Importance of geodiversity

Geodiversity affects all our lives and delivers important economic, social and environmental benefits for the people of Scotland.

Geodiversity is the variety of rocks, minerals, fossils, landforms, sediments and soils, together with the natural processes which form and alter them. Read a discussion on geodiversity definitions.

Our geodiversity provides a range of geosystem services:

  • Supporting services – that include the physical basis for our varied landscapes, essential soil processes and, also, provision of the foundation upon which plants, animals and human beings live.
  • Provisioning services – providing essential source of basic raw materials such as construction materials and industrial minerals.
  • Regulating services – delivering ecosystem services and functions such as flood and water quality regulation.
  • Cultural services – forming a vital part of our cultural and built heritage, and a foundation for tourism and artistic inspiration.
  • Knowledge services – giving unique teaching and scientific resources that provide essential insights into Earth history, the evolution of life and climate change.

Looking after our geodiversity is a vital part of conserving Scotland’s landscapes and nature. It’s also important to ensure that geodiversity continues to be available to help us predict and adapt to future change.

Adopting an ecosystem approach means that we take a holistic view of ecosystems – their geodiversity and biodiversity – during decision-making and we value the services they provide.

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