DOI: 10.3390/su152416863 ISSN: 2071-1050

A Geo-Itinerary to Foster Sustainable Tourism in West African Islands: Storytelling the Evolution of the Ancient Cameroon Volcanic Line Coral Reefs

Maria Helena Henriques, Keynesménio Neto
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

This study characterizes the submerged geomorphology around Annobón, São Tomé, and Príncipe Islands, and the De Santarém–Escobar seamount in the Cameroon Volcanic Line or CVL (Gulf of Guinea, West Africa) through analyses of topographic relief and coastal bathymetry, and data from fieldwork and historical fossil collections. The clear relation between each submerged island and the seamount morphology of the CVL and the various stages of coral reef development according to Darwin’s subsidence hypothesis meets the concept of intangible geoheritage. This type of geoheritage is related to phenomena rather than to a thing, and it is usually highly evaluated by scientific communities. Academics tend to use science-based discourse to explain this theory, but it is rarely understood by non-specialist audiences. This work proposes a virtual geo-itinerary along the submerged geomorphology of the CVL islands and seamounts, which aims at telling the geohistory of the coral reefs’ origin and evolution according to Darwin’s theory, and disclosing its geoheritage contents for further sustainable uses. The resulting narrative can be used to support geotourism initiatives and to support the United Nations’ objectives for Small Island Developing States.

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