Friday, September 15, 2017

New IAPG Special Issue:
Geoethics at the heart of all geoscience

The first 5 papers of the new IAPG Special Issue on Geoethics have been published online in the Annals of Geophysics website and are now available for free download.
The special volume is entitled "Geoethics at the heart of all geoscience" and is edited by Silvia Peppoloni, Giuseppe Di Capua, Peter T. Bobrowsky, Vincent S. Cronin.
We will keep you informed about the next papers that will be published in this volume.

Papers already published:

Green Mining – A Holistic Concept for Sustainable and Acceptable Mineral Production
Pekka Nurmi

A Concept of Society-Earth-Centric Narratives
Martin Bohle, Anna Sibilla, Robert Casals I Graells

Geoethics in science communication: the relationship between media and geoscientists
Franco Foresta Martin, Silvia Peppoloni

Furthering Ethical Requirements for Applied Earth Science
Martin Bohle, Erle C. Ellis

Delivering Sustainable Development Goals: the need for a new international resource governance framework
Edmund Nickless

Free Download at:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

New paper on geoethics:
Acceptability of geothermal installations:
A geoethical concept for GeoLaB

We inform you about the following paper published online in the journal Geothermics:

Meller C., Schillb E., Bremer J., Kolditz O., Bleicher A., Benighaus C., Chavot P., Gross M., Pellizzone A., Renn O., Schilling F., Kohl T. (2017). Acceptability of geothermal installations: A geoethical concept for GeoLaBGeothermics, Available online 14 August 2017,

The growing demand for energy, natural resources and urban expansion during the last two centuries increased human interference with the geosphere far beyond geothermal usage. The increasing number of large-scale projects intervening the area of life of communities raised public concerns related to their environmental and social impact. Integration of public concerns into such projects should therefore go beyond outreach and communication measures. It requires an open approach to inclusive governance structures with respect to designing research and development processes and to modify technological options. Geoethical concepts emphasize that geoscientific knowledge may assist society in decision making as well as in dealing with risks, user conflicts and environmental threats on local, regional and global scale in order to support more sustainable practices at the intersection of human beings and the geosphere.
In the present article, we analyse the social response to recent geothermal development and identify the precondition for public acceptability of geothermal projects. On this basis, the potential contribution of a GeoLaB, a Geothermal Laboratory in the crystalline Basement, to a geoethic approach in geothermal research and technology development is discussed. The underground research laboratory is planned as an infrastructure to answer scientific challenges and to offer the necessary transparency to interact with the public. The GeoLaB approach aims on transparent, tangible science and can serve to enhance mutual understanding of stakeholder groups. It may increase public awareness on geothermal research and potentially enhance the opportunity for public approval of planned activities. As a generic site, GeoLaB can develop scientific-technological solutions for a responsible exploitation of geothermal energy accompanied by sociological studies. The underground research laboratory will serve as a platform for science communication, participation and dialogue of stakeholders from industry, politics, administration and society. This complies with the comprehension of responsible research in a geoethical sense.

Other articles on geoethics:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Monday, September 11, 2017

Training Course on
"Ocean Governance, Sciences, Geoethics"
in Chile

IAPG is partner of a traning course on "Ocean Governance, Sciences, Geoethics" organized by the International Ocean Institute (IOI) - Training Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean.
This course will be held in Valparaiso (Chile) from 8 January to 2 February 2018, and hosted by the Universidad de Playa Ancha - UPLA, at the Centro De Estudios Avanzados of UPLA.
IAPG-Brazil (coordinator: Prof. Eduardo Marone) is in charge to preprare the module on geoethics in the training course.

More information at:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Friday, September 8, 2017

A quest: Citizen Science in Geosciences?

by Martin Bohle
Martin Bohle

Corresponding Citizen Scientist / IAPG 

Picture credit:
Sven Hedin, sculpture by Carl Milles, photo taken at Millesgarden;

At the EGU General Assembly (Vienna) in April 2017 my contribution "Citizen-science, Geoethics and Human Niche" concluded that geosciences should strengthen their citizen science activities.

