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The objectives set out in more detail what each theme is aiming to achieve. The purpose of each objective is briefly described and a number of targets for achieving each objective are outlined.

1. Foster research

To foster UK-based pure and applied geoscience research in order to better understand our geodiversity and its role in understanding and managing our natural environment.

Purpose

Understanding of the UK's geological and geomorphological processes and products, and how they influence and are connected with other aspects of the environment is increased through essential research. Through new research we can find out more about natural processes, what they tell us about past environmental change and, importantly, how we can prepare for the effects of future climate change with sustainable land-use management. Being able to identify progress in this area will help ensure that future planning is well informed.

Targets

  • Continue to undertake research that enhances our understanding of UK geodiversity.
  • Continue to undertake research that interprets UK geodiversity to support and better understand the Ecosystem Service Approach.
  • Continue to undertake research to better understand landform and surface processes to contribute to our understanding of landscape-scale management and change.
  • Use geodiversity evidence to help us better understand past climate and environmental changes and to forecast future change.

2. Recognition in policy

To increase recognition of our geodiversity in international, national, regional and local environmental and planning development policies.

Purpose

Establishing supportive policies for geodiversity is important for its long-term protection and consideration in our day-to-day activities. Encouraging the development of new geodiversity policies and integration of geodiversity into existing environmental and planning policy and guidance will contribute to achieving this and will complement its inherent links with other aspects of the environment. Activities which support this objective are those that aim to ensure that geodiversity is represented at the different levels of policies and plans we have in the UK, from Local Development Documents to national statutory policies, and which encourage geodiversity to be acknowledged on a wider scale internationally.

Targets

  • Identify policy and guidance that should include or reference geodiversity.
  • Work with relevant government departments, authorities and other organisations in order to secure wider geodiversity policy inclusion.
  • Respond to relevant consultations advocating geodiversity inclusion in development and delivery of strategic documents and overarching policy.
  • Integrate geodiversity within other environmental agenda, strategies and action plans, including the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and European Landscape Convention.

3. Demonstrate relevance to sustainable development

To demonstrate the relevance and benefit of including geodiversity across our work in relation to the natural and built environment and the role that geodiversity plays in sustainable development.

Purpose

Geodiversity is an integral component of the environment, having indisputable links with landscape, biodiversity and the historic environment. It also brings tangible social and economic benefits to our everyday lives. This objective aims to encourage better acknowledgement and understanding of these benefits or 'services'.

Targets

  • Demonstrate how to use geodiversity information to better understand, plan for and mitigate the effects of climate change, coastal erosion and flooding.
  • Identify where using geodiversity information is important to Ecosystem Services including soil formation, flood management, pollution control, mineral resources and the enjoyment of our environment.
  • Identify where geodiversity information can support the delivery of wider environmental and landscape initiatives (including landscape characterisation and delivery of the European Landscape Convention).
  • Demonstrate the sustainable socio-economic benefits that geodiversity brings for people and the cultural services it provides across a range of sectors and social agenda (for example, contributing to sense of place and a healthy lifestyle).

4. Advocate design that enhances

To advocate and support development design and restoration that incorporates and enhances our geodiversity.

Purpose

At present, much potential for geodiversity gain may be missed through a lack of consideration early on in the planning and design stages of development. Geological features that are exposed by quarrying or construction earthworks often provide great educational resources and geotourism opportunities, which can be capitalised on if the geodiversity benefits are integrated into the development or restoration scheme at an early stage in the design process. This objective seeks to ensure that, where practicable, development activities provide, for example, additional quality geodiversity resource, contribute to geodiversity understanding or encourage sustainable use and management of the resource.

Targets

  • Advocate good practice for geodiversity conservation across a range of sectors including transport, housing, mineral extraction and waste.
  • Advocate policies and environmental assessment methods that accommodate and plan for geodiversity enhancement and mitigation.

5. Establish audit

To audit and document our geodiversity including sites, archives and collections.

Purpose

Gathering and maintaining data on our geodiversity resource is vital. This objective aims to encourage auditing, interpretation and understanding of geodiversity itself. It is a crucial component of geological conservation. Having geological information underpins all other objectives and includes maps, documents, specimens, photographs and drawings in archives, databases and collections.

Targets

  • Continue to map the distribution of UK geodiversity and use a range of tools to present and interpret the mapped information.
  • Maintain and update information on nationally important geodiversity site networks.
  • Maintain and update information on locally important geodiversity site networks.
  • Identify and document new localities important to our understanding and interpretation of geodiversity.
  • Audit and maintain records of geodiversity in public collections (including collections of specimens, published material, photographs and other geodiversity ephemera).
  • Identify and better understand geodiversity in relation to other interest areas such as wildlife sites, the built and historic environment, landscape and the marine environment.

6. Conserve through sites and areas

To conserve and manage our geodiversity through appropriate recognition at international, national and local levels.

Purpose

The ability to learn from, use and enjoy our geodiversity now and in the future is dependent on its conservation. This objective is about identifying and recommending geodiversity areas as Local Geological Sites and Local Nature Reserves, geological and geomorphological Sites (or Areas) of Special Scientific Interest and National Nature Reserves, Global Geoparks and World Heritage Sites.

Targets

  • Recommend areas of international geodiversity importance including Global Geoparks and World Heritage Sites.
  • Designate areas of national geodiversity importance including Sites of Special Scientific Interest (or their equivalent), Marine Conservation Zones and National Nature Reserves.
  • Designate areas of local geodiversity importance as Local Geological Sites (or their equivalent) and Local Nature Reserves.

7. Maintain and enhance through management

To maintain and enhance our geodiversity through the management of sites, areas and wider landscapes.

