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First UNESCO International Geodiversity Day | 6 October 2022

First UNESCO International Geodiversity Day | 6 October 2022


International Geodiversity Day was officially proclaimed by UNESCO in 2021 and the first one will be marked on Thursday, 6 October 2022. It is a worldwide celebration to promote the many aspects of Geodiversity - the variety of geology and geological features on the Earth. Ireland has a rich geodiversity due to its 1.8 billion years of geological history and its many locations on the planet over its long history. 

Geological Survey Ireland protects and promotes Ireland's geodiversity through the County Geological Audits, mainly done in association with The Heritage Council and the local authorities. Key sites in each County are described under 16 themes. The sites are afforded protection by being listed in the County Development Plans. While a region has no control over the level of geodiverity present, and it is not possible to increase an area's geodiversity, it is possible to protect and promote it. Almost all counties have been completed and the reports are available from our website. 

The Geodiversity of Ireland can also be seen first-hand in Ireland's three UNESCO Global Geoparks, The Copper Coast Geopark, The Burren and Cliffs of Moher GeoparkThe Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark and in Joyce Country and Western Lakes aspiring Geopark. We would also encourage anyone wanting to expore more about Ireland's Geodiversity to visit our current and past geoheritage grant-funded projects to see how our past, present, and future are connected to our geodiversity. 

UNESCO International Geodiversity Day events: Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark is holding an event for children and those interested in rocks and fossils on the Saturday, 8 October. More details can be found at Rock Detectives | Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark. The Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (GSNI) held an event called "A Story Through Time – Exploring Northern Ireland's Geodiversity" on Saturday, 1 October from 10:30am to 3:30pm at the GSNI Core Store in Belfast. 

Geological Survey Ireland has an on going exhibition Down to Earth at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, to celebrate the scientific exploration, past and present, of Ireland's geology. The exhibition contains many materials that are derived from our unique Geodiversity and form an integral part of our everyday lives.

The UNESCO International Geodiversity Day will bring together people, communities, organisations, and countries across the world. Co-ordinated activities will include educational, awareness-raising, and public and policy engagement activities. The website has more information regarding the UNESCO International Geodiversity Day. 

More details are available at Home | Geodiversity Day where many events in Ireland and overseas are listed. 

What is Geodiversity? Geodiversity is all the parts of nature that are not living, it is all around us and in most things we use. It includes everything from rocks, minerals and fossils, to soils and spectacular landscapes shaped by earths processes that have been occurring in Ireland over the past 1.8 billion years. Geodiversity is often referred to as the basis for biodiversity.