Volcanic landscapes and regions provide valuable opportunities for scientific research, education, and sustainable geotourism, in addition to iconic scenery.
Volcanoes are among the most dramatic landscapes on Earth and often are popular tourist destinations. A just-launched commission of a volcanology association wants to highlight the scientific and educational value of such landscapes and help protect them as a geological heritage.
The Commission on Volcano Geoheritage and Protected Volcanic Landscapes (VGPL), which launched on 29 June during a special session at the The International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) general assembly in Prague, Czech Republic, has some big objectives. Among them are to identify the scientific value of protected volcano areas and to contribute scientific knowledge to managing these areas.
The commission, a new initiative of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI), also aims to communicate the values of geological heritage through education and interpretation and emphasize volcano geotourism for economic and community sustainable development. IAVCEI is a semiautonomous association of IUGG.