I like to prepare an updated view for the EGU General Assembly 2018*. Therefore, I seek information about citizen science projects / activities in geosciences; beyond geography.
In 2017 my argumentation has been:
  • The application case for geoethics 'appropriate behaviours and practices, wherever human activities interact with the Earth system' is about niche building. 
  • 'Niche building' means the design of production systems and consumption patterns that embeds geoscience expertise and relates it to citizens' daily life; They are purposefully interconnecting to the biogeosphere for well-being, care taking, and reproduction, although habitually i) without involving a geoscientist in professional capacity, and ii) knowing about the interconnection. In this manner, the everyday behaviours and practices of people influence Earth system dynamics, their inherent geoscience knowledge is a public good, and their ignorance is a public risk. 
  • Subsequently, I argued: when considering the ethical dimensions of global niche building, then the geosciences should feature 'citizen geoscience'. 
Considering practices, citizen science activities seem to be a very limited undertaking in geosciences, as initial evidence suggests:
  • Kullenberg and Kasperowski(1) estimate that less than 5% of citizen science projects are in geosciences.  
  • Searching google scholar (5/4/2017) for 'citizen geoscience' showed two entries(2). 
  • Searching the programme for the EGU General Assembly gave a short list of contributions(3). 
In 2018 I like to present at the EGU General Assembly, in the session on Geoethics*, an overview about citizen science projects/activities in geosciences.

Please help me to find these projects and activities.

(1): Kullenberg, Christopher; Kasperowski, Dick, 2016. What is Citizen Science – A Scientometric Meta-Analysis, 2016. PLOS one, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147152.

(2): i) Powell, John; Nash, Gemma; Bell, Patrick, 2013. GeoExposures: documenting temporary geological exposures in Great Britain through a citizen-science web site, Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 124 (4), 638-647, DOI: 10.1016/j.pgeola.2012.04.004;   ii) Wardlaw, Jessica 2015, 'Mars Rocks – introducing a citizen science project'. EGU-blog,

(3): Citizen Science at EGU 2017: 
  • Session IE2.1/NH9.19/ESSI3.12 Media: Citizen science and observatories for environmental monitoring, planning, and disaster resilience building; 
  • EGU2017-18275: Timing and duration of autumn leaf development in Sweden, a 4-year citizen science study;
  • EGU2017-17841: Challenges of citizen science contributions to modelling hydrodynamics of floods; 
  • EGU2017-13449:  Developing citizen science projects: Cut twigs for ‘chilling’ pupils; 
  • EGU2017-8662: Citizen Science for Traffic Planning: A Practical Example; 
  • EGU2017-17740:The PACA Project: Creating Synergy Between Observing Campaigns, Outreach and Citizen Science; 
  • EGU2017-8102: New possibilities in hydrological monitoring offered by experiences of Citizen Science: CITHYD, a web application for hydrometric measurements in rivers; 
  • EGU2017-3723: Creating a testing field where delta technology and water innovations are tested and demonstrated with the help of citizen science methods; EGU2017-7778: Reducing tick bite risk in Finland – combining citizen science and GIS for predictive modelling of tick occurrence; 
  • EGU2017-5220: Immersive participation: Smartphone-Apps and Virtual Reality - tools for knowledge transfer, citizen science and interactive collaboration; 
  • EGU2017-3310: Climate research, citizen science and art in Bangladesh; 
  • EGU2017-15595: Eco-drifters for a dispersion experiment at the mouth of the River Arno: the citizen-science contribution; 
  • EGU2017-3593: Can remote sensing help citizen-science based phenological studies?

* "Geoethics: ethical, social and cultural implications of geoscience knowledge, education, research, practice and communication", organized by the IAPG in the "Educational and Outreach Symposia (EOS)" group of sessions. Convenership: Silvia Peppoloni, Nic Bilham, Martin Bohle, Giuseppe Di Capua, Eduardo Marone; The call for abstracts will be open in October 2017.

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Thursday, September 7, 2017


IAPG-Peru organizes MINERLIMA 2017, 3rd edition of the International Exhibition of Minerals (Feria Internacional de Minerales).

IAPG-Peru Logo
This is an important event for promoting geoethics and geosciences in Peru.

Dates: 9-12 November 2017.

Venue: Spanish Center of Peru, Av. Salaverry 1910, Jesus Maria, Lima.

