Geoheritage Tool-Kit

The Geoheritage Tool-kit

In Australia, the Geological Society of Australia is playing a lead role, alongside State bodies, in identifying sites of geological significance, maintaining a list of sites of National and International significance, and providing advice on the “significance” of sites of geological heritage for planning and management (Sharples 2002; Brocx 2008; Worboys 2013).

With some exceptions, such as the United Kingdom, systematic national geoheritage assessments have generally not been carried out, and this is viewed as a major gap in geoheritage endeavours globally (Brocx 2008; Brocx & Semeniuk 2015, Crofts & Gordon 2015). The Geoheritage Tool-kit is a method, or series of steps, that has been developed to enable a geoheritage practitioner to systematically identify and categorise areas, geosites, or geological features of geoheritage significance at all scales (from mountain to microscale), to allocate them to a conceptual category of geoheritage and scale of reference, and to assess their level of significance for science and education (using the semi-quantitative method of Brocx and Semeniuk, 2007). The Geoheritage Tool-kit is illustrated in the accompanying Figure, with a brief description of procedures at each step; for more information on how to apply the Geoheritage Tool-kit, see Brocx & Semeniuk (2011). While Western Australia is used as the example for geological regions in the illustration, each State or Territory of course can adapt the Tool-kit with their own various geological regions. The Geoheritage Tool-kit has been recommended as a systematic inventory-based method for identifying and assessing sites of geological significance in the (IUCN) publication titled Protected Area Governance and Management (Worboys et. al., 2015). The Geoheritage Tool-kit can also be applied to existing geoheritage lists. In this case, site-based lists can be revised to include the various categories of geoheritage and updated to more accurately describe their levels of geoheritage significance (for instance, see T A Semeniuk 2018). One of the major advantages of the Geoheritage Tool-kit is that the method of assigning geoheritage significance is semi-quantitative, i.e., it is not subjective.

Brocx, M. (2008) Geoheritage: from global perspectives to local principles for conservation and planning. Western Australian Museum, Perth.

Brocx, M. and Semeniuk, V. (2007) Geoheritage and geoconservation - history, definition, scope and scale’, Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 90: 53–87.

Brocx, M. and Semeniuk, V. (2011) The global geoheritage significance of the Kimberley Coast, Western Australia.  Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 94: 57–88.

Brocx, M. and Semeniuk, V. (2015) Geology: from Antiquity to Modern Day Geoheritage and Geoconservation, with Britain as a case study.  In: E Errami, M Brocx & V Semeniuk (eds), From Geoheritage to Geoparks - Case Studies from Africa and Beyond.  Springer, Amsterdam, p. 35-53.

Crofts, R. & Gordon, J. E. (2015) Geoconservation in protected areas. In: G. L. Worboys, M. Lockwood, A. Kothari, S. Feary & I. Pulsford (eds) Protected Area Governance and Management, pp. 531–568, ANU Press, Canberra.

Semeniuk, T. A. (2018) Geoheritage in New South Wales - a reassessment of sites from the Register of National Estate (2007). In: M. Brocx, V. Semeniuk & K. Meney (eds), Thematic Issue on Geoheritage and Geoconservation in Australia. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences (in press)

Sharples, C. (2002) Concepts and Principles of Geoconservation. Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, Hobart.

Worboys, G. L. (2013) Conserving Australia’s Geoheritage. Department of the Environment, Canberra. In: Worboys, G. L, Lockwood, M., Kothari, A., Feary, S. & Pulsford I (2015) Protected Area Governance and Management, pp. 531–568, ANU Press, Canberra, pp. 531–568, ANU Press, Canberra.