Wednesday, July 19, 2017



Sociedad Geológica del Perù - SGP​ 
endorses the "Cape Town Statement on Geoethics" 


SGP​ has endorsed the "Cape Town Statement on Geoethics" (http://www.geoethics.org/ctsg).

IAPG wishes to thank the SGP President, Carlos Monges Reynes, and the SGP Council.

Currently 17 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 Geoscience Education Organisation (IGEO)
  9. African Association of Women in Geosciences (AAWG)
  10. Young Earth Scientists Network (YES Network)
  11. International Association for Geoscience Diversity (IAGD)
  12. Geology in the Public Interest (GPI)
  13. Italian Geological Society (SGI)
  14. Geological Society of Peru (SGP)
  15. Geology for Global Development (GfGD)
  16. South Asian Association of Women Geoscientists (SAAWG)
  17. African Network for Geo-Education (ANGE)

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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


IAPG and SGP signed an Agreement for Cooperation


On 3th July 2017, IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics and SGP - Sociedad Geológica del Perù (Peruvian Geological Society) has signed an Agreement for Cooperation.
The aim of the agreement is to promote a co-ordinated policy for promoting initiatives and events of common interest. 
In particular, IAPG and SGP will promote the involvement of their members in discussion on ethical and social implications of geoscience knowledge, education, research, practice and communication. IAPG and SGP will cooperate in the organization of the geoscience event "MINERLIMA". 
Finally SGP recognizes officially "IAPG-Peru" as the "Sección Especializada en Geoética, Cultura Geológica y Sociedad of the Sociedad Geológica del Perú".

SGP is a legal non-profit entity, founded on 3th July 1924. It comprises together geologists, other professionals, corporations, government entities and people interested in the earth sciences. Its main objectives are the diffusion of earth science and the promotion of scientific and technological research inside and outside the country, promoting cultural exchange with other organizations, collaborating with public and private universities and scientific institutions in the country and abroad in geological research. Likewise, SGP promotes the development of activities of extraction and rational use of natural resources.

SGP website:
http://www.sgp.org.pe/


Affiliations and Agreements of IAPG:
http://www.geoethics.org/affiliations-agreements

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

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


GeoloSketchers: drawing geology





by Isaac Camps Gamundi
Isaac Camps Gamundi


Geologist and scientific editor. 
Author of www.blocdecamp.cat, blog dedicated to the geological heritage of Catalonia (Spain)


Geolosketchers is a network of people joined by the interest in geology and for drawing.
The first GeoloSketchers meeting took place in February 2017. 
GeoloSketchers' meetings involve the collective practice of the open-air drawing in places where geology has a particular relevance and possesses visual-appealing elements.

GeoloSketchers is inspired by the Urban Sketchers movement and is mainly focused on drawing scenes of the natural environment, a widely used tool in geology and other related sciences. 
The procedure of a GeoloSketchers meeting is very simple:

  1. A public call to attend on a given date and place is launched through a social network. The location is an accessible space with relevant and visual-appealing geological features. Attendance is free of charge and no registration is required. 
  2. Attendants must cover their own expenses and join each meeting under their own responsibility.
  3. During the meetings participants are briefly introduced to what can be observed as well as to any interesting points of the area. This initial explanation excludes guided walks and/or drawing demonstrations. 
  4. Participants explore the surroundings of the area of interest, look for the most attractive spots, and start to draw. 
  5. A few hours later, GeoloSketchers meet again at the starting point and show their drawings to the group. Participants take group photos at the meetings and share them online.
The objectives of these meetings are:
  • Boosting the playful and artistic aspects of geology (It is not an academic activity).
  • Facilitating that people who like geology, to draw, and to practice their hobby as a group while meeting other people.
  • Awakening the interest of citizens for the geological heritage.
A group in Catalonia has been set up (www.geolosketchers.cat), but Geolosketchers is an open initiative seeking to engage all the people interested in geology and who also like to draw; and it is envisioned that it will be spread as a global movement, in other regions of the world (either administrative or geological boundaries), by forming groups sharing the same idea. These groups would be autonomously organized following the same operating model and the same code of conduct exposed in an eight points manifesto:
  1. We like geology and we like to draw.
  2. We meet in areas where the geology is an important and attractive aspect of landscape and motivates us to draw any of its aspects, no matter of the scale.
  3. We draw what we can observe in situ or what we can interpret from what we are observing.
  4. Any drawing technique and supporting tool can be used.
  5. Our meetings are voluntary, open, free of charge, non-competitive and unpaid.
  6. We share our drawings online.
  7. We help each other.
  8. We respect the natural environment, people who live there, their property as well as the public property.
From these points it is necessary to emphasize three ethical implications in this initiative:

