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The Sardinian Mining Geopark: The Challenge for New Sustainable Economic Development

Source: Source: Sardinian Mining Geopark Published:May 13,2009

By Ernestina Giudici, Enrico Secchi and Cristina Secci.
Published by The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability

The institution of the Sardinian Mining Geopark represents a development opportunity for an area hit severely by the end of its local mining industry.

Sardinian mines have been in operation for over 8,000 years, making them one of the most important economic resources throughout the island’s history. The Geopark, awarded with UNESCO recognition, is a new effort to convert - following a previous tough reclamation initiative - the old mining industry into a new economic development based on sustainability and, to reach this purpose, on a service-based economy.

To do so, it is first imperative that the community’s activities significantly reduce environmental pollution, the consequence of so many years of mining exploitation; second, it is necessary to emphasize the importance of human beings and their knowledge, their culture and their ability to create relations and operate together. The development of appropriate connections between all aspects of the closed mining areas - the environment, the typical handcraft, the culture, the traditions, and so on - is the key to the success of the Sardinian Mining Geopark project.

Our research aims to analyze what kind of policy decisions are being made in the Geopark area and specifically if and how the people are involved and acquainted with the project.

The research will be carried out with a survey with semi-structured interviews based on two different questionnaires: one for policy decision makers, and one for some opinion leaders and managers, teachers, and so on.