Details of the “Global Heritage Stone Resource” proposal were first provided publicly at the 33rd International Geological Congress in Oslo in August 2008.
At the same conference it was agreed to advance the GHSR proposal under the auspices of “Commission C-10 Building Stones and Ornamental Rocks” of the International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment (IAEG C-10).
Since the Oslo conference the designation has also gained support from the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). IUGS has sponsored the publication of a paper dealing with GHSR in its journal “Episodes”, a copy of which is attached here. In February 2012, the IUGS approved Terms of Reference for its “Heritage Stone Task Group” (HSTG) in order to accommodate the proposal and to endorse international procedures that formally recognise the GHSR designation.
In early 2011, a positive dialogue has also been initiated with UNESCO World Heritage and its advisory bodies: the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the International Centre for the Study of Restoration and Preservation of Cultural Property (ICCROM).
GHSR designation may specifically complement the efforts of UNESCO World Heritage in helping to safeguard stone resources that are needed for preservation of historic stone constructions at certain World Heritage sites.
Currently the HSTG continues to gather the names of people who are interested in promoting the GHSR concept. Discussion papers on the potential GHSRs, Portland Stone in the United Kingdom, Piedra Pajarilla in Spain, Podpeč limestone in Slovenia and Rosa Beta Granite in Italy are in preparation.
Formation of HSTG Board of Management occurred during the 34th International Geological Congress in Brisbane, Australia in August 2012.
An interim list of potential GHSRs has been established in December 2012 and correspondents have been requested to suggest suitable candidates to the Secretary General, who maintains the list.
The First Heritage Stone Conference was held as a symposium within the 2013 General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna, Austria in April 2013. Publication of the proceedings is being planned.
The Task Group was upgraded to Subcommission (IUGS Heritage Stones Subcommission) in 2016, at the IUGS EC meeting in Cape Town, during the 35th International Geological Congress.
In 2017, the IUGS Bureau requested to change GHSR into Global Heritage Stone (GHS). Explanation of the petition can be found at:
However, due to the long and established use of the GHSR concept, the HSS board decided to keep this designation, with final approval of IUGS EC.