  • Creative freedom. Any technique, style or skill is valid.
  • Altruism. This activity does not seek any economic benefit, and must be supported by volunteering.
  • Respect for the environment. This activity cannot cause any kind of negative impact on the environment and the people.
If one or more people (leaders) decide to promote a local chapter by themselves, they should let it know to geolosketchers@gmail.com so that a list can be established, so that to facilitate the future creation of a website acting as a global directory, calendar and benchmark. 


More information related to this article are available in the journal of the College of Geologists of Spain (in Spanish): 



IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


A new book on groundwater management by an IAPG member


Now available:

BETTER GROUNDWATER GOVERNANCE ONLY CAN ENSURE SUSTAINED WATER SUPPLY
by Partha Sarathi Datta

LAP Lambert Academic Publishing (2017-05-26), pag. 100, ISBN-13: 978-3-330-32219-6.
Website: https://www.lap-publishing.com/catalog/details//store/gb/book/978-3-330-32219-6/better-groundwater-governance-only-can-ensure-sustained-water-supply

Description: 
All countries are confronted with water scarcity of varying types. The daunting biggest challenge for the authorities is in protecting groundwater from depletion and pollution, and making sound managing decisions on complex issues/activities that may affect water supply at local and basin scale. For short-term situation management when water supplies are affected, the managers usually adopt approaches, which involve eliminating immediate, unacceptable impacts on human and the environment, groundwater-use restrictions, regulation, balancing time and resources. However, these may require more research, time, regulations, funding, technology, etc., and be expensive/complex. This book identifies the issues that affect water supply; and makes scientific endeavors to improve all stakeholders’ awareness and understanding of real groundwater problems, and suggests governance approaches by relevant policies, with strong peoples’ participation efforts by behavioral change. The analysis may be especially useful to professionals in water governance and communication for long-term solutions to ensure sustained water supply, implementing water resources protection strategies for public benefit.

Author:
Partha Sarathi Datta has a professional experience in geosciences of forty years. 
Currently, he is an Independent Consultant on water and environment from July 2012. 
During the past decades, he held positions as Project Director (NRL/IARI), Professor and Principal Scientist (Hydrology) at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi (1988 - 2012); Scientist In-Charge (Technology Assessment) at NISTADS, CSIR, in New Delhi (1985-1988), working as Member Secretary of the High Level Technical Committee on Hydrology for the Government of India, in the context of the International Hydrological Program (IHP/UNESCO), and in the Asian Regional Coordination Committee on Hydrology (UNESCO) at the National Institute of Hydrology, in Roorkee (1983- 1985); Scientist of the International Hydrological Program Unit (CSIR), in New Delhi (1979-1983); and Visiting Scientist at Physical Research Laboratory, in Ahmedabad (1975-1979).
Partha Sarathi Datta is member of the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics.


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

Thursday, June 15, 2017


The issue #2 - 2017 of the IAPG Newsletter is out!


Summary:

- Congresses (Slides, posters and photos from EGU 2017; Call for abstracts on geoethics in Morocco and Nepal; updating on RFG 2018)
- Cape Town Statement on Geoethics: news (good news from SGI and GfGD)
- New national Sections (IAPG-Pakistan)
- New Task Group ("Responsible Mining")
- Affiliations/Agreements (IAH, IUGS-IFG, GfGD)
- From national Sections (news from Egypt, Ukraine, Portugal, Peru, United Kingdom, Pakistan)  
- From IAPG Blog (articles by authors from Nigeria, Malawi and Canada)
- From our community (articles by authors from Italy, Switzerland and USA) 
- Donations


