The World Cultural
and Natural Patrimony Convention
was adopted in the 1972 UNESCO General Conferece, in accordance with ICOMOS - International Council for
Monuments and Sites, with the purpose of preserving the unremovable testimonies
of old civilizations and natural landscapes.
International Convention was adopted in 1989 by 111 Part-Coutries, Brasil
between them. The fundamental objective is the recognition of natural and
cultural sites around all the world that are of exceptional interest and of a such universal
value that their protection is considered to be of all Mankind responsability.
this Convention, the nations recognize that:
(a) each country maintains
under its custody for the rest of Mankind those parts, either natural as cultural,
of the World Heritage,
(b) the international
community has the compromise of supporting any nation in the practice of this responsibility,
if the resources of this nation are not sufficient, and
(c) Mankind must exercise
the same sense of responsibility for the works of the Nature, as
well as for the works made by its own human hands.
Nevertheless, the domain of any World Heritage Site is exercised by the country
where the site is located and the inclusion in the World Patrimony List is made
only by the concerning nation.
international cooperative mechanism is the World Heritage Committee (WHC)
composed by 21 specialists elected by and amongst the 100 nations that signed
the Convention, with an equitative representation of the different regions and
cultures of the world.
Heritage Sites are divided in two main sections: one cultural and the other natural,
the last one including Geology and Paleobiology. These sites are sufficiently selectives
and strictly limited in number.
purpose of geological identification of the sites of exceptional universal value, in 1989/90
was started a listing,
world broad, named Global Indicative List of Geological Sites (GILGES). This list
is available to the World Heritage Committee in view to support suitable decisions.
Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) orientates the final decision of the
World Heritage Committee (Coutries-Part), in basis of the indications brought to
it. It must be emphasized that GILGES list is not a definitive one and requests
a submission to be revised. It's an open-ended list and its implementation can
be done either by aditions as well by supression, which means, it is iteractive
by its own nature.
The Working Group on Geological and
Palaeobiological Sites (Geotopes) is a cooperative project of UNESCO (through
World Patrimony Secretary of Ecological Sciences Division), IUGS
(International Union of Geological Sciences), IGCP (International Geological
Correlation Programme) and IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of
Nature). The three most common areas of activity of this Working Group are:
1. World Heritage List,
in which are prepared the recomendations to the IUCN;
Indicative List of Geological Sites - GILGES with a few hundreds of sites
listed up to now and new proposals being received.
Database of Geological Sites - IUGS GEOSITES.
Data Base is established in Trondheim, Norwege, at the IUGS Secretary, which is
encharged to provide
informations about maximum possible number of geological sites at a worldwide
level, amplifying and giving support to the GILGES. It must expand gradually to include
thousands of sites of first order of importance to the global geology and palaeobiology. IUGS GEOSITES represent
an important contribuition to IUGS, expressing its big interest in the World
At the end
of 1993, the National Department of Mineral Production of Brazil-DNPM (Departamento
Nacional de Produção Mineral) was requested to give support to the Working Group on Geological and
Palaeobiological Sites of the World Heritage by its presidente Dr. J.W.Cowie,
with proposals to Brazil for the GILGES and/or to the Global
Database of Geological Sites - IUGS GEOSITES. In consequence it was reccomended
to create in the DNPM ambit a National Working Group of the Geological and
Palaeobiological Sites, in support to the international group.
march, DNPM promoted in its headquarters, in Brasília, a meeting of various institutions
aiming an effective and broad brazilian participation, according to the
objectives proposed by that Working Group. In this way it was instituted the
Brazilian Commission on Geological and Palaeobiological Sites-SIGEP (Comissão Brasileira dos Sítios
Geológicos e Paleobiológicos), today represented by the Brazilian Academy of
Sciences-ABC (Academia Brasileira
de Ciências), the Brazilian Association of Quaternary Studies-ABEQUA (Associação
Brasileira para Estudos do Quaternário),
the National Department of Mineral Production-DNPM (Departamento Nacional de Produção Mineral),
the Environment Institute of Brazil-IBAMA (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio
Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis), the National Historical and
Artistic Patrimony Institute-IPHAN (Instituto do Patrimônio
Histórico e Artístico Nacional), the Geological Survey of Brazil-CPRM (Serviço Geológico do Brasil),
the Brazilian Speleological Society-SBE (Sociedade Brasileira de Espeleologia),
the Geological Society of Brazil-SBGeo (Sociedade Brasileira de Geologia) and the
Paleontological Society of Brazil-SBP (Sociedade Brasileira de Paleontologia).
