Global Network of National Geoparks

Workshop « Geomorphosites, Geoparks and Geotourism »

Published :May 14, 2007

Lesvos (Greece), 30 September - 3 October 2007

First circular


European countries are dealing with landscape issues and the Council of Europe has adopted in 2000 in Florence the European Convention on Landscape. In this context, geomorphology is to be considered one of the main components of landscape changes. Recently, the European Union has adopted a Manifesto on Earth Heritage and Geodiversity that is supported by the International Association of Geomorphologies.

The Working Group “Geomorphosites” has been created within the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG) in 2001. Its objectives are to promote research on geomorphosite issues, on methodologies of assessment and mapping and on conservation of the geomorphological heritage, as well as the education to geomorphosites and landscape.

Until recently, no international recognition of Earth heritage sites of national or regional importance, and no international convention on Earth heritage existed. The initiative of UNESCO to support Geoparks responds to the strong need expressed by numerous countries for an international framework to enhance the value of the Earth heritage, its landscapes and geological formations, which are key witnesses to the history of life.

The protection and sustainable development of Earth heritage and geodiversity through Geoparks initiatives, contributes to the objectives of Agenda 21, the Agenda of Science for Environment and Development into the twenty-first century adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, Rio de Janeiro, 1992) and reconfirmed by the World Summit on Sustainable Development 2002 in Johannesburg. Geology, geomorphology and landscape have profoundly influenced society, civilization, and cultural diversity of our planet.The Geoparks initiative adds a new dimension to the 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage by highlighting the potential for interaction between socio-economic and cultural development and conservation of the natural environment.

The Global Geoparks Network established in 2004, operates in close synergy with UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) World Network of Biosphere Reserves, national and international undertakings and non-governmental organizations active in geological heritage conservation.


The Workshop


The Workshop “Geomorphosites Geoparks and Geotourism” is organized in Greece by the

I.A.G. Working Group “Geomorphosites”, the University of the Aegean - Department of Geography, the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest and the Italian Association Geology and Tourism in collaboration with the European Geopararks Network. Its main objective is to discuss issues dealing with geomorphosites assessment, geopark management and geotourism development.

Geomorphological assets have always aroused interest owing to their spectacular features; nevertheless their intrinsic value cannot be based just on these characteristics but rather on the cultural, scientific, educational and geodiversity aspects. Geoparks provide the appropriate concept where the assessment and valorization of geosites can be linked with the sustainable development of the geopark’s communities, through the development of geotourism.

The aim of the Workshop is to discuss recent development and methodologies in establishment and operation of Geoparks as well as their result for the assessment, valorisation, protection and promotion of Earth heritage and especially geomorphosites in combination with geotourism and local development. New ideas in areas such as Geoconservation, Protection and Enhancement of the Geomorphological and Geological Heritage, Geodiversity and Sustainable Local Development are welcome.

Therefore, the main topics of this workshop are: 1.Geomorphosites assessment and management2.Geoparks operation and management3.Geoparks, ideal destination for recreation and environmental education4.Geotourism and sustainable development in rural areas

5. European and International initiatives on geoconservation, geotourism and local development6.European Geoparks Network - Global Geoparks Network

The Meeting will take place in Mytilene on the premises of the Department of Geography and in the Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark, from September 30 to October 3, 2007. It will include two days scientific sessions and two days field trip in the Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark.

Dead Lines

Application deadline: May 30th, 2007

Abstract submission deadline : June 30th , 2007 All abstracts must be brief (no more than 500 words), must be in English with correct spelling and grammar and be written using “Arial” font type at font size 12. Figures, tables, photographs or references should be included. The abstract should include the title, authors names and their addresses, up to 5 key words and the number of the theme to which the abstract is being submitted. The author should also indicate whether the presentation is to be given as an oral or poster contribution. In the case of more than one author, it must be indicated which individual will be presenting the contribution at the workshop.