Download the IAPG Newsletter #2 - 2017 at: 
http://www.geoethics.org/newsletter


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

Monday, June 12, 2017




IAPG Task Group on Responsible Mining


An IAPG Task Group on Responsible Mining (TGRM) has been formed on 8 May 2017 and officially appointed by the IAPG Secretary General, Silvia Peppoloni.
The goal of the TGRM is to draft a document on “Responsible Mining”, on values and concepts to be considered and their importance for future generations in the perspective of a sustainable development of our societies.
This document will give essential elements of reference to frame this important topic in an ethical perspective, in order to push different stakeholders to take into consideration (and possibly formally adopt) an orienting document which recalls them to the efficient and prudent exploitation and use of geo-resources, the respect of natural environment by minimizing the impacts of mining activities, the strong awareness of local populations and cultures, the adoption and application of high standards of quality and upgraded health and safety conditions in the working environment, the development of new innovative technologies and processes, and the implementation of eco-friendly and socio-friendly best practices.

The Task Group on Responsible Mining is composed of:


Jan Boon (Canada)
He has a Ph.D. in geochemistry. He is member of the Environment and Social Responsibility Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining and of the Instituto de Ingenieros de Minas del Perú.

Pekka Nurmi (Finland)
He has a long career at the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK), and is currently the Director of Science and Innovations, and the vice of the Director General.

Nikolaos Arvanitidis (Sweden)
He is an Economic Geologist. Presently he is Head of Economic Geology Division at the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU).

Giuseppe Di Capua (Italy)
He is a research geologist at the Italian Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV). He is founder member and treasurer of the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics.

More information about the Task Group are available at: 
http://www.geoethics.org/tgrm


Picture credit: https://twitter.com/aua_crm


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

Wednesday, June 7, 2017



11th Asian Regional Conference of IAEG [ARC-11]

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS 

November 28-30, 2017
Kathmandu (Nepal)


Theme 12: Geoethics in Engineering Geology and georisk reduction 
(organized by IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics)

IAEG defines "Engineering Geology" as "the science devoted to the investigation, study and solution of the engineering and environmental problems which may arise as the result of the interaction between geology and the works and activities of man as well as to the prediction and of the development of measures for prevention or remediation of geological hazards". This definition implies evident ethical and social implications in geo-engineering research and practice. 
In fact, the interaction man-Earth system produces surely modifications in natural dynamics and equilibria, so managing the natural environment requires great responsibilities by scientists, practitioners and industry in order to minimize the impact on ecosystems, to use geo-resources prudently, to protect the geoheritage and geodiversity, to respect local populations and their cultures.
In addition, engineering geology is a fundamental discipline to help society to face natural hazards, to reduce geo-risks and to improve the societal resilience, through accurate scientific studies and effective geoengineering design.
Finally geo-education campaigns and communication to population should be considered as fundamental collateral activities and a real social duty of every scientific activity.
This theme will collect abstracts discussing ethical and social aspects in engineering geology, from theoretical to practical issues, including case-studies, with a special focus on ethical and social issues related to geo-risks reduction.
The theme 12 is organized by IAPG – International Association for Promoting Geoethics (http://www.geoethics.org).

Prepare abstract of your presentation and submit registration form online: 
http://iaegarc11ngs.com/uploads/template.dotx

Information about the abstract submission: 
http://iaegarc11ngs.com/content/11


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics: 

http://www.geoethics.org

Friday, May 26, 2017


IAPG-Pakistan: 1st Business Meeting - Minutes



The 1st Business Meeting of IAPG-Pakistan has been held on 15th May, 2017 at 10:00 AM in the Conference Room of the Department of Geology, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan (AWKUM). 

Coordinator Mr. Muhmmad Yaseen & Co-coordinator Emad Ullah Khan, Lecturers of the Department of Geology - AWKUM chaired the meeting and welcomed the members.

The following members attended the meeting and presented their ideas about the subject "Strengthening of IAPG-Pakistan Section":

1. M. Yaseen, Lecturer.
2. Emad Ullah Khan, Lecturer.
3. Junaid Ali Shah, Research Assistant.
4. Anwer Ali, Superintendent.
5. M. Ibrahim, Field Assistant.

M. Yaseen presented the agenda of the meeting and suggested future strategies and networking of the IAPG-Pakistan section.

In the first half of the meeting, the progress of the IAPG-Pakistan section were discussed in details. 

