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Geomorphological heritage, conservation and promotion in high-alpine protected areas
eco.mont : Journal on Protected Mountain Areas Research and Management
In recent decades, recognition of both cultural and natural heritage has grown in the Alps. This tendency illustrates a collective identity building (local, national, alpine), but it also highlights, in the current context of global change, a renewed reflection of man's relationship with the environment. Thus, a fundamental and scientific intrinsic value (as a part of wilderness) tends to be recognized in the natural heritage as a whole. However, geoheritage (and geodiversity) is still often perceived as a secondary natural component, compared with bioheritage (and biodiversity). In this context, we study the geomorphological heritage (landforms and the processes that shape them) of Les Contamines-Montjoie Natural Reserve. Indeed, despite the high geomorphological richness (especially glacial) of the reserve, which covers more than 4000 ha of the Mont-Blanc Massif, local recognition of this heritage is still limited. In order to recognize and protect it, and starting with a scientific study, this research identifies the main local richness and assesses the geotourist and educational potentials. Finally, several tools to educate and promote geoheritage (educational paths and website) are proposed.
geoheritage management, geotourism, landscape, geomorphology, natural protected area
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