Today, on October 6, 2023, the world is coming together to commemorate International Geodiversity Day, a yearly global event designed to spotlight and champion the diverse facets of geodiversity.

The central objective of this significant day is to not only celebrate but also deepen our understanding and awareness of geodiversity and its invaluable role in our natural world.

Under the theme of “Geodiversity is for everyone,” this year’s International Geodiversity Day serves as a poignant reminder of the pervasive influence of geodiversity, transcending boundaries & impacting the lives of individuals across the globe.

Geodiversity itself constitutes the non-living, fundamental portion of our planet, encompassing everything from minerals, rocks, fossils, soils, sediments, and landforms to intricate hydrological features like rivers and lakes.

Moreover, it extends its purview to encompass the intricate processes that continually shape and transform these natural elements.

In a special statement, UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay underscores the importance of ensuring equitable access to the manifold benefits that geodiversity brings to people around the world.

Geodiversity, often considered the silent partner to biodiversity, plays a pivotal role in sustaining our planet’s ecosystems and the well-being of all its inhabitants.

The significance of geodiversity extends beyond mere academic interest; it forms the cornerstone of crucial functions such as food production, water management, and energy generation.

Additionally, geodiversity stands at the forefront of the global transition towards sustainability, where responsible use of mineral resources fosters economic growth, and job creation, and paves the way for a more sustainable future.

Deepening our comprehension of geological processes is not just an academic endeavor but an essential component for understanding our past, preparing for an unpredictable future, and effectively managing our land, rivers, and oceans.

Recent events, such as the devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake in central Morocco and the destructive aftermath of Storm Daniel in Libya, have underscored the importance of this understanding for disaster management, climate adaptation & resilience.

Also read: UNESCO pleads to protect global biodiversity

Geodiversity’s value goes beyond the practical; it serves as a window into the Earth’s history, offering insights into the impacts of climate change throughout Earth’s vast timeline and the intricate story of life’s evolution on our planet.

Consequently, UNESCO is unwavering in its commitment to both promote and protect the rich tapestry of our geological heritage.

As the sole UN body with a dedicated mandate in Earth sciences, UNESCO has been at the forefront of fostering international cooperation for over half a century.

This commitment is realized through initiatives like the International Geoscience Programme and the safeguarding of unique geological landscapes and heritage in UNESCO Global Geoparks.

Furthermore, UNESCO actively ensures the preservation of geodiversity within Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage sites.