Prof. Patrick McKeever

UNESCO/IGCP Executive Secretary

Prof. Dr. Patrick James Mc Keever received his Ph.D. in Geology in 1990 with his dissertation on “Studies on the Sedimentology and Palaeoecology of the Permian of Scotland.” From 1990 to 1995 he was employed by the Department of Geology, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, as Post-Doctoral Research Associate to research aspects of the diagenesis of quartz cements from hydrocarbon reservoir sandstones from the North Sea. From 1995 to 2012, he worked in the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland as Principal Geologist to encourage the wider understanding of geology and geological heritage; and to assist communities and organisations in promoting sustainable economic development by use of their geological heritage.

Since 2001, Prof. McKeever has been working with the UNESCO-endorsed European Geoparks Network. Initially providing geological support and advice for the Marble Arch Caves Geopark (County Fermanagh, Ireland), he was elected vice-coordinator of the wider Network in 2002 and re-elected to this position in 2005, 2007 and again in 2009. He is also very active in promoting the network, advising potential new members and carrying out evaluation and revalidation missions.   He was an advisor to the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences at UNESCO for the Global Network of National Geoparks (GGN) and has undertaken many expert missions on their behalf. He has been instrumental in helping to draft the application guidelines and statutes for the GGN, is a member of the UNESCO Geoparks Experts Bureau and a key advisor on geoparks and geological heritage to UNESCO and the World Conservation Union, IUCN. During 2006, Prof. Mc Keever organised the Second UNESCO International Conference on Geoparks which was held in Belfast, in September 2006, and was attended by over 300 people from over 32 countries from all continents.

Prof McKeever is a scientific evaluator for IUCN on behalf of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. In 2006 he was invited to join the UK’s Geoconservation Committee of the Geological Society and in 2007 he was invited to become a member of the World Convention on Protected Areas.  He is a member of the scientific board of the International Geoscience Programme on behalf of Ireland and in October 2009 he was the official representative for the Republic of Ireland to the biannual UNESCO General Conference. In 2008 he was invited as a visiting professor to the Institute of Environment Research (Lestari) at the National University of Malaysia.  

In May 2012, Prof Mc Keever joined UNESCO as the new Chief of Section at the Global Earth Observation Section and as Secretary of the International Geoscience Porgramne.

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