage Officer at the NI Environment Agency (NIEA), explains further: “The welcome publication of Northern Ireland’s Geodiversity Charter is a key step in promoting appreciation and understanding of our rich and shared geological history. It provides a vision and action plan showing how all of us can contribute to celebrating, using and conserving this crucial part of our natural heritage.”
Dr Kirstin Lemon, Team Leader of Information and Infrastructure at the GSNI tells us more: “Understanding and managing Northern Ireland’s geodiversity has never been so important. With increasing pressures on our resources and our environment, we need to provide guidance on how we can safeguard and manage this for current and future generations and that’s exactly what Northern Ireland’s Geodiversity Charter aims to do.”
As well as providing guidance on managing and safeguarding Northern Ireland’s rocks and landscape the Geodiversity Charter also has a list of accompanying actions covering the next three years, including how it can be implemented by different stakeholders. It uses case studies to illustrate how both individuals and organisation can work to maintain and celebrate Northern Ireland’s rocks and landscape. By creating a greater awareness and understanding of Northern Ireland’s geodiversity it will lead to better protection of our geological heritage and the ability to sustainably manage our natural resources, so that everyone can enjoy the full range of economic, environmental, educational and social benefits that it provides.
The Charter takes the lead from the very successful Scottish Geodiversity Charter that was first produced in 2012 and has already seen a positive change in attitude among many sectors.
Notes to editors:
- The GSNI is part of the Department for the Economy (DfE) Northern Ireland. It is staffed by scientists of the British Geological Survey (BGS) under contract to DfE, which allows GSNI to call upon expertise from other parts of the BGS. As the regional source of geological information, GSNI advises industry, local government and the public on a range of geological matters, and provides geoscience information and services to inform decision-making.
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