Le géopatrimoine[1] concerne des objets de toute taille (du paysage à la taille du minéral) [qui] sont intrinsèquement (par leur valeur propre) ou extrinsèquement importants, par le regard que l’on porte sur eux, c’est-à-dire culturellement.


1 : le vocable géologique est utilisé ici dans son acception la plus large (du grec geo-logos : discours sur la Terre) […], et doit être considérée dans le cadre de ses relations avec les autres objets de la nature, de la culture, de l’histoire avec lesquelles elle est en interaction permanente. 



IUCN (The International Union for the Conservation of Nature)

The IUCN (définition) was created in 1948 as the Worlds first global environmental organization. It has more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries.

The Goals of the Union is to help the World find pragmatic solutions to most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the World and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice.


See more: IUCN


The Geopark (définition) programme was created in 1991 at the 1st International Symposim on Protection of Geological Heritage (Digne-les-Bains, France).


See more: Geopark programme


The IUGS (Heritage Site and Collections Subcommission) was created in 1993.

The Goals of this subcommission are : 

  • 1) to compile the  Global Geosites list;
  • 2) to construct the  Geosites database of key sites and terrains;
  • 3) to use the Geosites inventory to further the cause of geoconservation and thus support geological science in all its forms;
  • 4) to support regional and/or national initiatives aiming to compile comparative inventories;
  • 5) to participate in and support meetings and workshops that examine site selection criteria, selection methods or conservation of key sites;
  • 6) to assess the  scientific merits of sites in collaboration with specialists, research groups, associations, commissions, subcommissions, etc.
  • 7) to advise IUGS and UNESCO on the  priorities for conservation in the  global context, including World Heritage" (Summary of Progress for the  Executive committee, November 1999).


See more: IUGS

ProGEO (The European Association for the Conservation of the Geological Heritage)

ProGEO was created in 1993.

The Goals of ProGEO is working to promote the protection of Europe's typical and important landscapes, as well as its many-faceted inheritance of geological phenomena, all of the greatest scientific and cultural importance.

It also has an e-newsletter : GeoHeritage Journal


See more: ProGEO


The Geosee was created in 2004.

Activities developed between June 2004 and November 2005: participation in series of meetings (Denver, Beijing, Paris, Germany, New York, Salt Lake City, Krakow, Lesvos, and Salt Lake City, among others).


See more: Geo-SEE Institute


The Geoheritage Beijing Office was created in September 2006 during a Bureau meeting in Belfast-Dublin, on the basis of a former GEOSEE office which was established in Beijing in 2004 (see above under 2004).

The goal of the Office is to assist in the  promotion of GeoHeritage issues including geoparks in China, the  Global Geopark Network, database of geoparks and many other important cultural/geological heritage related issues.


Further information on definition and history of geoheritage on the IUGS website : 

IUGS - Heritage Sites and Collections Subcommission


DE WEVER, Patrick

MNHN, Paris, France