Sunday, June 17, 2018


IAPG Session #51793
"Geoethics: Taking a Stand for Ethical Geoscience Research, Education, Communication, and Practice"

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
(deadline: 1 August 2018, 23:59 EDT)


Fall Meeting of the AGU - American Geophysical Union
10-14 December 2018, Washington D.C. (USA)



Session #51793: "Geoethics: Taking a Stand for Ethical Geoscience Research, Education, Communication, and Practice"

Convenership: Cindy Palinkas (primary convener; IAPG-USA co-chair), Vincent S. Cronin (IAPG-USA co-chair), Silvia Peppoloni (IAPG Secretary General), Chris Keane (AGI).

Session description: There is a clear need to develop ethical frameworks within which geoscientists can conduct their research, professional, education, and outreach activities. Geoethics deals with the ethical, social and cultural implications of geoscience research and practice, and so provides these frameworks in a variety of settings. For example, as scholars and experts in earth sciences, geoscientists are required to conduct research responsibly and to inform society of potential geological hazards and possible sustainable resources. As educators, they should train students in ethical practices. In all activities, they should exemplify ethical behaviors and attitudes as they interact with colleagues and students in the work environment (including offices, classrooms, labs, and the field) and seek to increase diversity and inclusion. The goal of this session is to discuss these frameworks, considering both theoretical and practical aspects. We invite contributions focusing on the ethical aspects of geoscience research, practice and education, including case studies.

This session is co-organized with AGI - American Geosciences Institute.

Abstract submission:
https://fallmeeting.agu.org/2018/abstract-submissions/


Website: https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm18/preliminaryview.cgi/Session51793


Other events on geoethics in the IAPG website: 
http://www.geoethics.org/events


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:
http://www.geoethics.org

Saturday, June 16, 2018

New dates for the
Geoscience & Society Summit  


Location and dates of the Geoscience & Society Summit changed. This event will take place in Stockholm (Sweden), from 18 to 21 March 2019.

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics co-sponsors the Summit, that aims to create a highly interactive forum for effective cooperation between scientists and users of scientific information to tackle global and local challenges around sustainability of natural resources and systems, global health, and resilience.

Participants will represent diverse global communities and sectors, including:
  • Research institutions
  • Students, scientists, and administrators from academia
  • Non-profit and philanthropic organizations
  • Government agencies and policymakers
  • For-profit corporations and industries
  • Religious institutions and indigenous communities
Anticipated cross-cutting topics include:
  • Energy and Minerals Sustainability
  • Climate Change and Ocean- and Habitat-Health
  • Water and Agricultural Production Sustainability
  • Environmental Hazards, Human Health, and Social Justice
Objectives:
  • Define: Assess the major societal challenges and the role geoscience can play to inform solutions
  • Discuss: Facilitate a dialogue between the science and user community to advance the foundational capability to tackle societal challenges by leveraging geoscience
  • Action: Develop models or processes to improve interdisciplinary engagement and science diplomacy

Information on the call for abstracts as well as submission guidelines will be provided in August 2018.

Registration will open in fall 2018.

Ten internationally recognized geoscience organizations sponsor the conference: American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America, Geology in the Public Interest, Department of Geology and Environmental Science at Wheaton College,  American Geosciences Institute, Stockholm University - Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Geological Society of London, Geoscientists Without Borders, Geology for Global Development, International Association for Promoting Geoethics.



IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:
http://www.geoethics.org

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


Spreading geoethics
through the languages of the world

Translations of the Cape Town Statement on Geoethics


The Cape Town Statement on Geoethics is now available in 35 languages: 
Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Belarusian, Bengali, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Nepali, Norwegian, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Sepedi, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu.