established that the main duty of SIGEP – to organize the brazilian sites indicated
to the GILGES –
had to be supported by the management of a national data bank in a permanent
updating. For that, the Commission will be gathering proposals, recording new
significative occurrences and evaluating the risk and degradation conditions of
the candidate sites. Once approved, the sites had to be obliged to the promotion
of basic and applied researches, to the diffusion of knowledge in the Earth
sciences area, to the strengthening of a conservationist conscientiousness, to
the stimulus of educational activities, recreative or touristics, always in prol
of the participation and social-economic development of local communities. All
these goals are followed by the necessity of establishing own strategies of
monitoring and maintenance of integrity of the major geological sites of
As part of
the objectives of the program, the brazilian group, aiming the national and
international divulgation, defined as a goal the edition of a technical book
dealing, with many details, the most standing out geological and
palaeontological sites of Brazil. Its format, constituted by various volumes,
reflects the permanent character of the national evaluations of the
geoscientific patrimony. Future volumes will be dealing with the divulgation of
new sites countersigned by the geoscientific community.
invitation-letters were ditributed to institutions and researchers incentivating
the proposal of sites to be described. Since then, the invitation is opened also
to the community in general using internet as the vehicle (http://www.unb.br/ig/sigep
now readdressed to http://sigep.cprm.gov.br )
being accepted to analysis the indications presented in a specific form. The
selective procedure attended the guidance of the Working Group behind referred,
of evaluation of the sites according to a mutual relativity inside a
specific tipology (palaeobiologic, palaeoenvironmental, petrologic, stratigraphic, etc.),
having as criteria:
i) its singularity in the
representation of its tipology or category;
ii) importance in the characterization of regional or global key-geological
processes, geological periods and outstanding records of historical evolution of
iii) scenic expression;
iv) good state of conservation, and
existence of mechanisms assuring conservation.
OF THE 1ST
closure of the edition of the first volume happened at the end of 2001, with 58
sites described, organized according individual chapters, of various authors.
Each site can represent a punctual occurrence or even a region marked by various
representative occurrences. There are also places that gather sites of different
natures in respect to the origin, age or specific processes and, in these cases,
they are best understood as National Parks or Conservation Unities.
of each site, in the chapter structure, deals with its precise location, justification
on its relevance, history of the discovery and synthesis of previous works, its
specific characteristics and, finally, the existing mechanisms for its
protection, giving prominence to the actual state of conservation of the site,
reccomendations and eventual restrictions to the various uses.
The sites presented
in this work attend to some main categories: palaeontologic, palaeoenvironmental,
sedimentologic, geomorfologic, marine, igneous, speleologic, history of the
geology and one astrobleme.
situations of interest are represented:
a) expressive manifestation of Tertiary
magmatic activity as flows, plugs, necks and dikes of alkaline-ultrabasic
b) outstanding variety of features, typical structures
and vestiges of palaeoenvironments going from Archaean until Quaternary (moutonnée
rock, striated pavement, stromatoliths, varvites,
classic stratigraphic type-localities and type-sections, sedimentary structures
and depositional systems);
c) significative multiplicity of landscapes, shapes and types of topographic relief
impressive by their fascinating beauty (ruinform reliefs, inselberg landscapes,
plateau scarp borders, suggar loafs, canyons, dune fields, impact structures,
d) isolated marks of the history of minnings (Camaquã copper mine,
Jaraguá gold trenches, Sopa diamantiferous conglomerate).
palaeontological sites, in particular, represent an exuberant multiplicity of fossil
specimens, either macro- as micro-animals, vertebrates, invertebrates and vegetals (trees,
leaves, pollens, petrified forests, etc.), distributed from the Neoproterozoic
up to the Tertiary.
the speleological sites, mainly developped in Proterozoic carbonatic rocks which,
besides the exuberant beauty portrayed all around the Country by wonderful cave
porchs, louvers, hydric underground systems and complex articulation galeries,
with espeleothems present in delicate adornments or outstanding assemblages,
have extraordinary scientific importance for representing and enclosing palaeoenvironmental
and palaeobiological records, elucidatives of the climate dynamics that affected
our continent during the Quaternary.
Actually, three volumes have
been published and their digital copies can be downloaded from this site or by
VOLUME I printed (40 Mb) -
VOLUME II printed (338 Mb) -
printed (345Mb) - DOWNLOAD