Thursday, August 1, 2013

12th European Geoparks Conference

(Cilento and Vallo di Diano Geopark, Italy; 4-7 september 2013)

Cilento and Vallo di Diano Geopark has the honor of hosting the 12th European Geoparks Conference, when the global development strategies of the Earth Sciences assume an important role in the world. The geo-hazards and climate change hardly affect all human activities and can strongly condition the future of humanity . Infact, life, property, economic and financial losses due to natural hazards and the impact of disasters on society have both increased dramatically over the last couple of decades. Scientists - both physical and social-, policy makers, insurance companies, disaster managers, and the public themselves, have different ways for understanding and studying natural geo-hazards.

The choice of the Conference location is not casually done. Infact, Ascea is a modern, touristic village surrounding the Archaeological Park of the  ancient Greek city “Elea”, renamed as “Velia” by the Romans,  one of the “cradle” of the western philosophy and civilization, by Parmenides and Zenone, recently named in UNESCO world heritage.
The long and complex Ascea-Velia-Elea history represents both the first cultural, social and economics global “network” in the ancient world and testify an actual “paradigm” of cohabitation between human society and geo-hazards. In fact, Since its foundation, the town experienced natural disaster due to landslides, inundations, earthquakes, probably tsunamy’s conditioning its social and economic development. Tradition tells us how Parmenide, as nature philosopher understood type and dynamics of local geohazards, as teacher raised public awareness and, finally, as politics maker suggested planning and design measures for natural risk mitigation.

This conference aims to:

1. verify how Geoparks can direct the scientific knowledge of the academic community on these items;
2. understand how the Geoparks address these issues in the educational system;
3. disseminate the role of Geoparks on the public awareness and sustainable use of natural resources.

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