The IAPG pubblication that collects all the translations is for free download from the IAPG website:
http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/5195a5_f80fe698039e4f6d9bc8c5e4a5f05898.pdf

Flip book: http://fliphtml5.com/gqru/ttwl

and can be cited as follows:

Peppoloni Silvia (ed.) (2018). Spreading geoethics through the languages of the world. Translations of the Cape Town Statement on Geoethics. International Association for Promoting Geoethics (IAPG), http://www.geoethics.org/ctsg

Translations have been possible thanks to a great job done by IAPG officers, members, and followers:
Sonja Van Eck (South Africa), Marku Sokol (Albania), Mamoon Allan (Jordan), Khachatur Meliksetian (Republic of Armenia), Mary Misakyan (Republic of Armenia), Yuriy Kostyuchenko (Ukraine), Jahangir Alam (Bangladesh), Wang Meng (China), Liangliang Wang (China), Magdalena Brus (Finland), Felix Riede (Denmark), Sandra Junier (Netherlands), David Crookal (France), Isabelle Richaud (France), Morgane Le Boucher (France), Team of ExpoGeorgia (Georgia), Florian Ortner (Austria), Gerassimos Papadopoulos (Greece), Partha Sarathi Datta (India), Jasveer Singh (India), Karoli Tatarvari (Hungary), Silvia Peppoloni (Italy), Kazuki Koketsu (Japan), Kyung Sik Woo (South Korea)Shree Prasad Vista (Nepal), Bjørn Kalsnes (Norway), Sedigheh Seifilaleh (Iran), Manuel Abrunhosa (Portugal), Cristina Toma (Romania), Mahlogonolo Brillent Kobola (Suth Africa), Danka Blagojevic (Serbia), Marko Komac (Slovenia), Eli Ivonne Rovere (Argentina), Michael Msabi (Tanzania), Hema Achyuthan (India), Aybige Akinci (Turkey), Muhammad Yaseen (Pakistan).

Currently, 19 geoscience organizations endorse or support the Cape Town Statement on Geoethics: http://www.geoethics.org/ctsg


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Monday, June 11, 2018


The new IAPG leaflet is out:
please, share it!


This is the 3rd version of the IAPG leaflet (after ones of the 2014 and 2016), that can be downloaded (as pdf file) at:
http://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/5195a5_9a4ccfbe70254d62be82b5788dc7a7e0.pdf

Many thanks to Daniela Riposati (Grafica&Immagini Lab of the INGV, Italy) for the graphic design. 




IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Saturday, June 9, 2018


The IAPG section of Lebanon


Welcome to the IAPG section of Lebanon! 

IAPG-Lebanon is chaired by Soumaya Ayadi-Maasri.


Soumaya Ayadi-Maasri
She is a lecturer at the Saint Joseph University (Beirut), where she teaches and coordinates Geology and Environment at the faculties of sciences and engineering.  

She is also the President of ACE - Association for Community and Environment (www.ace4ce.org) a non-profit organization, based in the southern City of Tyre in Lebanon that works on resilience projects with communities, and development and protection of cultural and natural heritage.

She holds a PhD in Structural Geology and applied Geophysics from the University of Sciences of Tunis, Tunisia and Claude Bernard University in Lyon, France; and completed graduate studies in petroleum prospecting in association with the Hydrocarbon Tunisian Corporation (P.A. Resources).

Soumaya worked for thirteen years as expert geologist in the private environmental consulting sector (in Tunisia and Lebanon). She is an expert in natural resources management, specifically protection of aquifers; with substantial experience in master-planning solid waste management. 

She is member and moderator with the African Association of Women in Geosciences - AAWG and representative of the African Geopark Network - AGN. Among other current work, she is focusing on geoheritage protection and conservation, working on the settlement of Jezzine-Shouf aspiring geopark in Lebanon; and managing a project under the program of "building of eco-citizen capacities for sustainable development".


List of the IAPG national sections:
http://www.geoethics.org/sections.html

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:
http://www.geoethics.org

Friday, June 8, 2018


Geoethics Medal 2018

The deadline for submitting nominations is approaching!


Purpose

The Geoethics Medal rewards scientists who have distinguished themselves in applying/favouring/assuring ethical approaches in the geoscience research and practice.


Nominations

For the IAPG Geoethics Medal 2018 nominations should be submitted by 30 June 2018, by providing the following material about the candidate:

1) A CV (about 1 page) and a list of up to 10 selected publications that show the focus on ethical/social/cultural implications in the geoscience work.

2) A concise statement of achievements for merits in the geoethical field.

3) A brief encomium of the candidate and his/her work (1 page).

Proposals have to be submitted through an email to: iapgeoethics@aol.com, with the subject "Nomination for the IAPG Geoethics Medal 2018".

Nominations will be evaluated by an international committee.

IAPG officers (Members of the Executive Council, Coordinators of National Sections, Corresponding Citizen Scientists, Members of Task Groups, Members of the Board of the Young Scientists Club) cannot be nominated for the Geoethics Medal.

Website of the Geoethics Medal: 
http://www.geoethics.org/geoethics-medal


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 
http://www.geoethics.org

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

FORAM 18 pilot event
on raw materials governance

Nancy (France), 27 June 2018


The H2020 EU project Towards a World Forum on Raw Materials (FORAM - http://www.foramproject.net/) is developing and setting up an EU-based platform of international experts and stakeholders that will advance the idea of a World Forum on Raw Materials and enhance the international cooperation on raw material policies and investments.


This platform will work together on making the current complex maze of existing raw material related initiatives more effective. As such, the FORAM project will be the largest collaborative effort for raw materials strategy cooperation on a global level so far.

The objective of FORAM is to improve international resource transparency and governance for a better stability, predictability and resource-efficiency, which lead to better conditions for competitiveness on a sustainable basis.

To achieve this goal, the project has first reviewed the activities of existing national and international initiatives, programmes and policy documents and set up a Stakeholder Network composed of experts from relevant organizations, coming from G20 and other countries active in the non-energy raw materials sector materials. These stakeholders are being engaged in a structured dialogue in order to share experiences, explore partnerships and together search for ways and means for better cooperation.


David Ovadia
(IAPG-UK coordinator)
The FORAM 18 pilot event on raw materials governance, scheduled on 27th June 2018 in Nancy (France), marks an important deliverable and milestone of the EU-funded project. It is a crucial step in this stakeholder process. Its main purpose is to deepen the insights from the dialogue by means of face-to-face discussions, build connections between people and create or strengthen ownership for improving global cooperation. The event will be an excellent opportunity for networking, for information exchange and for reaching out to the media and the public about the sense of urgency for the issues at stake.

The IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics has been invited to join the FORAM 18 pilot event.

David Ovadia (IAPG-UK coordinator) will be representing the IAPG in this event. David is a British geologist with extensive experience in research, academia, geological surveys and the mining industry. He served as the Director of the British Geological Survey’s International Division until 2011.

FORAM 18 pilot event website: http://www.foramproject.net/index.php/pilot-event/

Participation at the FORAM 18 pilot event is by invitation only.


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:
http://www.geoethics.org

Monday, June 4, 2018


Just published:

GEOETHICS IN HOLLYWOOD:
HOW CAN WE PUT MORE REALITY INTO FAULT HAZARD ZONING?

by Eldon M. Gath and Tania González


Citation: Gath E.M. and González T. (2017). Geoethics in Hollywood: How Can We Put More Reality into Fault Hazard Zoning?, doi: 10.4401/ag-7541. In: Peppoloni S., Di Capua G., Bobrowsky P.T., Cronin V. (eds). Geoethics at the heart of all geosciences. Annals of Geophysics, Vol. 60, Fast Track 7.

Abstract: The 15-km-long Hollywood fault extends through some of the most densely developed and expensive areas in southern California. Given that billions of dollars of real estate could be impacted by an earthquake occurring on the fault, and that tens of thousands of people live near it, the seismic hazard posed by the Hollywood fault is concerning. But how much so? The City of West Hollywood has required geological fault investigations and building avoidance of at least 15 meters from the fault’s active trace since the mid-1990s, resulting in numerous site investigations. Geologic studies in support of the Los Angeles Metro subway and subsequent research found as-yet-unconfirmed equivocal evidence of an early Holocene-age (~8 ka) displacement event, and estimated strain rates of 0.3-0.9 mm/yr. In 2014, and following a “not-in-my-backyard” press campaign against the Hollywood Millennium project, the California Geological Survey zoned the eastern Hollywood fault as Holocene-active under their fault zoning program, requiring geological investigations and building setbacks from Holocene-age faults. In the years since the fault was zoned by the City of West Hollywood and the California Geological Survey, millions of dollars have been invested in geological studies of the fault for building projects. All of these dollars have been reluctantly spent by the private sector, and all of this work has been eagerly done by consulting firms. The results? With only four exceptions, two in West Hollywood, and two in the City of Los Angeles, and all having opportunities for alternative interpretations, no Holocene-age fault displacements have been found. Instead, other studies have found definitive evidence that the fault has not ruptured in 10s to 100s of thousands of years. So what is the ethical alternative? Should we ignore the hazard posed by the fault? Are we geo-professionals too enamored of the financial gains such regulatory zoning provides that we are unwilling to suggest changes? Could we move past the “one size fits all” zoning that requires that single-family homes are held to the same standard as 40-story buildings? In the following sections we present several case studies along the Hollywood fault and provide our suggestions for a more progressive program of fault hazard management.

Free download: http://www.geoethics.org/geoethics-ag2017


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:
http://www.geoethics.org

Friday, May 25, 2018

Geoethics at the
AGU Fall Meeting 2018


IAPG-USA and AGI - American Geosciences Institute co-organize the Session ID# 51793:

Geoethics: Taking a Stand for Ethical Geoscience Research, Education, Communication, and Practice

Convenership:
Cindy Palinkas (primary convener; IAPG-USA co-chair), Vincent S. Cronin (IAPG-USA co-chair), Silvia Peppoloni (IAPG Secretary General), Chris Keane (AGI)

Description:
There is a clear need to develop ethical frameworks within which geoscientists can conduct their research, professional, education, and outreach activities. Geoethics deals with the ethical, social and cultural implications of geoscience research and practice, and so provides these frameworks in a variety of settings. For example, as scholars and experts in earth sciences, geoscientists are required to conduct research responsibly and to inform society of potential geological hazards and possible sustainable resources. As educators, they should train students in ethical practices. In all activities, they should exemplify ethical behaviors and attitudes as they interact with colleagues and students in the work environment (including offices, classrooms, labs, and the field) and seek to increase diversity and inclusion. The goal of this session is to discuss these frameworks, considering both theoretical and practical aspects. We invite contributions focusing on the ethical aspects of geoscience research, practice and education, including case studies.

Abstract submission will start in June

Website:
https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm18/preliminaryview.cgi/Session51793


Other IAPG events:
http://www.geoethics.org/events

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:
http://www.geoethics.org

Thursday, May 24, 2018


Geoethics at the
II Simposio de Paleontologia del Perù


The II Simposio Internacional de Paleontologia del Perù, co-organized by INGEMMET - Instituto Geológico, Minero y Metalúrgico and SGP - Sociedad Geológica del Perú, will be held at the Auditorium of the SGP - Sociedad Geológica del Perú in Lima, from 27 to 30 November 2018.

César Augusto Chacaltana Budiel (IAPG-Peru) coordinates the "SESIÓN TEMÁTICA (ST6): Geoética Paleontológica, Educación y Sociedad" (Geoethics in Paleontology, Education and Society).

Themes of the session ST6 (in Spanish): 

- La geoética en la divulgación paleontológica (geoethics in the paleontological dissemination)
- La paleontología en la formación y educación de las ciencias (paleontology in science education)
- Paleontología y sociedad (paleontology and society)

Mesa Redonda: “La geoética y la práctica paleontológica para el desarrollo sostenible” (Round Table: "geoethics and paleontological practice for sustainable development").

Juan Carlos Gutiérrez-Marco (IAPG Board of Experts) will give a keynote speech in the session ST6 and will represent IAPG in the Round Table.


Read more about the session ST6 (in Spanish): 
https://app.ingemmet.gob.pe/evento/IIsimposio/paleoperu/sesion-tematica/st6


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:
http://www.geoethics.org

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


FCEA AND IAPG
SIGN AN AGREEMENT ON COOPERATION


The FCEA - Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment and the IAPG have signed an Agreement on Cooperation on 21 May 2018. The Agreement expresses a mutual desire to co-operate on a range of issues in the field of geoethics and climate engineering. In particular, IAPG and FCEA will promote the discussion about topics related to social, ethical, political, and legal implications of emerging technologies that fall under the broad rubric of climate engineering (sometimes referred to as "climate geoengineering" or "climate intervention").

FCEA's (http://ceassessment.org/) overarching objective is to assess the social, ethical, political, and legal implications of emerging technologies that fall under the broad rubric of climate engineering (sometimes referred to as "climate geoengineering" or "climate intervention").
FCEA produces policy-relevant research and commentary, and work in a variety of ways ensure that the climate engineering conversation maintains a focus on issues of justice, equity, agency, and inclusion. FCEA is an initiative of the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC.
FCEA was constituted in 2013, out of a recognition that the conversation about climate engineering responses to climate change was growing rapidly in importance, yet was narrowly restricted in terms of the scope of actors and interests.

Read more about IAPG affiliations and agreements: 
http://www.geoethics.org/affiliations-agreements


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:
http://www.geoethics.org

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


The issue #2 - 2018 
of the IAPG Newsletter is out!


The issue #2 - 2018 of the Newsletter of the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics has been released on 23 May 2018.

Summary:

- Programme of the IAPG sessions at the RFG 2018 Conference
- MINERLIMA 2018
- Calls for abstracts
- IAPG-IAH Congress in Portugal
- IAPG Workshop on Geoethics in Morocco
- IAPG Board of Experts
- Cape Town Statement on Geoethics - news
- Publications
- Geoethics Medal 2018
- International Geoethics Day 2018
- National sections
- European project Erasmus+ "GOAL"
- INTERMIN - International Network of Raw Materials Training Centres
- Articles from the IAPG Blog
- Donations


Download the IAPG Newsletter #2 - 2018 at: 
http://www.geoethics.org/newsletter


Kindly, share this post. Thank you.


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 
http://www.geoethics.org

Monday, May 21, 2018


What about Geoethics v. Geosophy?




by Martin Bohle
Martin Bohle

IAPG Board of Experts 


From: http://ukkoelhob.blogspot.it/2017/12/what-about-geoethics-v-geosophy.html 



Geoethics is about responsible geosciences. Geoethics is an emerging way of thinking within the international geoscience community. Nowadays, the notion of 'geoethics' refers to i) the responsible behaviour of professionals and researchers in geosciences, and ii) the societal and cultural relevance of geosciences. In view of inquiries into 'wider geoethical thinking', this essay asks, building on the work of R. Shaw [1], whether a notion like geo-Humanities/Geosophy could complement the notion Geoethics.

Geosciences, including Earth system sciences, refer to a range of applied and fundamental research fields, as well as related engineering disciplines and commercial undertakings. Together, they address the functioning of Earth systems, the intersections of Earth and human systems, as well as the extraction and use of (non-living) natural resources. In view of this application case, scholarly inquiry into the interfaces between geosciences and the social sciences and humanities is germane.


Initially, Geoethics was about professional ethics in applied geosciences, that is, 'geo-professional ethics'. This core of geoethical thinking was documented in peer-reviewed publications and statements of professional organisations. Subsequently, this core was expanded to tackle: i) intra-professional concerns that are common to all geosciences; ii) inter-disciplinary features of global issues that involve geosciences; and iii) general societal and cultural relevance of geoscience professions. These matters of 'enriched geo-professional ethics (and action)' contribute to the wealth of modern Geoethics, as outlined in the Cape Town Statement on Geoethics [2].

In turn, the inquiry into 'enriched geo-professional ethics' triggered questions of 'wider relevance of geoethical thinking (and action)' including for anthropogenic global change, and the historical process of building a 'human niche'. Issues to consider include: i) the day-to-day functioning of modern societies that intensively apply geoscience knowledge; ii) governance issues and quests for shared normative frameworks that geosciences may underpin; iii) participatory practices and principles for research and applications , and iv) giving meaning to human action with reference to features of societies and bio-geophysical systems.

The realm of 'wider geoethical thinking (and action)' exhibits a composite structure. The first contribution is the values that geoscientists adopt as the base of the intrinsic nature of their professions. Further contributions are the professional ethics that geoscientists apply in their dealings, the societal and environmental concerns that directly stem from geoscientists' activities, and a wide range of environmental, societal and cultural considerations that any geoscientist should share with other citizens.


Such a realm of 'wider geoethical thinking (and action)' may facilitate a fruitful mutual exchange between geosciences, social sciences and humanities. Hence, a notion such as 'geo-Humanities/Geosophy' may be instrumental in distinguishing 'Geoethics' and creating a shared space for the cultural and social aspects of the geosciences. Therefore, three research questions are on offer [3]: To what subjects does the notion 'Geoethics' refer? What additional matters complement these subjects? What generic notion is appropriate to label inquiries into geosciences society interfaces?


References

[1] Shaw R. (2017). "Knowing homes and writing worlds? Ethics of the ‘eco-’, ethics of the ‘geo-’ and how to light a planet" doi: 10.1080/04353684.2017.1311469.

[2] IAPG 2016, Cape Town Statement on Geoethics, http://www.geoethics.org/ctsg

[3] EGU 2018 General Assembly (8-13 April 2018, Vienna), Session EOS4: "Geoethics: ethical, social and cultural implications of geoscience knowledge, education, communication, research and practice" https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2018/sessionprogramme; therein a contribution together with E. Marone, S. Peppoloni, G. Di Capua, and N. Bilham.


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Saturday, May 19, 2018


Short notes about geotourism, geo-resources, and paleontology in Paraguay to frame possible geoethical problems



by Moisés Alejandro Gadea Villalba
Moisés Alejandro Gadea Villalba

Geologist
IAPG-Paraguay coordinator

email: moi7moses@yahoo.com


Disclaimer: the views expressed in this paper solemnly engage the author

Picture above:
Cerro Verá – A hill of Paleozoic sandstones



Paraguay is located in the heart of South America, surrounded by Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia, sharing with them the basins of the eastern Chaco and the western Parana
The first studies of its geology were carried out in the middle of the XX Century, and there are still a lot of geological features to be explored.

Cerro Akangue is formed by
Cretacic eolian sandstones eroded after
a regional uplifting
Many of those features constitute the geoheritage of Paraguay, and there is a great potential to develop geotourism activities, which in many countries has been a profitable economic resource.
Geotourism is a relative recent field in geology, mixing geological aspects with touristic concepts, although in a certain sense it has been practiced for centuries all over the world.
There are very few publications on geotourism in Paraguay so far. Actually, on average, geotourism is a quite unknown field in my country. 
There are extinct volcanoes, geological forms in different environments showing peculiar features, fossils, caves in limestones, old mining "relicts", remarkable rocks and minerals, tectonic elements, scenic hills, marine structures shaped millions of years ago, paleo-deserts, natural arcs, which make geotourism a possible and promising economic and scientific activity in Paraguay.
A document to propose Cerro Koĩ and Chororĩ area (in which polygonal jointings in sandstones are outcropping and currently preserved by law) as UNESCO geopark is in progress.
There are national bodies which may support geotourism in Paraguay. But we need to consider an adeguate framework of laws to promote the preservation and sustainable development of natural outstanding geosites.

