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Wadi Al-Hitan, Egypt
​B. O’Kane/Alamy

April 21, 2016. Earth / Earth’s Legacy

How Old Is The Earth?

The geological history shapes the face of the Earth in landscapes where time frames its beauty. Do you know them?

Cyril F. Kormos, Tim Badman, Russell A. Mittermeier, Bastian Bertzky

The World Heritage Convention recognizes, not only spectacular natural landscapes and our most significant habitats and species, but also our planet’s rich geological history and the physical processes that shape our world.

Conservation of geodiversity is a growing but recent part of the conservation movement’s work, seen most prominently in a new Global Geoparks initiative.

The Convention has recognized geology as a fundamental part of the planet’s heritage. As a result, it provides protection to some of our most significant geological sites, as well as a means for better understanding of the rocks, fossils, processes and landforms that testify to the long history of how Earth was formed (about 4.54 billion years ago) and has evolved.

The diversity of sites in the World Heritage list also include lesser-known superlative sites, such as the United States’ Mammoth Cave, the world’s longest cave system, or exceptional volcanoes like the Russian Federation’s Kamchatka, and the most emblematic fossil sites on the planet, including Canada’s Burgess Shale, Germany’s Messel, and Egypt’s Wadi Al-Hitan, which testify to how life has evolved on Earth.

 

This is an excerpt from the CEMEX Nature Series Book Earth’s Legacy: Natural World Heritage (2015)

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Earth’s Legacy

Natural World Heritage

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