Furthermore, M. Yaseen suggested that proposals for an international or national level conference for strengthening and widening the impact of IAPG section in Pakistan should be submitted.

Both coordinators presented a report about a field work organized recently to nearby quarry/mines named Nowshera Reef Complex, one of the best exposed reef limestone with abundant fossils. Aims of the geological field work were to collect data about this important geo-heritage site in Pakistan that suffers destructions day by day. 

The same report will be submitted as a research article and will be asked to be uploaded in IAPG blog.

Figure: participants in the 1st Business Meeting of IAPG-Pakistan to discuss about the strategy for promoting geoethics in Pakistan.


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

Thursday, May 25, 2017


IAPG and GfGD sign an agreement for cooperation



On 24th May 2017, Silvia Peppoloni (IAPG Secretary General) and Joel Gill (GfGD President) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement between IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics and GfGD - Geology for Global Development.


Joel Gill (GfGD) and Silvia Peppoloni (IAPG)
The aim of the Memorandum is to collaborate in the promotion of geoethics as an important consideration for all geoscientists, particularly emphasizing the role of geoethics in delivering sustainable development in low-income countries.

GfGD (http://www.gfgd.org/) is a registered charity in England and Wales, existing to champion the role of geology in sustainable international development, mobilizing and reshaping the geology community to help deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030).

GfGD aims to pursue this vision (in particular, but not exclusively) through the following activities: communications, educational material, training courses, placement opportunities, by promoting research in all aspects of that subject and publishing the useful result, providing grants, equipment and services (in particular but not exclusively education and training in geology) to individuals in need, other charitable organizations, and/or other organizations working to prevent or relieve poverty. The values which underpin the work of GfGD are helpfully articulated by the Cape Town Statement of Geoethics, endorsed by GfGD in 2017, as stated in GfGD’s strategy.


IAPG affiliations and agreements: http://www.geoethics.org/affs-agrs

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

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Why Nigerian miners should go to Big Church Green





by Greg Odogwu
Greg Odogwu

Member / IAPG-Nigeria





In 2011, more than 400 children died from lead poisoning as a result of artisanal mining in Zamfara State. Five years later, another episode of lead poisoning occurred in Niger State, this time killing about 50 children. Government, international development agencies and local civil society organisations led the process, which ensured that the epidemic was arrested and the locations decontaminated.
But, one has yet to see any robust engagement of miners and businessmen in a process for restructuring mining activities in Nigeria in a way that it would become sustainable and ensure a safe and healthy environment. From all indication, mining is still carried on without giving a thought to best practices and geoethics.

The artisanal miners are not organised; even the ones organized like in the case of coal mining, oil mining, and yes, water mining, the businessmen involved are rapaciously taking from the Earth without any sense of responsibility to her and to the people they find in the location of their mining activities.
Businessmen generally play by unspoken business ethics; but what about geoethics? That is, in a general term, observing ethical behavior while developing geo-resources. Perhaps, professionally the practice of developing and organising these sets of ethics philosophically, socially and geo-scientifically is a relatively new concept globally, and one would then expect that it could still take some time before trickling down to us.
Therefore, indigenous miners would do well to borrow a leaf from one Nigerian who has identified with the emerging field of geoethics: Dr Olakunle Churchill of Big Church Green, a miner and entrepreneur himself.

Although it is a relatively emerging field in geosciences, geoethics is gradually assuming importance because observing ethical behaviour while developing geo-resources or while dealing with geohazards, has become an urgent need in today’s society. Geoscientists have a duty to educate society on prudent and eco-friendly use of these resources, and also to increase the preparedness of society in dealing with geohazards.
Such geo-hazards in Nigeria are lead poisoning discussed above; and the first-of-its-kind tremors experienced in two Nigerian states last year.

We cannot afford to play the ostrich, saying we are so blessed by God that we are sort of ‘exempt’ from natural disasters. The truth is more logical: As we keep on taking from our God-given natural resources, the Earth is stressed, and demands all the sense of conservation and responsibility we can muster.
Take for instance, water mining – we call it "borehole drilling". It is perfectly okay to dig boreholes and extract water if it is of good quality. However, extraction should be not much more than whatever water can get back into aquifer, otherwise, depth of ground water table shall go deeper and all bore well owners shall have to deepen their boreholes at extra costs. If any single individual digs a deeper bore and pumps out more water using more powerful pump, the water table will fall and some shallow bore holes shall go dry.

