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The Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark (Greece) successfully organised the 2nd International Intensive

Source:http://www.globalgeopark.org Source:esvos Petrified Forest Geopark Published:Oct 30,2008

“Geoconservation and Geoparks: Interpretation and Communication”,

23-28 September, 2008


The 2nd International Intensive Course “Geoconservation and Geoparks: Interpretation and Communication” was organised in Lesvos (Greece) from the 23rd to the 28th September 2008 by the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest and the Geography Department of the University of the Aegean, in close cooperation with the Global Geoparks Network, the European Geoparks Network and the Working Group “Geomorphosites” of the International Association of Geomorphology (IAG). It was organised under the auspices of UNESCO and co-financed by the EU Initiative LEADER+. The Course took place on Lesvos, at the premises of the Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark and the University of the Aegean.

The course was addressed mainly to postgraduate students working on topics related to geoparks, geotourism, geosite, geomorphosite and landscape assessment and management, as well as to Geopark employees with a degree in Geosciences. The lectures, which were concentrating to interpretation and communication of earth heritage, were given by specialists, university professors and Geopark scientific staff. Some of the key speakers were Dr. P. Coratza from the University of Modena (Italy), Prof. John Poch from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain), Prof. G. Amato, Management team of the Rocca di Cerere Geopark (Italy), Dr. M.-L. Frey from the Messel Pit WHS (Germany), Dr. G. Martini from the Reserve Geologique de Haute Provence Geopark (France), Ass. Prof. N. Zouros, Dr. K. Klonari and Dr. A. Kizos from the University of the Aegean (Greece), Pablo Rivas Palomo, As. Manager of Cabo de Gata Geopark (Spain) and I. Valiakos, K. Mpentana and Dr. K. Vasileiadou from the Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark. The 5-day-long course also included visits to selected outdoor sites and Information / Interpretation Centres of the Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark, which gave the opportunity to the students to witness the communicational tools used by the Lesvos Geopark to enhance Geotourism, environmental education and public awareness. The participants also had the chance to attend the first official public presentation of the new communicational and educational tools of the Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark (new web-site, educational CD-rom and CD-rom presenting the Geopark and its activities) during a ceremony in the Archaeological Museum of Lesvos. Round-table discussions with local authorities, journalists and representatives of women agrotouristic co-operations, as well as “in situ” visits to local producers (e.g. local winery) exposed the participants to a more holistic approach of Geoconservation by highlighting the importance of interpreting and communicating geo-heritage for the sustainable development of the region.

The course was attended by 25 students coming from 10 different countries (Canada, USA, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland, Germany, France, Portugal and Greece). Apart from attending lectures, the students had the opportunity to present their own thoughts on interpretation and communication during workshops. The main aim of the Course was to provide the participants with the right tools to present geo-heritage and geoconservation in order to sensitise the public towards a more rational and sustainable development.

All the participants of the Course, both students and lecturers, agreed that they benefited greatly, mainly through exchange of ideas about the importance of geo-interpretation and communication for the promotion and protection of geo-heritage and through witnessing the “in situ” application of the right tools in the Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark.


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