Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The issue n. 6 - 2015 of the IAPG Newsletter is out!

We have released the new issue of the IAPGeoethics Newsletter. 
You can download it from the IAPG website:


1) Geoethics in Congresses/Meetings (South Africa, Spain, USA).

2) Geoethics in Conferences (Peru).

3) Publications/Documents on Geoethics issues.

4) New IAPG agreements/partnerships.

5) Posts from the IAPG Blog.

6) Young Scientists Club (call for the YSC Executive Board).

7) Geoethics in EU Projects.

8) AGI Photo Contest 2015.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Day of Earth Sciences in Africa and the Middle East

The African Association of Women in Geosciences and the African Geoparks Network proclaim the 20th March as a "Day of Earth Sciences in Africa and Middle East, DESAME".

The day aims to increase the awareness about the role that earth scientists could play to help to build a peaceful, healthier and wealthier continent.

The 2016 theme is: "Geoethics, Geoheritage, Georesources & Geoenvironment".

First celebrated in 2013, DESAME is being celebrated in 2016.

The IAPG took part in DESAME 2014 and 2015 with events organized by its national section in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Even this year the IAPG is partner of DESAME and we wish to thank Ezzoura Errami (IAPG continental coordinator for Africa) for promoting this important event.

If you are willing to propose activities in your respective countries or online activities through your facebook groups, your blogs or your tweets, please join us to make this exciting experience a success.

Why the 20th March?
Equinoxes have been celebrated in cultures all over the world. In the northern hemisphere the March equinox marks the start of spring and has long been celebrated as a time of rebirth. The 20th March corresponds to the March equinox where night and day are nearly of the same length all over the world. However, even if this is widely accepted, it isn't entirely true. The March equinox occurs the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north. This happens either on March 19, 20 or 21 every year. In that way, the activities, related to the DESAME, could be extended to the 19th and the 21st March.

Conferences, seminars, courses, presentations, field trips, exhibitions, films, games, visits of Earth Sciences departments, etc. It is up to you to create and innovate in order to answer the need of your respective societies.

Target public
Pupils from primary and secondary schools, students from universities, policy makers, large public, potential partners and sponsor. All the components of your respective societies.

Facebook page of DESAME

Ezzoura Errami
DESAME Coordinator,

Ethics demand future to be rewritten

by Franco Oboni
Franco Oboni

(Riskope, Vancouver B.C. Canada; email:

I have always been of the opinion that mythology, ancient Greek Gods, the disappearance of Atlantis, the Plagues of Egypt and many more "legends" were actually accounts of real events, reinterpreted, distorted and made more vivid by millennials of oral transmission, re-interpretations and sheer thrill in magnifying horror stories still present in our media.

At each new report of massive oil spills, red tides, masses of plastic debris floating in our Oceans, watercourses and lakes coloured by algae (for example Burgundy Blood Algae, Chromatiaceae bacteria) that thought has come back.
In a very distant future our successors (may be Humans, may be someone else) will likely find some sort of record of these events, possibly lumped up in a single epic account about water pollution at the transition between the Electromechanical and the Cyber-Informational Eras in our planet. It is likely that dissociated events we see happening in our world today will by then have become a "mega-event", associated to a "Plague of the Planet".

Recently the media displayed the mind boggling pictures of colored waters oozing out of one (small) closed mine in Colorado, tainting miles of river courses. Pictures of recent Tailings (and other bulk wastes) Dams breaches.
We Humans can do something to avoid these failures (and the ones that will occur in the future) to become a long string of mega-events that will feed the legends of the future. To reach that goal we have to set well balanced, rational goals. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not a political campaign, this is the beginning of we, Humans, writing a different book for our successors.

Goals like "zero failures" have only demagogical value: we know zero failure is unattainable, especially in the long(er) term.
Many mines are already closed, there is no money (or technology) capable of performing a "fix-it-all" wham-bang it's done.

So, once again, there is only one reasonable way to "rewrite" the book of our future: prioritizing actions based on well balanced risk criteria, risk based decision making, risk based (and not hazard-based) peer review. "Rewriting the future" should be part of our Social Responsibility.