In India, the geographies where ground water table has gone too deep, any further exploitation is stopped by the government and no more boreholes are allowed. In other areas in the country, rainwater harvesting is encouraged so that aquifers can get water which tube wells shall extract round the year.
In South Africa, citizens are required to register for boreholes and this entails ground water specialists to check and verify if is well suitable for drilling.
Just like in other turfs of socio-economic activities, people need a pioneer or reference point in order to test, accept or replicate commercial trends and innovations. Nigeria’s Churchill could become the poster boy of ethical mining in our sub-region.

For many years, mining has been considered as a non-sustainable activity. This is because mining includes the physical removal of a non-renewable resource from one site for further processing and use. The resource itself is thus not sustainable. Sustainability of mining is a relatively recent concept, which embodies geoethical behaviour towards the society close to the mining area. The concept cannot be left to academics and activists alone to champion.
The issue is simple. The society close to mines is considered to have several types or aspects of capital, such as natural resources capital, educated people or human resources capital, infrastructure, employment opportunities, health services, productive farms, a clean environment, and social institutions. All these are what we can call the social capital, which contributes to a stable social order and community wellbeing.
Due to mining activities in its neighbourhood, the natural resources capital is permanently lost, with possible partial loss in other aspects of capital, like a clean environment. Sustainable mining incorporates compensation for the society towards these losses by increasing several other capital assets mentioned above.
During the operation of mining, various aspects of the capital of the society can be enhanced by the mine developers, like education for children, job opportunities for elders, health services at a company hospital, and the infrastructure for an electricity supply, roads and markets. These would continue during the several years or decades of the mining operation.
However, even after active mining stops, sustainability for the society can be achieved by effective rehabilitation processes.

Shrikant Daji Limaye, Vice-President of IAPG – International Association for Promoting Geoethics (http://www.geoethics.org) and Director of Ground Water Institute (an India-based NGO), discussed an exemplary scenario in his treatise entitled "Observing geoethics in mining and in ground-water development: An Indian experience" (published in the Special Issue: Peppoloni Silvia and Di Capua Giuseppe (Eds.). Geoethics and geological culture. Reflections from the Geoitalia Conference 2011. Annals of Geophysics, 2012, Vol. 55, No 3, p.163 http://www.geoethics.org/geoethicsag).
"One of the coastal cement factories in India used a farmer friendly approach in ground water use. The farmers in the surrounding villages were worried that the factory would pump a lot of ground water from its mining lease areas at high levels, for the construction and operation of the factory, thereby promoting sea-water intrusion into irrigation wells of the farmers located at the lower levels closer to the sea.
The factory authorities declared that they would not pump any ground water from the mining area. The factory entered into an agreement with the farmers that the farmers should supply water to the factory from their wells rather than using it for irrigation and the factory would pay them in cash on a daily basis, which would be much more than what they could earn from the irrigated crops.
After the factory started working at full capacity, it used hot gases in the chimney for sea water desalination for industrial use. The factory also promoted ground water recharge by using the lowest levels of the mine pits as ground-water recharge ponds during the monsoon rainy season. This increased the water availability in the wells of the farmers, and also checked the intrusion of saline water in the aquifer."

It would be germane to remind Big Church Group that because of its niche as one of the mining industry players in Nigeria, it should go beyond identifying with the local IAPG geoethics group; by also incorporating the concept into its ongoing agro-charity projects: The Green Project, where it targets to empower youths from each state of Nigeria.
The youths from the 36 states of the federation should be empowered with knowledge of Geoethics, in order to "catch them young" for environmental sustainability. This will effectively refocus some of them into taking up relevant disciplines in higher education and then be at the vanguard of further institutionalising geoethics both in the academia and at the governmental levels.
Geoethics is promoted by IAPG worldwide as a "tool" to ensure socially responsible behaviour in mining activities. In this sense, Nigeria could become a leader in Africa. 

As Mahatma Gandhi said, God has provided enough resources for everyone’s need not for everyone’s greed.