Purpose

Traditionally the conservation of geodiversity has focused on the management of designated sites and, while this is important, it must not be forgotten that geodiversity is an integral part of the wider environment. This objective encourages an integrated approach to managing geodiversity as part of the wider environment alongside valuable site-specific work.

Targets

  • Establish sustainable management within internationally / nationally designated geodiversity sites and areas that maintains and enhances the features of interest.
  • Establish sustainable management within locally designated geodiversity sites and areas that maintains and enhances the features of interest.
  • Encourage integrated management of geodiversity within sites and areas designated for other interests, including biological SSSIs, Local Wildlife Sites, protected landscapes and Scheduled Ancient Monuments.
  • Establish clear objectives for geodiversity at a landscape-scale, including National Character Areas (and their equivalents).
  • Maintain the conservation and storage of public geodiversity collections.
  • Encourage conservation and restoration of landform and surface processes.
  • Manage and conserve geodiversity in response to climate change.
  • Increase access, through management, so more people can experience and understand our geodiversity.

8. Share good practice

To share experience of conserving our geodiversity through the provision of good practice guidance.

Purpose

This objective is about encouraging groups and individuals involved in conserving and managing geodiversity to share their experiences with others, so that our geodiversity is protected and enhanced in the best way possible. This can be achieved through formal written guidance, informal advice between practitioners and providing good practice information to the public.

Targets

  • Establish and support partnerships and networks that share good practice at national, regional and local levels.
  • Work with international and global networks to share our experience of geodiversity conservation.
  • Provide good practice guidance on the development of geodiversity policies for inclusion in policy documents.
  • Share good practice and experience for the establishment and delivery of Local Geodiversity Action Plans and organisational / company Geodiversity Action Plans.
  • Share good geodiversity conservation practice through publication of guidance, case studies and articles / papers in a range of journals, magazines and newsletters and through the internet.

9. Make relevant to the wider world

To interpret our geodiversity for a range of audiences and communities, making geodiversity relevant to where we live and the places we visit.

Purpose

Awareness and understanding of geodiversity can be gained through interpretation designed with specific audiences in mind. Providing accessible information that links geodiversity with people, places and nature will improve its wider recognition and increase the value placed on geodiversity by a range of audiences. We should aim to engage communities in their local geodiversity using innovative ways that are accessible to everyone.

Targets

  • Develop consistent and simple messages that support the wider recognition of geodiversity and develop initiatives that promote geodiversity.
  • Connect and involve communities in their surrounding geodiversity (including museum collections) in simple, accessible and innovative ways.
  • Use geodiversity to support sustainable tourism.
  • Increase geodiversity media coverage.

10. Use the arts to involve people

To use the arts to explore and make links between geodiversity and our cultures, involving people in geodiversity in new and innovative ways.

Purpose

It is important to nurture interest and enthusiasm in geodiversity, to encourage and maintain the support provided by people who understand the value of this resource. Different types of artistic media can be used to engage with communities including artwork, sculpture, literature, architectural design, photography and music to celebrate how geodiversity influences culture.

Targets

  • Encourage arts-based organisations and groups to use geodiversity as an inspiration and connection to the world around us, our cultural history and lives.
  • Support and advocate arts-based projects that widen our understanding of, and engagement with geodiversity.

11. Create resources to help integrate geodiversity into learning

To develop and provide educational resources that interpret, utilise and widen understanding of our geodiversity as part of formal and informal learning

Purpose

Sharing knowledge of geodiversity and its important links with people and the wider environment will ensure continued recognition and consideration now and in the generations to come. This can be achieved through the development of inspiring educational resources for all levels of formal education and beyond, including informal and life-long learning.

Targets

  • Maintain and develop the role of geodiversity across all relevant subjects.

12. Involve more people

To increase the number of people involved in conserving and advocating the value of our geodiversity

Purpose

People are important for achieving our geodiversity aspirations. We need people to be involved in all aspects, including the development of policy, conducting audits, composing interpretive materials, educating, managing geodiversity sites and engaging and enthusing yet more people in a wide variety of geodiversity activities. There are opportunities for people to contribute from existing paid positions and in a voluntary capacity and we should engage in inclusive activities which encourage and support this.

Targets

  • Encourage increased participation in geodiversity-related degrees.
  • Increase the number of people undertaking volunteer work for geodiversity.

13. Increase financial support

To increase the financial resource that supports action for geodiversity.

Purpose

Sustaining geodiversity action will require financial resources and we can seek an increase in the resources available to support geodiversity activities by working with a variety of grant providers and commercial organisations. Financial resources may be available through wider environment activities; integration of geodiversity with biodiversity, landscape, social and commercial development initiatives can provide novel sources of funding and greatly enhance the benefits of such projects.

Targets

  • Develop and share guidance and experience on funding sources for geodiversity and the process of application.
  • Increase available funding for geodiversity from grant givers, sponsors, statutory agencies, local authorities and other organisations and industries.
  • Secure resources to maintain and create further education opportunities in geodiversity.
  • Secure resources for the maintenance and acquisition of public geodiversity collections.

14. Encourage working together

To support initiatives that encourage working together for our geodiversity.

Purpose

Working together includes geoconservation groups and Partnerships, encouraging the exchange of advice and best practice and maintaining communication amongst those working in geodiversity. Successful initiatives are those which encourage working together, sharing results and establishing ideals for geodiversity action at and across local, regional and national levels.

Targets

  • Support existing local geoconservation groups and facilitate their establishment in new areas.
  • Encourage wider establishment and implementation of Local Geodiversity Action Plans.
  • Encourage a range of industries and national organisations to develop company / organisational Geodiversity Action Plans.
  • Establish a reporting process for the UK Geodiversity Action Plan and undertake a periodic review of progress.