Organizers: Humberto Chirif, Catterine Quiroz, Mirtha Villegas, Sonia Bermudez, Carlos Carnero, Carmen Galindo (IAPG-Peru).

More information at:


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Monday, September 4, 2017

IAPG sessions on Geoethics at the RFG 2018 Conference


IAPG is technical partner of the Resources Future Generations - RFG 2018 Conference, and organizes or supports 5 sessions on different issues of geoethics under the Theme "Resources and Society: Social & Ethical Values(the extended description of each session is available at:

Session RS13 - Geoethics and Environmental and Social Responsibility: Doing the Right Thing to Develop Resources for Future Generations
Meeting the resource needs of future generations is a great challenge facing global society in which geoscientists and engineers have a vital role to play. The conveners invite submission of abstracts on practical and theoretical aspects of geoethics, and environmental and social responsibility, and on case studies, by focusing on challenges of sustainably meeting future demand for georesources. This session is jointly organized by the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics, and by the Environmental and Social Responsibility Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining.
Convenership: Giuseppe Di Capua, Silvia Peppoloni, Peter Bobrowsky, Selina Tribe, Kim Bittman, Jan Boon, Karen Chovan, Édith Garneau, Carol Jones, Roberto Lencina, Isabelle Levesque.

Session RS10 - Geoethics in geoscience education, communication and citizen science: experiences, approaches, and concepts
Sharing experiences and insights from education, communication and citizen science, particularly with reference to natural resource case studies, this session will explore the ethical principles and practices by which the geosciences can advance the well-being and progress of society. The session is jointly organized by the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics and the GSL - Geological Society of London.
Convenership: Silvia Peppoloni, Nic Bilham, Martin Bohle, Iain Stewart.

Session RS9 - Geoethics in georisks management for a safer and more resilient society
A geoethical approach to georisks management needs to combine ethical, social and cultural values with technical and economic considerations, and to increase the awareness of geoscience community and society about the importance of developing actions of prevention. Abstracts on the ethical issues, including case studies, in studying and managing georisks in the geo-resources field are welcome. This session is organized by the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics.
Convenership: Giuseppe Di Capua, Peter Brobrowsky, Vincent Cronin, Silvia Peppoloni, Stefano Tinti.

Session RS8 - Geoethics and the Responsible Conduct of Scientists
This session is focused on the ethical behaviors of scientists that are based on trust, respect, responsibility, fairness, justice and exercise of power. Interpersonal relations impact the ability of all scientists to work in a safe, inclusive, and productive environment. Contributions are invited that explore the principles, case studies, strategies, and resolution of issues that relate to professional conduct in areas such as supervisor-worker, faculty-student, editor-author, individual-team interactions, and client-contractor relations, and situational ethics such as coercion to engage unethical conduct of research, sexual harassment, bullying, and other coercive or abusive behaviors.
Convenership: David Mogk, Susan Kieffer, Cindy Palinkas.

Session RS12 - Forensic Geology: Ethics, Communication, Regulation and Opportunities
Recently, forensic geology has experienced global expansion and development, facilitated by the success of the IUGS Initiative on Forensic Geology, established in 2006. We will explore: ethical issues of geoscience data and expert opinion communication; assessing the strengths and limitations of geoscience data in forensic investigations; sampling strategies and geostatistics; ground search resources; application of geoscience databases; accreditation and regulation in forensic geology; alignment with forensic science; and case studies, including the illegal trade in geological commodities and international wildlife crime. In addition, dealing with sensitive human issues and handling human remains and sensitive data will be discussed.
Convenership: Duncan Pirrie, Rosa Maria Di Maggio, Lorna Dawson, Laurance Donnelly, Silvia Peppoloni, Giuseppe Di Capua.

Read more about these sessions at:

Start your abstract submission (Abstracts will be accepted until January 15, 2018):

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Friday, September 1, 2017

IAPG has become member organisation of the 
ICPHS - International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences

IAPG has become member organisation of the ICPHS - International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences on 6 August 2017, during the ICPHS General Assembly in Liège (Belgium).

Martin Bohle, IAPG Corresponding Citizen Scientist, represented IAPG in the ICPHS General Assembly (held at the World Humanities Conference) and gave a presentation about our Association. 

