Towards the end of 2021, the international scientific publication known as the Geoconservation Research Journal (gcr.khuisf.ac.ir) published the second volume in the Paleontological Heritage and Geoconservation in UNESCO European Geoparks. Comprising a total of 37 articles joining the 26 already published in the series’ inaugural volume, the work, its articles are signed by representatives of the UNESCO European Geopark Network, ranging from as far north as Iceland and the Shetlands to as far south as Granada and Cabo da Gata; from as far west as Ireland and Portugal to the islands of Greece and eastern Anatolia. The contributions received present notable vestiges of our biological past, fossils and fossiliferous sites that are testamentary to both their scientific and cultural importance, as well as to their outsize influence in shaping the education of the younger generations. Grouped in geological chronological order, the first part of the volume is dedicated to the Precambrian and the Palaeozoic, while the latter half focuses on the Mesozoic and Cretaceous periods such that the entire volume depicts a geohistorical succession of lifeforms on the European continent, from the oldest to the most recent. All articles also present various ways of safeguarding this valuable scientific heritage and means of integrating it with ongoing educational efforts, with the broader dissemination of academic knowledge and with the planning of memorable tourist trails and their associated small business opportunities – in effect, making a notable and much welcome contribution to regional development, the ultimate objective of all UNESCO geoparks.
The volume is underpinned by the efforts and activity of the “Fossils” thematic group of the UNESCO European Geopark Network, coordinated – since 2012 – by Professor Dan Grigorescu, Scientific Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization. The achievements of this thematic group were presented in exhibition form in 2018 during the international reunions of European geoparks held in Aalen (Germany) and Seville (Spain). Following these exhibitions, Professor Michael Benton of the University of Bristol invited Professor Dan Grigorescu to take on the role of guest editor in the creation and elaboration of the published volumes. For the inaugural volume, Professor Grigorescu authored a laudable synthesis focused on “Paleontological Heritage and its Conservation in the UNESCO European Geoparks”, while for the series’ second outing he focused on the “Dinosaur Eggs and Babies in the UNESCO GGN “Hațeg Country” European Geopark (Romania)”.
All articles published across the two volumes in the series can be viewed on the Geoconservation Research website, available at (gcr.khuisf.ac.ir).
Front page of Professor Grigorescu’s article, available at: