Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Second International Conference on Geoparks
in Africa and Middle East

"Geoheritage for local socio-economic sustainable development"

Dakar, Senegal

9-12 October 2014

The African Geoparks Network “AGN” was initiated during the pre-congress of the fifth conference of the AAWG held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in May 2009. The AGN aims to identify, promote, and advise on the importance and preservation of geoheritage in Africa in collaboration with other stakeholders. In that framework, the AGN in collaboration with AAWG, ANRSA and UCAD are organizing the second International Conference on Geoparks in Africa and Middle East in 2014 in Dakar Senegal. The First edition was organized in 2011 in Morocco.
All researchers in the fields of geoheritage, geotourism, conservation, environment and sustainable development, policy makers, economists, geopark and local community administrators and leaders, NGOs, business operators, Medias and individuals with interest in geoheritage development are invited to participatingin making this event a success.

  • Geoheritage& Local communities
  • Geoheritage& Geo-education
  • Geoparks& Sustainable mining
  • Geoheritage& Climate change
  • Geoheritage&Geotourism
  • Karst geo-ecology& Speleology
  • Archaeology & Cultural heritage
  • Geoheritage& Medical Geology
  • Geoheritage&Geoethics
  • Earth and Sciences history
  • Role of Women and Youths in conservation of natural heritage
  • Geoheritage Networking
  • Aspiring Geoparks in Africa and Middle East

Provisional Program
Two days technical sessions.
Two days post-conference field trip.
In order to accommodate a maximum number of interesting papers we are compelled to allocate a maximum of 15 minutes to the oral presentation followed by an additional 5 minutes for discussion. Transparency projectors and data show (Power Point format) equipment will be available.
The poster session presentations will run parallel to the oral session.

French, Arabic, English are the official languages of the conference.

Field trip
A field trip will be carried out throughan aspiring Geopark that consists of numerous estuaries and rocky cliffs such as "Cap de Naze", "Cap Rouge", "Ngazobil", "Bandia, Somone and Popenguine reserves", Saloum estuary. This region is one of the major touristic sites in Senegal with its beautiful beaches and lagoons. Local populationsare mainly Lebus and Sereer that are living from traditional fishing and agriculture.
During the field trip, a visit will be paid to the Senghor's house - the first Senegalese president - and Fadiouth Shell Island.

Registration fees and payment
  • 200 € for non African & private companies.
  • 100 € for African and Arab academics.
  • 80 € for AGN and AAWG members.
  • 50 € for African & Arab students.
The registration fees will include abstract volume, coffee breaks, conference lunches and Gala Dinner.
  • Field trip fees: 200 €
Participants are required to pay fees by bank transfer to the address indicated below:

Société Géologique du Sénégal
CBAO point E
RIB: SN012 01309 36163725101 44

The full Address of the Recipient is:
Geological Society of Senegal
Département de Géologie FST-UCAD BP 5005, Dakar, Sénégal.
In favor of ICAAG 2‐2014.

Please send  a scanned  copy  of  your  bank  transfer  document  to  the  e‐mail  addresses: contact@aawg.org, sowfama@yahoo.fr.

All authors are requested to submit their abstracts which will be reproduced in an Abstract Volume to be distributed to the participants. All abstracts should be prepared according to the guidelines given below.

General Guidelines
The abstract should not exceed 2 pages (figures, tables and references included), A4 size paper (21.0 x 29.7 cm), printed on one side, written in Arabic, English or French. The topic covered should be relevant to the sub-themes of the meeting.
The name, address and e-mail of the communicating author must be clearly specified. All correspondence will be maintained with this author only.
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30 April 2014.

Guidelines for preparation of the abstract
The abstracts should be laid out in accordance with the main formatting points listed below. A limited amount of re-formatting will be undertaken by the conference secretariat, but submissions that are grossly aberrant will be returned to authors for correction.
  • It must be submitted electronically in MSWORD.
  • The preferred font is TIME; title 14pt / affiliations 12pt / text 10pt, with single line spacing.
  • The text must be typed leaving a 3 cm on the right and 2.5 cm on the top, bottom, and left margins.
  • Headings may be used.
  • Figures and tables may be included and embedded in the text file.
  • References may be included at the end of the extended abstract.
For any queries or problems please do not hesitate to contact the conference secretariat on its email address: 
contact@aawg.org, papam.ngom@ucad.edu.sn, sowfama@yahoo.fr.

Submission of the abstract
The abstracts must be sent as an attachment to contact@aawg.org before 30 July 2014.The name of the electronic file must include the name of the first author, e.g. Malek.doc.

Organizing Commitee

Scientific Committee

Avenue Cheikh Anta DIOP, Sicap Point E Immeuble D-2ème étage, BP 5356 Dakar-Fann. Téléphone : 33 859 43 70 / 33 864 43 49




Sponsorship possibilities
Partial sponsorship could be provided to participants from Africa and the Arab region.

Those who are interested in the fields of geoheritage are kindly invited to support this initiative in order to allow a maximum of participants coming from developing countries to attend this conference and its related field trip. Your contribution will help to develop geoparks in Africa and Middle East.


Download the Form

July 30, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Geodiversity and Geoheritage session
at the RCMNS Interim Colloquium

from Francesca Lozar

(Scientific Secretariat of the RCMNS Interim Colloquium, and IAPG member)

Dear Collegues,

we are glad to inform you that a special Geodiversity and Geoheritage session will be held at the Regional Committee on Mediterranean Neogene Stratigraphy (RCMNS) Interim Colloquium 2014.

The Geodiversity and Geoheritage session of the RCMNS is a good occasion for approaching Neogene geodiversity from geology to geobiology. The contents of the meeting recall contributions on geodiversity of both terrestrial and marine environments relevant for being compared to those of the Mediterranean and Parathethys during the Late Neogene. This meeting will be held in Torino, Italy  on September 25-28th, 2014. Deadline for abstract submission is extended up to June 10th.

We will be glad if you could take the chance to share with us your recent work on Neogene geodiversity and geoheritage issues.

More details on website: http://rcmns-turin2014.weebly.com/

We look forward to welcoming you in Torino!

Francesca Lozar and Marco Giardino
(on behalf of the organizing committee)

Study of natural hazards in the artisanal exploitation sites
and their impacts on their surrounding areas

Jean-Robert Nshokano Mweze

(responsible of IAPG-DR Congo)

Kivu region is located in the eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo, in the western branch of the East African Rift. In this region there is a presence of several mineral resources. It is also a seismic zone with many geohazards. 
Very often, international NGO’s (Human rights, Greenpeace, etc.) consider the illegal mining exploitations as the cause of conflicts and war in this area. Those illegal activities are also responsible for the insecure and inconvenient situations in the region. The DR Congo is a country with great mining vocation and remarkable geological diversity, its people has the need and the right to understand the different challenges related to geological resources. So it’s up to raise the question: “What to say about the unsubstitutable links which put the life beings and their physical environment, what to say about the interest of soil and subsoil in the human subsistence and comfort?”.
In undertaking natural resource exploitation, extreme comfort and wide capitalism should not blind people. We are called to preserve nature for current times and for future generations. We have a common Earth where we exploit all the mineral resources. It’s up to everyone as human being to be aware of our responsibility regarding to the irreversible decrease of mineral resources and the constant danger of geohazards.
The project ”Earth and life” essentially aims at the strengthening of efforts in geo-education and mass geo-communication (information and sensitization), about the challenges of oil and mineral resources exploitation, and on natural hazards, in the perspective of encouraging much more a sustainable development. Through fieldwork investigations (geological survey), we are going to map the artisanal exploitation sites targeted by the project. We will proceed by sensitization and mass information about different topics of geology and mineral resources issues in the region. The fieldworks will allow us to make an inventory of different geohazards in urban and rural areas. These works will be recorded in monthly reports. Informations will be disseminated through a specific program of activities (audiovisual broadcasts, monthly reports posted to internet, conferences, workshops, etc.).

The sector of artisanal mining in DR Congo

The artisanal sector starts in the 1970s, and has an increase in the 1980s, a period during which the order law n. 82/039 of 5th November 1982 authorized the artisanal mining of precious materials. This operation should be done outside the concessions covered by exclusive mining rights.
Although the artisanal sector is often described as informal, the Congolese law includes its existence.
Chapter I of the Title IV in the Congolese Mining Code (2003) says: “In fact, when the technical and economic factors characterizing some gold deposits, diamonds or any other mineral substance do not allow industrial or semi-industrial, the Minister of Mines may erect such places within a specified area in artisanal mining area with geographical limits.”
Therefore, the Mining Act specifies that this activity should be performed in ZEA (Zone d’Exploitation Artisanale or Zones for Artisanal Exploitation) dedicated to this operation.
A ZEA, which in turn are determined by the service CAMI (Cadastre Minier in french or Mining Cadastre), is based on geological and economic criteria.
The purpose of the organization of artisanal mining is double:

  • Organize cooperatives of miners.
  • Ensure the control of the Congolese Government in the sector, in order to receive more revenue.

Its administration is entrusted to the Provincial Divisions of Mines. Its organization and management are entrusted to a public service, the Service Support and Supervision of Small-Scale Mining (SAESSCAM).

The main actors in artisanal mining activities are:

  • The diggers. They are the primary actors in the chain of artisanal mining. 
  • Team leaders. They are often the presidents of teams of diggers, working in a specific well.
  • The small traders. They are local traders who play intermediary role between the miners and the primary dealer that negotiates the price.
  • The principal trader. The boss who is able to purchase large quantities of minerals and know how to negotiate the price for the export abroad.
  • Internal air agency and ground transportation.
  • Purchase counters. They are recognized by the Congolese State as houses for mineral selling (gold, coltan, cassiterite, etc.).
  • State and NGO services. They are in charge of making the certification and establishing traceability of minerals from artisanal mining sites: Provincial Division of Mines, SAESSCAM, CEEC, BGR, Pact, etc.

(Photo: from Jambo Africa)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Geoethics and IAPG at the EFG Workshop:
“Geologists of Europe in the 3rd millennium”
and EFG Summer Council Meeting

Palermo (Italy), May 29 - June 1, 2014

The IAPG-International Association for Promoting Geoethics will attend the European Federation of Geologists (EFG) Workshop 2014 and the EFG Summer Council Meeting, that will be held in Palermo, from 29 May to 1 June 2014.

The Workshop venue will be the Norman Palace, located in the historical centre of Palermo. Summer Council Meeting will be held at the National Gallery of Modern Art.

Silvia Peppoloni (co-author Giuseppe Di Capua) will take an oral presentation, titled "Geoethics: themes, goals and ongoing initiatives".

Download the program


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ethical challenges in disaster studies: 
following the discussion of the session NH9.8 on Geoethics at EGU 2014

Yuriy V. Kostyuchenko
(responsible of IAPG-Ukraine)

Fearful disaster dynamics that we observe in the last decade, are creating new problems for society. At the same time a multi-level and complex structure of social relations is developing rapidly. It requires to be accounted in different fields of disaster study: risk analysis and forecast, preparedness practices, public awareness, disaster response and general emergency management.
In this context IAPG-related activity, and especially the session NH9.8 on Geoethics at EGU 2014 is an essential effort to propose an answer to modern challenges in disaster studies. Anyway the session organized by the IAPG has attempted to define existing challenges during an open scientific discussion.
What has been crystallized in the discussion in the NH9.8 session, from the viewpoint of a risk and disaster analyst?
Major part of risk analysts declared new nature of modern risks [1]. We faced coherent or systemic risks, realization of which leads to domino effect [2, 3], unexpected growing of losses and fatalities [4]. This type of risks originated by complicated nature of heterogeneous environment, close interconnection of engineering networks, and changing structure of society. Formal basis for analysis of this type of risks has been developed during the last 5-7 years [5]. But issues of social fairness, ethics, and education require further development.
Ethics challenge in disaster studies could and should be analyzed in the context of ethics of our forecasts. There are two aspects of this problem. First, as it was perfectly showed in presentation of Prof. Stefano Tinti [6], our forecasts should be balanced from the viewpoint of accurateness/correctness, successfulness/efficiency, and usefulness.
But our forecasts should be also robust towards different scenarios [5]. Requirement of robustness is based on rejection of deterministic models of security management, which is usually discriminating. So, the robustness of forecasts in some sense is the “humanizing tool” for emergency management.
Our studies - from trend calculation to prospecting analysis - should meet peoples needs and to produce ethical forecasts – responsible, correct and useful. In this context, foundations of our studies should be correct and comprehensive. For example, in disaster studies we should base on correct paradigm of sustainability, to analyze multi-component security concept. This concept includes few interrelated components, describing hazards, natural environment, society and resources as the whole system:

  • availability of life resources (existing and distribution of systemic resources, production and re-production of resources needed to safety support for the population, policy issues, education and economy);
  • accessibility of resources (accessibility of different types of resources, including survival and rescue facilities, income distribution, infrastructure state, political security);
  • vulnerability of resources, connected with direct extremes frequency/probability (multi-scale vulnerability of humans and infrastructure towards extreme events);
  • utilization of consumed resources (issues of life style, culture, education, market features).