ICPHS General Assembly 2017
The ICPHS is a non-governmental organisation within UNESCO, which federates hundreds of different learned societies in the field of philosophy, human sciences and related subjects. The ICPHS ( coordinates the international works and researches carried out by a huge constellation of centres and networks of scholars. It favours the exchange of knowledge among faraway scholars and fosters the international circulation of scholars, in order to improve the communication among specialists from different disicplines, enforce a better knowledge of cultures and of the different social, individual and collective behaviours and bring to the fore the richness of each culture and their fruitful diversity. The International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies was founded on the 18th of January, 1949, in Brussels, at the request of UNESCO and under its auspices, following a meeting organized by the Union Académique Internationale to bring together representatives of nongovernmental organizations. From January 1, 2011, it adopted the designation “International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences”. The Board of the Assembly shall exercise the functions of the governing body of the Council between sessions of the General Assembly. It consists of one President, who is also President of the CIPSH, two Vice-Presidents, the Secretary-General, the Treasurer, the immediate Past President, and four to six Members. (Art. VI, §1 of the Statutes).

Read more about about IAPG affiliations, agreements and partnerships at:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Thursday, August 3, 2017

International Association of Hydrogeologists - IAH​ 
officially supports the "Cape Town Statement on Geoethics" 

IAH - International Association of Hydrogeologists officially supports the "Cape Town Statement on Geoethics" (

IAPG wishes to thank António Chambel, IAH President, and the colleagues of IAH Board for the decision taken during the IAH Executive Meeting in July 2017.

Currently 18 geoscience organizations endorse or support the Cape Town Statement on Geoethics:

  1. International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS)
  2. European Federation of Geologists (EFG)
  3. American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  4. American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
  5. Geological Society of America (GSA)
  6. EuroGeoSurveys (EGS)
  7. International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment (IAEG)
  8. International Association of Hydorgeologists (IAH)
  9. International Geoscience Education Organisation (IGEO)
  10. African Association of Women in Geosciences (AAWG)
  11. Young Earth Scientists Network (YES Network)
  12. International Association for Geoscience Diversity (IAGD)
  13. Geology in the Public Interest (GPI)
  14. Italian Geological Society (SGI)
  15. Geological Society of Peru (SGP)
  16. Geology for Global Development (GfGD)
  17. South Asian Association of Women Geoscientists (SAAWG)
  18. African Network for Geo-Education (ANGE)

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

IAPG at the XX Argentine Geological Congress 2017 

Silvia Peppoloni
IAPG-Argentina has co-organized with GEVAS-Red Argentina the Symposium "Geological Hazard and Geoethics" (Peligro geológico y geoética) at the XX Argentine Geological Congress "Geology, Present and Future", that will be held in Tucumán (Argentina) from 7 to 11 August 2017.

The IAPG/GEVAS symposium is planned on 7 August 2017 from 14:30 to 15:50 in the VIP Room of the Sheraton Hotel Tucumán.

Roberto Violante
The Symposium is co-chaired by Roberto Violante (co-coordinator of IAPG-Argentina).

Silvia Peppoloni (IAPG Secretary General) and Giuseppe Di Capua (IAPG Treasurer) will represent the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics at this event, together with Roberto Violante.

Giuseppe Di Capua
Titles of IAPG presentations:

a) Peppoloni S. and Di Capua G., Geoethical considerations in disaster risk reduction.

b) Di Capua G. and Peppoloni S., Promoting Geoethics Worldwide.

Symposium description (in Spanish):

IAPG-Argentina logo
Information about the XX Argentine Geological Congressare available at:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Monday, July 31, 2017

Contributions to a Brazilian Code of Conduct for Fieldwork in Geology: an approach based on Geoconservation and Geoethics 

The following article on #geoethics can be downloaded from the IAPG website:

Mansur K.L., Ponciano L. C.M.O., De Castro A. R.S.F. (2017)
Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências (Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences), vol. 89, no. 1, supl. 0, 431-444,

When considering the numerous events that have prohibited the development of scientific projects or caused destruction of outcrops, it is clear that there is rapidly increasing necessity to define a Brazilian Code of Conduct for geological fieldwork. In general, this destruction is attributed to lack of knowledge as to the relevance of geological sites. The aim of this Code of Conduct is to guide geologists to adopt good practices during geoscience activities. Proposed guidelines are based on Codes of Conduct from other countries, mainly Scotland and England, on situations described in papers and on the personal experience of the authors. In this paper 29 points are suggested, in order to guarantee that fieldwork is conducted in accordance with geoethics, geoconservation and sustainability values. The proposal is structured in three parts: (1) Behavior and practices in respect to local traditions and providing information to the population; (2) Measures to minimize degradation on outcrops; and (3) Safety. The proposal seeks to broaden the debate on the need for responsible behavior during fieldwork, in order to promote respect for geodiversity. Through this code, Brazilian geoscientists will be able to contribute to the conservation of geological heritage and of outcrops with special educational relevance.

geoethics; geoconservation; code of conduct; sustainability principles; geoheritage; fieldwork


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Friday, July 28, 2017

The IAPG section of Uruguay

Welcome to the IAPG section of Uruguay! 

Leda Sánchez Bettucci
The section will work under the responsibility of Leda Sánchez Bettucci, geologist, PhD researcher at the Instituto de Ciencias Geológicas (ICG), Faculty of Science, Universidad de la República, Uruguay. She is Academic founder and Head of the Geophysical Observatory of Uruguay.

More information about Leda are available at:, and

Other IAPG national sections:

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Overlapping Perimeters: 

Small-scale Fisheries Guidelines, and Geoethics

by Martin Bohle
Martin Bohle

European Commission, DG RTD
Corresponding Citizen Scientist / IAPG 

Picture credit:


This abbreviated essay (contribution to the EADI Nordic conference) contextualizes the FAO "Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication" (FAO SSF Guidelines) with reflections on the meaning of 'Geoethics'. The mutual context of both matters is provided through the lenses of four scholarly contributions to address the goal in the panel description: "… further enrich[ed] [the discus-sions] by developments arising from researching and promoting geo-ethics in the Anthropocene, thus connecting the challenges and opportunities of small-scale fisheries with other global issues". 
The first lens, "Global change and the future ocean: a grand challenge for marine sciences" [C. Duarte 2014] describes the state of the global ocean and coastal seas under the impact of anthropogenic global change, that is, within the 'Anthropocene'. Duarte offers, also a definition of 'anthropogenic global change' [p.1], namely "the global-scale changes resulting from the impact of human activity on the major processes that regulate the functioning of the Biosphere"; which in context of this essay should be read as 'functioning of the geo-biosphere'. The second lens, "Global Ocean Governance: New and Emerging Issues" [Campbell et al. 2016] brings into focus marine issue such as 'small-scale fisheries', 'ocean acidification' and 'blue carbon' as pressing governance concerns, which need to be addressed at regional and global scales, and for which the FAO-SSF Guidelines provide an advanced application case. The third lens, "Walking the talk: implementing the international guidelines for securing sustainable small-scale fisheries" [Jentoft 2014] emphasize that governance is the key challenge to implementing the FAO-SSF Guidelines; a challenge of a wicked nature that therefore requires more than a managerial approach to address it.  The fourth lens, "Earth System Governance – world politics in the Anthropocene" [Biermann 2014] shows that the implementation challenge of the FAO-SSF Guidelines is one particular realization of a more common governance challenge, which requires a normative approach to achieve a sustainable governance of the 'wicked' global commons. The human actor is a key-feature for the reflections in each of these four contributions. Similarly the understanding the meanings of the notions 'Anthropocene' and 'Geoethics' requires to put the human actor into the center of reflections.  
The focus on the human actor is the thread that entangles SSF-Guidelines, Geoethics, and the Human Niche.

