'Save a Rock', citizen stewardship for protection of geological heritage in Spain

Instituto Geológico y Minero de España
Published: 04 October 2020
Last edited: 28 October 2020
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It is a free and volunteering programme established in 2017 by the Geological Survey of Spain (IGME) to promote the conservation of Spanish geoheritage through a follow-up stewardship system. Through a simple registration system, any person may watch over a place of geological interest that, for its scientific, educational or touristic value, that person thinks it is worthwhile to be preserved. They must watch over the site and care for it. Each person contributes to ensure its conservation with the following compromises: 1) To inform IGME of any threat or incident that may occur at the site; if any anomaly is detected, such as e.g. destruction or plundering of minerals or fossils, by an email address (apadrinaunaroca@igme.es); the person is contacted and requested to report on the details of the incident through a form enabled for that purpose; 2) To visit, at least once annually, the geological site of interest that is the object of the stewardship. 


West and South Europe
Scale of implementation
Coral reef
Forest ecosystems
Green spaces (parks, gardens, urban forests)
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Temperate deciduous forest
Urban ecosystem and build environment
Gender mainstreaming
Health and human wellbeing
Outreach & communications
Science and research
Other theme
Geoconservation and Geodiversity
Glacial retreat
Land and Forest degradation
Sea level rise
Shift of seasons
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Lack of access to long-term funding
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Poor monitoring and enforcement
Aichi targets
Target 5: Habitat loss halved or reduced
Target 8: Pollution reduced
Target 10: Ecosystems vulnerable to climate change
Target 11: Protected areas
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge
Target 20: Mobilizing resources from all sources
Sendai Framework
Target 7: Increase the availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information and assessments to the people by 2030


Puerta del Sol, Pl. Puerta del Sol, Madrid, Madrid 28013, España | All regions in Spain


Conserguir que los 4.000 Lugares de Interés Geológico de España tengan un voluntario que vigile su estado de conservación


Cualquier persona mayor de 18 años y organizaciones

How do the building blocks interact?

Se refuerzan los apadrinamientos desde los dos enlaces principales del programa


 1780 volunteers that take care of 1500 geosites in Spain.

400 volunteer alerts warning of conditions in real time.   It connects public administrations with citizens. Companies from the mining sector have joined to conserve the LIG located in their operations.


Instituto Geológico y Minero de España

Dimos la oportunidad a todos los voluntarios de 'Apadrina una Roca' de estar presentes en la COP25, en la Cumbre Mundial del Clima de 2019 a través de un video donde contaban la incidencia del cambio climático en la conservación de sus Lugares de Interés Geológico apadrinados. Se presentó oficialmente en la Green Area en Madrid.

Contributed by

Juana Vegas Instituto Geológico y Minero de España IGME

Other contributors

Instituto Geológico y Minero de España
Instituto geológico y Minero de España