Efficient research development in this field requires continuing education and expert discussions on multi-level flexible basis.
Expert networking is also extremely necessary for increasing the public awareness. And taking into account expanding gap between increasing number of high educated people and decreasing of scientific education, as it was noted by Prof. Marone [7], we need to use media – both social and traditional - as an important tool for education and awareness [8].
And in conclusion: discussion demonstrates that the role of geoscientists in emergency management is increasing. And the IAPG is trying to become a tool for increasing the awareness on natural risks, with the aim at reducing losses and stimulating society to a self-organization towards changing nature of challenges.
Besides, it might be noted that the both tasks of nature management and complex security management are not the “zero-sum games”. And number of “players” in these “games” is always more than we usually consider. Set of “players” should include also “nature” and additional uncertain “factor of future” – something we don’t know and can’t predict about the system. In this case our planning will be ethical and responsible towards nature and future.
I would like to express my great thanks to Silvia Peppoloni, Eduardo Marone, Joe Gill and Giuseppe Di Capua for the brilliance organization of our NH9.8 session "Geoethics: Ethical Challenges In Communication, Geoeducation And Management of Natural Hazards" at EGU 2014.
I also sincere gratitude to all participants for fruitful discussions and the perfect executing of the meeting.


[1] Marti K, Ermoliev Y, Makowski M. Coping with Uncertainty: Robust Solutions. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany, Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems, Volume 633/2010, 2010, 286 p.

[2] Oboni F. and Oboni C. Ethics and transparent risk communication start with proper risk assessment methodologies // Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 16, EGU2014-1655, 2014, EGU General Assembly 2014, http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2014/EGU2014-1655.pdf.

[3] Kostyuchenko Yuriy V., Kopachevsky I., Zlateva P., Stoyka Yu., and Akymenko P. Role of systemic risk in regional ecological long-term threats analysis // in: Sustainable Civil Infrastructures – Hazards, Risk, Uncertainty, Phoon, K. K., Beer, M., Quek, S. T. & Pang, S. D. (editors), Research Publishing, Singapore, - 2012, p.551 – 556, ISBN: 978-981-07-2219-7:: doi:10.3850/978-981-07-2219-7 P226.

[4] Kostyuchenko Yu., Movchan D. Risk perception as the quantitative parameter of ethics and responsibility in disaster study // Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 16, EGU2014-831, 2014, EGU General Assembly 2014, http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2014/EGU2014-831.pdf.

[5] Robust Management of Heterogeneous Systems under Uncertainties. Y Ermoliev, M Makowski, K Marti (eds), Springer, Heidelberg, Germany, Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems, Vol. 658/2012, 2012, XXIII, 378 p., ISBN 978-3-642-22883-4.

[6] Tinti S. Ethical issues in forecasting of natural hazards // Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 16, EGU2014-16474, 2014, EGU General Assembly 2014, http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2014/EGU2014-16474.pdf.

[7] Marone E., Camargo R., and Salcedo Castro J. Marine Extremes and Natural Hazards: when the key is variability // Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 16, EGU2014-2590, 2014, EGU General Assembly 2014, http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2014/EGU2014-2590.pdf.

[8] Rapisardi E., Di Franco S. Open Geosciences Knowledge: foster Information Preparedness in a Disaster Resilience Perspective // Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 16, EGU2014-11304, 2014, EGU General Assembly 2014, http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2014/EGU2014-11304.pdf.

(Photo: courtesy of Max Yuschenko, CASRE, 2012)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Geoethics provides vision for best practices.
The oil and gas industry must continue to examine ethical, social and cultural implications of geological research

An interview to Silvia Peppoloni, IAPG Secretary General, by MJ Selle for the Official 2014 Offshore Technology Conference Newspaper.
Silvia Peppoloni launched a big challenge: she said that "... Geoethics can guide us toward a new model of development ...”.

Read the interview at page 20:

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hilton Eneya Banda brings us in Africa Expo Oil & Gas 2014

Hilton Banda, responsible for IAPG Geoethics-Malawi, who was a chairman for 3rd Annual East Africa Oil & Gas summit and speaker for 5th Eastern Africa Oil, Gas/LNG & Energy has been selected as a judge for Africa Oil & Gas awards 2014 which will be rewarding innovation, developments and achievements in the African oil & gas industry. The ceremony will honor excellence in Africa’s oil & gas industry. This annual awards ceremony has already cemented its position as Africa’s leading oil & gas awards.

Hilton is among the top keynote speakers for this Africa Expo Oil & Gas 2014. The meeting brings together for two days Africa’s largest gathering of oil and gas industry professionals from across all four corners of the continent. The event is attended by the key purchasers, decision makers, influencers, and managers in upstream, midstream and downstream Africa oil and gas.
Hilton has been invited also as guest speaker at the the world’s longest-established Conference dedicated to the fast-moving Africa upstream in November. So, IAPG will be there: thanks Hilton.

Africa Expo Oil & Gas 2014:

21st Africa Oil Week: