DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2014/B52/S20.069

PRESERVATION OF GEODIVERSITY OF THE COLCA CANYON AND THE VALLEY OF VOLCANOES AS A NECESSARY CONDITION FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE REGION

A. Galas, A. Paulo, P. Meza
Wednesday 1 October 2014 by Libadmin2014

References: 14th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2014, www.sgem.org, SGEM2014 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-18-6 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 19-25, 2014, Book 5, Vol. 2, 523-530 pp

ABSTRACT
Polish Scientific Expedition Peru (PWNP) has been documenting, unique in the world scale, environmental qualities of the Colca Canyon and the Valley of Volcanoes in south Peru since 2004. The study area is located on the active edge of the continent where development of the Andean orogeny and volcanic activity occur. The main goal of the PWNP is to protect geodiversity, the unusual landscape and values of animate nature and culture. Clearly visible records of structures and sedimentary environments, tectonic deformations, magmatic and volcanic processes, evolution of the area, and other features have been preserved in the walls of the Colca Canyon. There are areas of active tectonic and volcanic processes and landslides in its vicinity (e.g. in the Valley of Volcanoes). The Colca Canyon is the second, after Machu Picchu, the most often visited tourist destination in Peru. It is also the subject of strong investment pressure exerted especially by tourist and recreation industry. Unfortunately, the development takes place without any prepared plan or its impact assessment on places of highly rated nvironmental values. In the last few years, many rock outcrops and landscape zones have been seriously damaged by construction of hotels, tourist resorts or roads. Some of those investments have been discontinued due to too high costs, development of mass movements on the slopes or the lack of interest of potential users. The lack of set limits and scales of the development means that the basic natural values, which have been the main attraction of the area, are endangered there. The paper presents the concept of development of the area of the Colca Canyon and the Valley of Volcanoes according to principles of sustainable development. The results of indexation of the area covering identified environmental resources, including the ones endangered by anthropopression have been described and the areas suitable for certain forms of development have been identified. Scientists who were the members of the PWNP and representatives of naturalists and geologists from Peru claim that it is the last chance to preserve the true character and natural values of the Colca Canyon and the Valley of Volcanoes. The Institute IGEMMET (Peru) developed a project of Geopark project covering the Valley of Volcanoes, which is the first step to protect geological, especially volcanic phenomena, and to promote its tourist and educational values. Protection of geodiversity and landscape values, animate nature and culture require formation of the Colca Canyon and the Valley of Volcanoes National Park.

Keywords: National Park, Geodiversity, Colca Canyon, Valley of the Volcanoes, Peru