Geomorphological heritage and geoconservation in the Republic of Macedonia

Ivica Milevski, Marjan Temovski


Regardless of its relatively small area (25,713 km2), Republic of Macedonia has a rich and diverse geomorphological heritage. The reason is primarily due to the turbulent geotectonic activity and dynamics of this part of the Balkan Peninsula, in the zone of collision of the African and European (Eurasian) continental plates and their sub-segments. Also, a high impact on the geodiversity was imposed by the significant climate changes of the past. Therefore, almost all genetic types of relief are present, with the exception of the typical aeolian forms. In terms of geodiversity, from the 38 mountains in the country, 12 are higher than 2,000 m and characterized with fossil glacial and periglacial landscape. There are several mountains with typical karst landscape, while some have unique weathering landforms. There are about 30 volcanic cones and few calderas, a number of deep valleys and canyons, etc. However, regardless of the abundant geodiversity, their protection and promotion (as geo-values) was not sufficiently addressed. Generally, more attention has been paid to biodiversity, assuming that threats to the geodiversity are not as dramatic and irreversible as to the biosphere. However, this course is drastically changed in the latest years, especially with the preparation and adoption of the National Strategy for Nature Protection, where geodiversity and geoheritage have very significant place. Within the Strategy, 79 new geomorphological sites are proposed for protection, reaching almost 180 protected geosites up to the year of 2027. Thus, the results from this paper represent an important step in completing the European geoheritage database by including the data from the Republic of Macedonia.

Keywords: geodiversity, geoheritage, geoconservation, geoparks, Macedonia

© 2018 Serbian Geographical Society, Belgrade, Serbia.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Serbia

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