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Thursday, May 11, 2017


Deforestation and landslide hazard in Malawi: 

a geoethical perspective



by Annie Sylverio Jere
Annie Sylverio Jere


(Geologist at Akatswiri Mineral Resources, IAPG member, Malawi; email: jere.annie@gmail.com)


Picture above: 
2016 landslides induced by rainfalls in Chiweta, Rumphi districts. Landslides have blocked the road (source: http://www.faceofmalawi.com)



Trees have a fundamental role in the conservation of the environment by averting potential natural disasters. Through the absorption of harmful gases, trees save us from dangers resulting from the imbalance of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide occurring in the earth’s atmosphere (Nail, 2008). Moreover, as well known in the agricultural knowledge, trees prevent soil erosion. However, not often mentioned is also the role that trees play in preventing landslides.

Landslides are defined as the downward and outward movement of slope-forming materials under the influence of gravity, and in most cases water is equally involved (Varnes, 1978). Landslides description depends on the nature of their occurrence, they are sometimes called slides/slumps, avalanches, rockfall, and flows (Msilimba, 2007 & Varnes, 1978). Landslides of greater magnitude are mainly associated with failure of slope during earthquakes or rainfalls. The destabilization of materials (rock and soil) forming a slope, changes in water concentration levels and loss of woody vegetation may also trigger landslides (Broadhead and Forbes, 2011). Logging, trail construction, and forest conversion are some of activities that increase erosion and slope instability.

The roots of forestry vegetation help stabilize hill slopes by reinforcing soil shear strength (Abe and Ziemer, 1991).   Deep rooted trees and shrubs have the ability to reinforce shallow soil layers, anchor soil to bedrock, and form buttresses that resist soil movement, making shallow rapidly moving landslides less likely to occur (Broadhead and Forbes, 2011 & FAO and PECOFTC, 2013). Soil moisture levels are also reduced by the forest cover and undergrowth vegetation. This entails that landslides can be minimized or entirely averted though their main cause is natural.

In Malawi, landslides are prevalent in all the three country regions (Msilimba and Holmes, 2010). Quite a number of landslides have been documented in various papers. Most of these landslides are induced by continual heavy rains. Deforestation, which is being driven by rising demand for agricultural land, biomass energy (firewood and charcoal), timber and settlement purposes, is also considered among the main causes for the occurrence of landslides.

In the year 1946, Zomba experienced devastating landslides and floods which affected the Zomba plateau (the second largest mountain in Malawi), due to the heavy rains that fell continuously lasting for a number of days (Edwards, 1948). Landslides coincided with floods that claimed lives of many people, destroyed villages, homes and farms. Until now they are considered as the most catastrophic landslides and floods ever occurred in the district. Because of the destruction they caused, locals called those landslides and floods "Napolo" (a serpent that came to destroy many lives).

Rapid deforestation of sloping hills is attributed to economic activities such as, agricultural practices, logging, mining, development of residential areas, tourism (Broadhead and Forbes, 2011). These activities are the necessary catalysts to induce slope failure since the vegetational roots that are supposed to provide stability to the soil are destroyed (Bischetti et al., 2009). The recent deforestation in the Zomba Mountain has increased tremendously following the rapid growth of population. Trees are also being cut down for timber and the creation of space for farming and settlements. The inconsiderate deforestation of the mountain may result in the occurrence of landslides in the near future if no proper action is taken. Removal of forests from sloping land surely increase landslide risks. Even after the forestal regeneration, high landslide hazard remains, since the rooting strength may take up to two decades to recover to previous levels (FAO and PECOFTC, 2013).


Zomba Mountain, with the extent of deforestation,
and part of Zomba City
The removal of forest or brush cover and the replacement with grass or crops has often been found to substantially increase the susceptibility of hill slopes to landslides (Glade, 1998). Forests are also significant as they also serve as an effective barrier against rock, debris and soil falls from higher elevations, as well as to diminish the distance of the landslide run-out (FAO and PECOFTC, 2013). Grasses, which have shallow roots, take up most of the land when all trees have been cut down, as a result the slope becomes susceptible to the instability (Broadhead and Forbes, 2011).

The foot of Zomba Mountain hosts a city that in the future will be likely affected by even more deadly and devastating landslides than in the past. The occurrence of landslides may also damage the drainage systems, destroy riparian vegetation, induce soil erosion, accelerate the land degradation of the hill slopes, and reduce the scenic beauty of the mountain (Msilimba, 2007). Even though important policies have been implemented, Zomba population should be sensitized more on the importance of preserving trees in the mountain. Energy Statistics Database (1990) showed that more than 60% households in Malawi use firewood and charcoal for cooking (Broadhead, 2016). So, developing alternative sources of energy will contribute to prevent deforestation and reduce the landslide hazard, with positive repercussions on the protection of the natural environment and the safety of population.


References

Abe K. and Ziemer R.R. (1991). Effect of Tree Roots on Shallow-Seated Landslide. Proceedings, Geomorphic Hazard in Managed Forests. XIV IUFRO World Congress, 5-11 August 1990, Montreal, Canada, USDA  Forest Service Gen. Tech. Report PSW-130, Berkeley, California.
Bischetti G.B., Chiaradia E.A., Epis T., Morlotti, E. (2009). Root cohesion of forest species in the Italian Alps. Plant Soil (Impress), Doi: 10.1007/s11104-009-9941-0.
Broadhead J. & Forbes K. (2011). Forests and landslides: The role of Trees and Forests in the Prevention of Landslides and Rehabilitation of Landslide-Affected Areas in Asia. FAO, Bangkok.
Broadhead J. (2016). Nation al statistics Related to Woodfuel Production and Consumption Developing Countries, Survey-Based Woodfuel Studies, and International Recommendations on Woodfuel Surveys. Technical Report Series GO-17-2016.
Edwards T.A.C. (1948). Zomba Floods, December, 1946; Extracted from The Nyasaland Journal, 1.
FAO & The Centre for People and Forests (RECOFTC) (2013). Forest and Natural Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia and the Pacific. Brief Policy.
Glade T. (1998). Establishing the Frequency and Magnitude of Landslide-Triggering Rainstorm Events in New Zealand. Environmental Geology, 35.
Holmes P.J. & Msilimba G.G. (2010). Landslides in the Rumphi District of Northern Malawi: Characteristics and Mechanisms of Generation. Nat Hazards. Doi:10.1007/s11069009-9495.
Msilimba G.G. (2007). A Comparative Study of Landslides and Geo hazard Mitigation in Northern and Central Malawi: Thesis Submitted for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree,        Faculty of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, Department of Geography, University of    the Free State.
Nail S. (2008). Forest Policies and Social Change in England. Springer Science and Business Media. World Forest, Vol. 6.
Varnes D.J. (1978). Slope Movement Types and Proccesses, Landslides-Analysis and Control in Schuster R.L and Krizek R.J., National Research Council. Washington D.C. Transportation Research Board. Special Report 176.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017




Slides, posters and photogallery 
of the IAPG session on geoethics at EGU 2017


Geoethics is a well-established presence within the EGU General Assemblies. Starting from the first session in 2012, the interest in ethical and social issues related to geosciences has rapidly grown, years after years the spectrum of the treated topics has become wider. 

This year in the session program we have had 12 orals and 22 posters, a great success considering the novelty of the abstract fee introduced also for the Outreach, Education, and Media sessions.

Presentations have been authored by 75 colleagues from 19 countries (Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Switzerland, Tanzania, United Kingdom, USA).

Presentations have covered a wide spectrum of geoethical issues, including theoretical aspects of geoethics, geoscience professionalism, ethical implications in geoscience communication, information, education, geo-hazards and data management, mining, geoparks, ocean science, geo-archeology, forensic geology, data science policies, citizen science.

Slides and posters of several presentations are available at:
http://www.geoethics.org/egu2017-eos14

A photogallery is available at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/125283529@N05/sets/72157680720406712



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

Thursday, May 4, 2017


IAPG-Pakistan officially presented



Muhammad Yaseen during his talk
Muhammad Yaseen, IAPG-Pakistan coordinator, presented the new IAPG national section at the Department of Geology, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, in the one-day seminar on 6th April 2017 entitled "Earth-Science - Opportunities for Geo-scientists".

Great job Yaseen!

Read more: 
http://awkumpk.blogspot.it/2017/04/department-of-geology-organized-one-day.html


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