Workshop Preliminary Program

September 30th

09.30 - 10.00

Welcome and Introduction

10.00 - 11.00


11.00 - 11.30

Coffee break

11.30 - 13.30


13.30 - 15.30

Lunch break

15.30 - 18.00


18.00 - 19.30

Visit to the Archaeological Museum of Mytilene


Dinner in a traditional fish tavern in Panagiouda village

October 1st

09.30 - 11.00


11.00 - 11.30

Coffee break

11.30 - 13.30


13.30 - 15.30

Lunch break

15.30 - 18.00


18.00 - 19.30

Visit to the Genoese castle of Mytilene


Dinner in a traditional fish tavern in Mytilene

October 2nd






biodiversity - Crossing the Lesvos island

Field trip to the Miocene volcanic centers of Western Lesvos

08.30 - 12.00

Departure from Mytilene - Kalloni - Agra - Messotopos

12.00 - 13.00

Visit to the Pithari monastery

13.00 - 15.00

Lunch in Eressos

15.00 - 17.00

Eressos acropolis - Museum

17.00 - 19.00

Eressos - Sigri. Miocene pyroclastics and the petrified forest.


Dinner in a traditional fish tavern in Sigri

October 3rd

The Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark

09.30 - 11.00

Visit to the Plaka Petrified Forest Park and coastal geomorphosites

(tafoni weathering)

11.00 - 13.00

Visit to Natural History Museum - Guided tour - Presentation and


13.00 - 15.00

Lunch with traditional food prepared by the Mesotopos women


15.00 - 17.00

Visit to the Lesvos Petrified Forest Park (the main visitors attraction)

17.00 - 19.00

The lava paths - The volcanic geosites of the Vatousa volcano.


Departure for Mytilene airport


Dinner in a tavern in Mytilene (for those who wish to stay more).


The Intensive Course
The workshop will be associated with an Intensive Course on “Geoparks management and Geotourism”, which will take place from September 25 to September 29 2007, organized by the University of the Aegean - Department of Geography,and the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest in cooperation with the European Geoparks Network and the I.A.G. Working Group “Geomorphosites”.

The course is opened to PhD and Master Students working on geoparks, geotourism, geomorphosites and landscape topics. The interested students are invited to send an application accompanied by a short CV and an abstract (one page) of the PhD or Master project.

Information on the Intensive Course


Geoparks management and Geotourism




15-20 PhD and Master students, Geoparks stuff members


Faculty of Geography, University of the Aegean, 


Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest

Co- Organisers :

 European Geoparks Network, 


Working Group “Geomorphosites” of the IAG,


Sigri, Lesvos, Greece


 September 25-29, 2007

Inscription rate:

300 € (including lessons by International staff, didactic


material, food and housing during the course, travels


during the course, participation in the workshop but not


the travel to Lesvos Greece)

Application deadline: May 30th, 2007 Scientific direction: As.Prof. Nickolas Zouros, University of the Aegean Information:, 0032- 2251036431, 2251047033


All participants are kindly requested to complete the Registration form and submit it electronically or by fax to the Organising Committee, to the following address:

Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest8th November 17, Str., Mytilene, Lesvos Isl., GR- 81100, GREECE Fax Number +30-22510-47033e-mail:

Registration Fee


Participants , 200 €.
Students and Post-graduate Students: 100 €.

The Registration Fee covers the right to attend the workshop, workshop bag abstract
volume and materials, and to participate in fieldtrip organized during the workshop.

Workshop and Intensive Course:

Participants , 450 €.
Students and Post-graduate Students: 350 €.

The Registration Fee covers the right to attend the Course and the Workshop including lessons by International staff, didactic material, food and housing during the course, travels during the course, workshop bag abstract volume and materials, and to participate in the workshop fieldtrip but not the travel to Lesvos Greece.
The reduced fee will be applied to post graduate students and to researchers working full time for an advanced degree (M.Sc., Ph.D.) at the time of registration. Those wishing to register at the student fee should attach to the registration form a photo copy of their current student card to prove the student status.
All payments related with the workshop must be made to the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest who will send a written confirmation to all the registered participants.

Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest

8th November 17, Str., Mytilene, Lesvos Isl.,
GR- 81100, GREECE
Fax Number +30-22510-47033

Registration fees can be paid in any of the following ways:

• Bank transfer Account number:IBAN GR29 0150 0580 0000 9800 2414 945, SWIFT:GHBAGRAAXXX Name of the bank: Geniki Bank / Mytilene Branch A copy of the bank transfer must be sent to the Natural History Museum by mail or fax. Unless you sent a copy of your bank transfer we will not be able to process your registration.

• Cheque

Information on Lesvos

Lesvos, renowned since antiquity, is a peaceful island rich in geographical features. The bright sunshine makes its land fertile with a vast range of vegetation, from the silver olive tothe dark green pine and its unique wild flowers. Lesvos' natural beauty, its mythology and history have inspired many poets and writers.Located in the north-east of the Aegean Sea, Lesvos is one of the biggest Greek islands. It lies to the north of Chios and close to the Asia Minor coast (Turkey) which is only 5-8 miles away. The island, which encompasses an area of 1.630 sq. km, a coastline of 370 km and a population of 92.000 inhabitants, belongs to the prefecture of Lesvos which also includes the islands of Lemnos and Agios Eustratios.The most important mountains are Mount Lepetymnos in the north with a height of 968m, a main volcanic centre activated during Miocene times, and Mount Olympus in the south with a height of 967m.There are no extensive plains on Lesvos. A multitude of headlands and the numerous gulfs and bays are what give the island its distinctive look, unique in the Greek archipelago. During the Cenozoic period Lesvos took its present impressive shape which the famous poet O. Elytis (Nobel prize 1980) likened to the leaf of a plane tree. The sea enters deeply into the southern portion of the island and forms the two enchanting gulfs of Kalloni and Gera. Small coves and fishing harbours ornament its shores and the headlands along the coast are most picturesque.The warm climate of the island, its fertile soil, and abundant water supply have created the lush green Lesvos that every visitor enjoys today. Olive groves and pine trees cover mountains and plains on the central and eastern part of the island while a wide variety of aromatic and medical herbs are also present. Eleven million olive trees produce more than 20.000 tons of olives per year. These ancient, boundless olive groves, the forests of pine, the thousands of varieties of plants and trees all make for an enchanting island landscape.

Mytilene, the capital of the island, is largely built on the ancient town. It spreads amphitheatrically around the harbour with extensions to the northern and western heights. To the north of Mytilene’s harbour the Venetian castle crowns a magnificent pinewood which reaches down to the shore. It is one of the largest mediaeval castles in the eastern Mediterranean. Places of special interest are the Ancient Theatre with its marvelous acoustics, the Archeological Museum, the Byzantine Museum, the Theofilos Museum, the Teriade Museum of Modern Art and some of the monumental churches, having both impressive architectural features and ecclesiastical articles.On the northern edge of the island stands the picturesque town of Mythimna (Molyvos) which has been declared a settlement subject to preservation. Its impressive castle crowns the town from Byzantine times. On the western edge of the island lie Sigri and Eressos, small villages in an area of incomparable wild and stark beauty, where visitors can encounter large accumulations of fossilised tree trunks comprising the well-known «Petrified Forest of Lesvos». The glossiness and the chromatic variety of the petrified pieces is fascinating. On Megalonisi, the island which protects the bay of Sigri, lie some marvellous trunks of petrified trees. The Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest, located in Sigri since 1994, undertakes scientific research on the natural monument, as well as the preservation and promotion of the petrified forest. In the village of Sigri, the small castle built by the Turks in 1757 to protect the fishermen's locale has been kept in good condition.

Southeast of Sigri lies the beautiful country town of Eressos, birthplace of the poet Sappho and the philosopher Theophrastus, who is considered the father of modern Ecology and Botanology. The outstanding beach of Eressos, almost 3km long and 70 m wide, was deemed the cleanest in Greece.