The International Declaration
of the Rights of the Memory of the Earth
In 1991, the Haute-Provence Geological Reserve organised, under the stewardship of UNESCO, the first international symposium for the protection of geological heritage. Nearly 200 participants from some thirty countries adopted the International Declaration of the Rights of the Memory of the Earth, also known as the "Digne Declaration". This text highlights the profound relationship between Humans and the Earth. It defines, for the first time, a new heritage of humanity: the geological heritage. This Declaration has been translated into some fifty languages and is still today the foundation stone of all international policies that take geology into account.
Without knowing it at the time, this Declaration announced the process of creating the Geopark.
The International Declaration of the Rights of the Memory of the Earth
- Every human being is recognised as unique, isn't it time to affirm the presence and uniqueness of the Earth?
- The Earth carries us. We are linked to the Earth and the Earth is the link between each of us.
- The Earth, four and a half billion years old, is a cradle of Life, of the renewal and metamorphosis of living things. Its long evolution and slow maturation have shaped the environment in which we live.
- Our history and the history of the Earth are inextricably linked. Its origins are our origins. Its history is our history and its future will be our future.
- . The face of the Earth, its shape, is the environment of Humans. This environment is different from that of tomorrow. Humans are one moment of the Earth's many moments ; Humans are not Earth's finality, Humans are only but passing through, a passing moment.
- Just as an old tree keeps the memory of its growth and life in its trunk, the Earth keeps the memory of the past... a memory inscribed in its depths and on its surface, in the rocks, fossils and landscapes, a memory that can be read and translated.
- Today, people understand the importance of protecting their memory, their cultural heritage. We have barely begun to protect our immediate environment, our natural heritage.
The Earth's past is no less important than humans' past. It is time that Humans learn to protect and, in protecting, learn to know the Earth's past, this memory from before Human's memory, which is a new heritage: the geological heritage.
- The geological heritage is the joint and shared property of Humans and the Earth. Each person, an earth civilian, as is each government is only the custodian, the gaurdian of this heritage. Everyone must understand that the slightest defacement is a mutilation, a destruction, an irremediable loss. Any development work must take into account the value and uniqueness of this heritage.
- The participants of the 1st International Symposium on the Protection of Geological Heritage, composed of more than one hundred specialists from thirty different nations, urge all national and international authorities to take into consideration and protect the geological heritage by means of all legal, financial and organisational measures.
Signed on June 13th 1991, in Digne, France.