The Challenging Nature of Volcanic Heritage: The Fogo Island (Cabo Verde, W Africa)

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    • Abstract:
      Many volcanic landscapes reflect the essence of volcanism and are particularly attractive to different kinds of visitors, featuring the concept of volcanic geoheritage. The expressiveness of volcanic processes is exacerbated in active volcanoes, which increasingly attracts geotourism, despite the natural hazards associated to such geological environment. This work reports how the 2014–2015 eruption of the Fogo volcano at Cabo Verde (West Africa) affected the geoheritage of the central part of the caldera, classified since 2003 as Natural Park, and which caused the destruction of several villages but enabled the occurrence of new geosites. Chã das Caldeiras is the only inhabited area within the perimeter of the park and the unique case of human settlement inside the crater of an active volcano. Besides agriculture, geotourism is an important economic activity for the local communities, and both were devastated after the eruption. However, after the 2014–2015 crisis and despite the eruption risk the local population decided to return to the affected villages and re-start their former life, including geotourism which has since recorded enormous growth. The volcanic geoheritage has dynamic nature that stand out from the majority of stable geosites, with periodic destruction of geosites and corresponding geotouristic infrastructures, and the emergence of new geosites. But despite the costs of rehabilitating, this type of geoheritage must be seen as an economic asset capable of attracting visitors to travel to destinations subject to the risk of eruptions, therefore contributing to foster the typical community-based tourism of normally inhospitable territories. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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