Polygonal jointing in sandstones
in Cerro Koĩ and Chororĩ (Aregua, near Asunción)

A recent paper (in Spanish) has been released few months ago on geotourism opportunities in Paraguay (http://www.geologiadelparaguay.com.py/Geoturismo-Paraguay.pdf). In this paper 106 potential geosites are listed, and this inventory will be surely updated according to new discoveries and proposals.

Mining activities and natural resources


Geological deposits from Archean to Holocen have been mapped in Paraguay, some of them containing important georesources: gold, uranium, titanium, iron, cupper, evaporitic minerals, even diamonds were recently reported. Currently, mining activities are scarce, while country's economy is mainly based on cattle breeding and agriculture.
In its early stages from the foundation, Paraguay had an iron foundry (among the first ones in South America), not far from its capital city, Asunción, where instruments for shipyards and agricultural purposes were made. Iron was obtained from local rocks. When the War of the Triple Alliance broke out (fought from 1864 to 1870), the main products of the foundry became fire guns and gunpowder (the latter was obtained from sulfurs of Silurian malachites). Finally, this industrial facility was destroyed in 1869 during the war and nowadays it is a museum called La Rosada (see image). It can be considered a "relict" of past mining activities.

La Rosada, in Ybycui: The first mining facility
to obtain iron established in 1850´s
and destroyed during the war time
from 1864 to 1870
Although rocks from numerous quarries are extracted to be used for civil buildings or roads, gold mining is currently the most important activity in Guairá department. The gold is present in Cretacic dolerite dykes that cuts younger sedimentary rocks. Many people in the area get profits from this georesource.
In the 70´s, the Anschutz Corporation came in Paraguay to search for the presence of uranium deposits, which were found. Other companies are requesting permissions to search for minerals in the country. Those requests will surely increase in the future, due to also to a massive media campaign on what Paraguay can offer to the world in terms of mineral resources.

Starfish fossil in Early Silurian shales
"Paraguay is not a country with tradition in mining, but it is known for its water resources" claimed a foreign geologist who not long ago visited my country. This affirmation is true, Paraguay has plenty of fresh water resources (like the Parana, Paraguay, Pilcomayo rivers), which confer it the appellative of the "mesopothamic region" of South America. And also groundwater is a widespread resource used in vast areas of the country.
All minerals, oil and water resources belongs legally to the country. In order to extract and use them as georesources, permissions to the government must be asked for, taking into account environmental prescriptions and certifications.

Trilobites and seashells
from Early Silurian in shales
(photo by Ron Halliday)
Paleontology

Fossils from different epochs are present: Ediacarian stromatoliths (among the oldest living traces found on our planet), Permian extinct flora and petrified woods, Pleistocenic mammals. Fossils in Paraguay are protected by law. It is forbidden the extraction from the outcrops in which they are found, to trade them.
The palaeontological geoheritage in Paraguay is huge, and there is a lot of work to do in the future on it.
One of the last remarkable finding has been the long and maze-like pleistocenic tunnels digged by extinct giant armadillos. It is not known their distribution yet and they are being studied. Papers about this finding are going to be published soon.

Paleo-tunnels in lateritic soils
There is a great expectancy and optimism on new paleontological discoveries in Paraguay, especially related to Mesozoic reptiles, which is believed are "hidden" in Paraguayan rocks and hopefully will be found after in-depth studies and field work.











IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics