Conference PaperPDF Available

The "Save a Rock" program at COP25: citizen science to raise awareness about the impact of climate change on geoconservation

Authors:
  • Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (CSIC)
International
BUILDING CONNECTIONS FOR
GLOBAL GEOCONSERVATION
Abstract Book
Editors: G. Lozano, J. Luengo, A. Cabrera
and J. Vegas
Building connections for global geoconservation. X International ProGEO Symposium
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación
Instituto Geológico y Minero de España
2021
Lengua/s: Inglés
NIPO: 836-21-003-8
ISBN: 978-84-9138-112-9
Gratuita / Unitaria / En línea / pdf
© INSTITUTO GEOLÓGICO Y MINERO DE ESPAÑA
Ríos Rosas, 23. 28003 MADRID (SPAIN)
ISBN: 978-84-9138-112-9
10th International ProGEO Online Symposium. June, 2021. Abstracts Book.
Editors: Gonzalo Lozano, Javier Luengo, Ana Cabrera and Juana Vegas
Symposium Logo design: María José Torres
Cover Photo: Granitic Tor. Geosite: Ortigosa del Monte’s nubbin (Segovia, Spain). Author:
Gonzalo Lozano.
Cover Design: Javier Luengo and Gonzalo Lozano
Layout and typesetting: Ana Cabrera
X International Online ProGEO Symposium, Spain, 7-10th June, 2021
85
The "Save a Rock" program at COP25: citizen science to raise awareness
about the impact of climate change on geoconservation
Juana Vegas1, Ana Cabrera1, Gonzalo Lozano1, Alicia González1, Andrés Díez-Herrero1, Luis
Carcavilla1, Enrique Díaz-Martínez1, Javier Luengo1, Ángel Salazar1 & Ángel García-Cortés1
1Instituto Geológico y Minero de España (IGME), Ríos Rosas 23, 28003 Madrid, Spain. e-mail: j.vegas@igme.es
Keywords: Climate Summit COP25, climate change, geoconservation, Save a Rock, Spain.
The Spanish programme Save a Rock
Within the Spanish legislative and knowledge framework of the national Act 42/2007 and Act 33/2015
for the Natural Heritage and Biodiversity, Save a Rock (in Spanish, Apadrina una Roca) is a volunteer
programme whose main objective is the conservation of the Spanish geoheritage and which has been
extended to the Spanish Inventory of Sites of Geological Interest (IELIG, in Spanish, in: García-Cortés
et al., 2019). The Save a Rock volunteer program provides a link between the public administration and
society, of vital importance today, given the increasing participation of citizens in problems that affect
society and the environment (Vegas et al., 2018; Cabrera et al., 2019). Since December 2017, it is
possible to adopt the geosites included in the IELIG and the programme is in operation through a simple
online registration system at http://www.igme.es/patrimonio/ApadrinaUnaRoca.htm. Adoption is totally
free and we only ask that volunteers take care of geoheritage and watch over it. In these four years and
five months of operation (until May 2021) citizen response has proven to be positive, with a total of
2620 volunteers who are already watching over 1459 geosites out of 4042 IELIG geosites. Save a Rock
helps to improve the geographic coverage of surveillance over the geosites, allowing volunteers to
monitor their conservation status, which is difficult to achieve otherwise, either from public
administrations or private initiative. The programme contributes to the environmental education of
citizens and their knowledge about geology. It connects citizens with nature, promotes awareness about
the value of our natural heritage, and the need to conserve geoheritage as a responsibility that involves
everyone and not just public administrations.
Save a Rock at COP25 Chile-Madrid in 2019
The 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25, is the 25th climate change
conference. It was held in Madrid, Spain, from 2 to 13 December 2019 under the presidency of the
Chilean government. The conference included the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the 15th meeting of the parties for the Kyoto
Protocol (CMP15), and the second meeting of the parties for the Paris Agreement (CMA2). The Spanish
government divided the COP25 into two zones. The blue zone hosted sessions for negotiation between
the parties of the COP. The green zone was dedicated to civil society initiatives aiming to promote social
participation.
The Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation appealed to public research organizations on November
15 to present proposals for activities and presentations of initiatives in the green zone. In three days, the
IGME geoheritage research team prepared an action entitled "Save a Rock with the Climate Summit"
consisting in the creation of a documentary film based on the videos submitted by the volunteers of this
programme. In one minute they had to explain the real impacts that will occur as a result of climate
change in the conservation of the geosites that each of them watches over. With more than 300 proposals
received from other public organizations, the Spanish Environmental Ministry selected this action and
its documentary film to be presented on December 3rd at the green zone of COP25. This is the first time
that a citizen science programme contributing to the conservation of geoheritage has been present at a
Climate Summit. This has highlighted the vulnerability of geosites to climate change as one of the main
problems that is already affecting geoheritage.
On November 20, the petition was sent to all our volunteers through social networks (Facebook and
Twitter) and email lists so that they would send us a short video or clip. In just one minute, and with
X International Online ProGEO Symposium, Spain, 7-10th June, 2021
86
their own mobile device, they had to record themselves explaining how climate change may affect the
conservation of their geosite. November 27 was the deadline for reception and a total of 26 clips were
received. The video clips were in Spanish, English, Catalan and Galician languages. The volunteers who
participated are a representative sample of scientists, secondary school teachers and students,
representatives of associations, several Spanish UNESCO Global Geoparks, and individuals including
school age children.