A first perimeter: niche-building and small-scale fisheries

Niche-building is an anthropocentric and historical process [Bonneuil and Fressoz 2013, Ellis 2015, Latour 2015, Hamilton et al 2015, Bohle 2016, Fuentes 2016, Hamilton 2017]. Since prehistoric times people purposefully alter their environments, at local, regional or continental scale; including the coastal zone [Mee 2012].  
The fate of the small-scale fishery, which nowadays still contribute to about half of the global fish catch and employ about 90% of the respective workforce (FAO), within the industrialized use of the coastal zone (Newton et al 2012) may serve as contemporary example how people are changing the global geo-biosphere. 
The shift of the dynamics of the Earth systems happens mainly by the impact of the industrial global supply chains. Yet, the cumulated number of local artisanal activities has its global impact, in particular when triggered through environmental systems already strained by industrial exploitation. The small-scale fishery provides one example, of several, of a 'cascading eco-logical crisis' [Galaz et al. 2010] in the Anthropocene: failure of a local socio-ecological system (decreasing fish stocks in Central West Africa because of industrial over fishing) drives a cascade of crisis (Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak):

'Fish stocks have declined along the Central West African coast due to a large extent to rapid exploitation by high-tech international fishing fleet and due to the degradation of mangrove forests, sea grass beds and coral communities as a result of, for example, climate change and pollution. Consequently, diets and trading activities shift to so-called ‘bushmeat’ such as chimpanzees and flying foxes. These are well-known sources of zoonotic diseases such as Ebola, Marburg viruses and human monkeypox – all with the suspected ability to rapidly spread and cascade across scales through travel and trade. Moreover, increased bushmeat hunting has reportedly contributed to the loss of species that promote important functions in ecosystems, such as pollinators for food production. Loss of such organisms often undermine the resilience of food producing landscapes and forest ecosystems rendering them increasingly vulnerable to droughts and forest fires. The combined impacts of fish stock decline, epidemic outbreaks, additional losses in ecosystem services, water stress, and poverty put already fragile states such as Congo and Cameroon under severe pressure [Galaz et al. 2010, p. 7-8, edited]'.

In the contemporary world, the change processes of the geo-biosphere are happening simultaneously at a local, regional and planetary scale, and they are composite of natural and social processes [Hulme 2011, Tickell 2011, Monastersky 2015, Seitzinger et al. 2015, Schimel et al. 2015]. The change concerns the marine environment too, to the point that the political decision was taken to list its sustainable use among the Sustainable Development Goals [United Nations Economic and Social Council, 2016]. Geoethical thinking may facilitate actors to federate around common application cases.

A second perimeter: Geoethics and application context

The application context for geoethical thinking is known [Mayer 2015, Peppoloni and Di Capua 2016, Bobrowsky et al 2017]. Applying geoethical thinking means, for geoscientists but not only for them, including new subjects into known application context.
In a first context, geoethical thinking is perceived as tool for professional: Geoethics includes various ethical dimensions such as of individual behavior, social responsibility, and viewing Earth from different angles as a home for many (Cape Town Statement on Geoethics). Geoethical thinking searches different equilibria for a society-earth-centric view within a common frame-work, using, among other, philosophical, scientific, and socio-economic concerns. Different equilibria within a wider, common framework are needed in a diverse world: i) to reflect upon individual and professional behavior in different societal settings, as well as ii) to dwell on shared professional responsibility, integrity, know-how, mutual understanding of diversity, and intellectual hones-ty.  
In a second context, geoethical thinking is about professional ethics: when anthropogenic global change gets addressed as a governance challenge, then firm professional ethics will be needed in a context of applied geosciences; for example for matters such as risk taking, man-aging uncertainties, or revising options. Regarding the underpinning scientific, technical and socio-economic matters, each includes a range of standard ethical issues, such as whether the particular scientific and governance choice is professional 'sound'.  
In a third context, geoethical thinking is about the ethics of expert advice and (shared) com-mon sense: Today, many people ignore the processes and phenomena that shape the intersections of people's cumulated activities and the geo-biosphere. So far anthropogenic global change was unintended.  How insights about anthropogenic global change shape, including denial of global change, are subject to dynamic social and political processes, such as debates about lifestyles, preferences, values, and world-views. To that end, the practitioners, professionals, and researchers who understand the related processes and phenomena should share their professional insights with decision makers and layperson and debate publically value statements, world-views, and preferences.
In a fourth context, geoethical thinking extends the application case of human value systems: Our species has acquired the power to engineer planet Earth, namely to drive anthropocentric global change by the number of people, societal structures, and technological skills. Narrowly, anthropocentric global change is about governing the intersections of human economic activities and the geo-biosphere in function of people's needs.  Therefore, as for any governance issue, also governing anthropocentric global change is subject to value-systems.  
In a fifth context, geoethical thinking means to extend the range of applied ethics to new sub-jects: The overarching societal matters that relate to anthropocentric global change are value-driven, e.g. how to appropriate and distribute natural resources by whom and for what cost, whether to accepted side-effects and risk of collateral damages. These matters are known ethical issues. However, their complexity in the context of anthropocentric global change has no precedent, because of the number of people with different needs, diverse world-views and various preferences.  
In a sixth context, geoethical thinking is about how to take responsibility for Earth system dynamics, in anyone's daily dealings: so far people did not intend to modify planet Earth, although many were aware of the effects on the biosphere of people's cumulative activities. Yet rather recently most people had no insights into the intersection of human economic activity with the geo-biosphere. Nowadays, having lost innocence, anthropocentric global change is an intentional act, and its denial a liability.