Only 4 days before the event, a 30-minute documentary film was prepared with the videos that were
received in the programme’s mailbox. They were classified according to the main impacts of climate
change to which they are subjected. To connect each of these chapters, short clips from drone images
provided mainly by the Aerial Service (IGME) were used. The geosites in Spain that are most threatened
are those located in the coastal areas which may disappear due to rising sea levels in the next 50 years.
The rise in temperatures also cause the melting of Alpine glaciers in the Pyrenees, the drying of lakes,
wetlands, waterfalls and regional desertification. Changes in wave dynamics will accelerate the erosion
of coastal geosites. The greater recurrence of extreme storms originates heavy floods, which accelerate
erosive processes and landslides. The documentary ends with a message of hope and encourages all
people to get going and adapt to climate change. It is on the IGME YouTube channel at the following
link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN81B_0vb1U. On December 3rd, 2019 in the IFEMA Green
Zone Forum Hall, the program was presented and the documentary video was projected. A new pass
was made on December 13th. The most positive fact about presenting the Save a Rock program at COP25
was the reinforcement obtained in one of the main pillars of the programme, public awareness, the great
visibility that geoheritage gained, and the influence of climate change for geoconservation in the media
in the two weeks following its presentation. Amongst them, national newspapers (El País) and digital
editions of local media, television reports, radio interviews and social networks. As a result, during the
following two weeks the number of sponsorships rose with 111 new godparents and 145 newly
sponsored geosites.
Since COP25 we have been immersed in a global pandemic that has changed our way of life. However,
the Save a Rock programme has continued to grow with an increase of more than 1200 volunteers and
in the number of alerts we receive notifying us of the main incidents and impacts on geosites. During
the last year we have reinforced the outreach of the programme, with competitions among volunteers,
monthly newsletters, social media and improvements to the website. Also during this time we have
received more than a dozen alerts from volunteers that we have sent to the competent regional and
national environmental administrations, which have contributed to saving their sponsored geosites.
References
Cabrera A, Vegas J, Prieto Á, Díez-Herrero A, García-Cortés Á, Díaz- Martínez E, Salazar Á, Carcavilla L (2019)
‘Apadrina una Roca’. Participación ciudadana para la geoconservación en España. Cuadernos del Museo
Geominero, 30: 251-256. Instituto Geológico y Minero de España. ISBN 978-84-9138-082-5.
García-Cortés Á, Vegas J, Carcavilla L, Díaz-Martínez E (2019) Conceptual base and methodology of the Spanish
Inventory of Sites of Geological Interest (IELIG). Instituto Geológico y Minero de España. 205 p.
Vegas J, Cabrera A, Prieto A, García-Cortés A, Díez-Herrero A (2018) Apadrina una Roca. Un programa de
voluntariado para la conservación del patrimonio geológico en España. Enseñanza de las Ciencias de la Tierra,
26.1: 122-124.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Book
Full-text available
This document briefly explains the background of the current Spanish Inventory of Sites of Geological Interest (IELIG, in its Spanish acronym), largely based on the pioneering national inventory of points of geological interest compiled by the Geological Survey of Spain (IGME) between 1978 and 1989. The methodology used is based on a detailed review of both national and international experiences in geological heritage inventories and their conceptual base. We present the decision taken on the inventory model, and once the model is established, we describe in detail the methodology and workflow developed to identify the sites of geological interest in the target area, evaluate them quantitatively from the scientific or intrinsic point of view, and from the educational and tourist-recreational point of view. The starting point is the participation of a large panel of experts with proven experience in different fields of Earth sciences and in the specific geological domain being inventoried. This document also deals with other aspects, some of which are rarely addressed, but that need to be considered when inventorying and managing the sites, such as their precise demarcation or their correct naming, and including their detailed description. An inventory would not be complete without assessing the risk of degradation of the sites of interest, based on their fragility, vulnerability and susceptibility to degradation. Therefore, in the interest of clarity, we define these terms and describe the procedure used to quantitatively estimate these attributes. Finally, using the experience gained after years applying this methodology, we put forward recommendations to prioritize protection measures based on the estimated degradation risk. Key words: Spain, Geoconservation, Inventory, Sites of Geological Interest, Geological Heritage.
Apadrina una Roca'. Participación ciudadana para la geoconservación en España. Cuadernos del Museo Geominero
  • A Cabrera
  • J Vegas
  • Á Prieto
  • A Díez-Herrero
  • Á García-Cortés
  • E Díaz-Martínez
  • Á Salazar
  • L Carcavilla
Cabrera A, Vegas J, Prieto Á, Díez-Herrero A, García-Cortés Á, Díaz-Martínez E, Salazar Á, Carcavilla L (2019) 'Apadrina una Roca'. Participación ciudadana para la geoconservación en España. Cuadernos del Museo Geominero, 30: 251-256. Instituto Geológico y Minero de España. ISBN 978-84-9138-082-5.
Apadrina una Roca. Un programa de voluntariado para la conservación del patrimonio geológico en España. Enseñanza de las Ciencias de la Tierra
  • J Vegas
  • A Cabrera
  • A Prieto
  • A García-Cortés
  • A Díez-Herrero
Vegas J, Cabrera A, Prieto A, García-Cortés A, Díez-Herrero A (2018) Apadrina una Roca. Un programa de voluntariado para la conservación del patrimonio geológico en España. Enseñanza de las Ciencias de la Tierra, 26.1: 122-124.