Overlapping perimeters

The phase of human history has ended during which anthropogenic global change has happened unnoticed [Zalasiewicz 2015, Waters et al. 2016]. That insight has reached the coastal ocean and the open sea [Durate 2014]. As an illustration, small-scale fishery is one of many drivers of change. In this case the drive is through cumulated actions of many actors across diverse social-economic and natural environments, which happens within an external frame of a dominating industrialized fishery and exploitation of the coastal zone by a multitude of other ac-tors. The resulting complex 'system-to-be-governed' presents a set of wicked problems [Jentoft and Chuenpagdee 2009], which in turn engulf wicked 'governing-systems' too [Chuenpadgee and Jentoft 2013]. 
The insight gained from small-scale fisheries within an industrialized exploitation, thus one specific global change process, provides a metric for the complexity of anthropogenic global change in general. It also emphasizes the key-understanding that sustainable governance of peoples' activities at planetary scales is a wicked problem, be it for small-scale fisheries [Jentoft 2014] or mitigation of climate change [Pollitt 2016]. Hence [Chuenpadgee and Jentoft 2013, p. 344], 'overall values, norms and principles that guide institutions and actions' set an essential meta-order to iterate the way forward. Geoethical thinking is a contribution to develop such a meta-order for appropriate behaviours and practices, wherever human activities interact with the Earth system. 
Summarizing, once having lost innocence and such the citizen recognize anthropogenic global change as its anthropocentric intentional act then ethical scrutiny of actions is required. Under these circumstances, namely the perspective of an anthropocentric Holocene or the Anthropocene, geoethical thinking is a shared resource that deems helpful for the mutually respectful governance [Biermann 2014] of a sustainable planetary human niche for a global population of billions of citizens.


Biermann, F. (2014). Earth System Governance - World Politics in the Anthropocene. London: MIT Press.

Bobrowsky, P., Cronin, V., Di Capua, G., Kieffer, S., Peppoloni, S. (2017).
The emerging field of geoethics. In Gundersen L.C. (Ed.), Scientific Integrity and Eth-ics with Applications to the Geosciences (pp. xx–xx). John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Bohle, M. (2016). Handling of Human-Geosphere Intersections. Geosciences, 6(1), 3.

Bonneuil, C., & Fressoz, J.-B. (2013).
L’événement Anthropocène - La terre, l’histoire et nous. Le Seuil.

Campbell, L. M., Gray, N. J., Fairbanks, L., Silver, J. J., Gruby, R. L., Dubik, B. A., & Basurto, X. (2016). Global Oceans Governance: New and Emerging Issues. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 41(1), 517–543.

Chuenpagdee, R., & Jentoft, S. (2013). Assessing Governability ? What?s Next. In M. Bavinck, R. Chuenpagdee, S. Jentoft, & J. Kooiman (Eds.), Governability of Fisheries and Aquaculture: Theory and Applications (pp. 335–349). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

Duarte, C. M. (2014). Global change and the future ocean: a grand challenge for marine sciences. Frontiers in Marine Science, 1.

United Nations Economic and Social Council (2016). Economic and Social Council (Vol. E/2016). Retrieved from

Ellis, E. C. (2015). Ecology in an anthropogenic biosphere. Ecological Monographs, 85(3), 287–331.

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