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

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

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


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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):

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018


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 ( 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:

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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.


- Programme of the IAPG sessions at the RFG 2018 Conference
- 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:

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Monday, May 21, 2018

What about Geoethics v. Geosophy?

by Martin Bohle
Martin Bohle

IAPG Board of Experts 


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?


[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,

[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"; 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

IAPG-Paraguay coordinator


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 ( 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)

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

Friday, May 18, 2018

First Nigeria Geoethics Conference (NGC1)

The International Association for Promoting Geoethics (IAPG) - Nigeria organizes its first national conference to celebrate the INTERNATIONAL GEOETHICS DAY 2018 in October (
The conference has the goal to seek avenues of integrating geoethics into working practices and providing opportunities for networking and promoting the application of Geoethics for sustainable development.

Main theme:


Sub themes:
- Geoethics: Environmental and Social Responsibility.
- Utilizing citizen science as a new paradigm for tackling security challenges; Intelligence gathering.
- Geoethics: Communications, Experiences, approach and concepts in geoscience education.
- Geoethics: Georisk management for safer and more resilient society.
- Making Geoethics a central issue in the conduct of scientist.
- Ethical considerations in training young geoscientist and defining ways to promote geoscience in Nigeria.

For support, participation and sponsorship, contact IAPG-Nigeria:,

More details will be available soon!!!!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Just published:


by Serge F. Van Gessel, Klaus Hinsby, Gerry Stanley, Jørgen Tulstrup, Yvonne Schavemaker, Kris Piessens, Paul J.F. Bogaard

Citation: Van Gessel S.F., Hinsby K., Stanley G., Tulstrup J., Schavemaker J., Piessens K., Bogaard P.J.F. (2017). Geological Services towards a Sustainable Use and Management of the Subsurface: A Geoethical Imperative, doi: 10.4401/ag-7500. 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: A Geological Service for Europe provides users with tailored and transnational consistent information on subsurface resources, capacities and processes within their surrounding environment. Such information underpins the responsible management of subsurface space and its resources, which is often administered by different authorities. National and regional geological surveys have come together to develop much-needed innovations and improvements that will integrate information and knowledge across different geological and geographical settings in Europe. This cooperative framework aims to meet societal challenges and protect valuable resources for future generations while ensuring that geoethical principles are honored.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Just published:


by Pascale Groulx, Donna Kirkwood, Daniel Lebel

Citation: Groulx P., Kirkwood D., and Lebel D. (2017). Building Bridges through Science: Increased Geoscience Engagement with Canada’s Northern Communities, doi: 10.4401/ag-7512. 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: A decade ago, data uptake by industry was held as the principal indicator of success of the Geological Survey of Canada's Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) program, an initiative aimed at modernizing geological knowledge of the country's North to spur economic growth. Upon renewal in 2013, the geoscience program evolved its approach for engaging local communities, putting principles of geoethics into practice. This cultural shift has not only enriched the GSC as a whole; but has set an example for other science endeavours in the North. It has nurtured enhanced dialogue and relationships, fostered more sustainable economic growth, and helped position the GSC as a more welcome partner to Northern communities.

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Geoethics at the RFG 2018 conference
The programme is out!

The IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics organizes or supports 5 sessions on different issues of geoethics under the Theme "Resources and Society". Authors will give 11 keynote speeches, 28 oral presentations, 10 poster presentations (for details on the programme click on the link below): 

Session RS13: Geoethics and Environmental and Social Responsibility: Doing the Right Thing to Develop Resources for Future Generations (19 June 2018, part I 8:30-10:00, part II 10:30-11:45, part III 13:30-15:00, room 119)

Session RS8: Geoethics and the Responsible Conduct of Scientists (20 June 2018, 8:30-10:00, room 119)

Session RS9: Geoethics in georisks management for a safer and more resilient society (20 June 2018, 10:30-11:45, room 119)

Session RS10: Geoethics in geoscience education, communication and citizen science: experiences, approaches, and concepts (20 June 2018, part I 13:30-15:00, part II 15:30-17:00, room 119)

Session RS12: Forensic Geology: Ethics, Communication, Regulation and Opportunities (21 June 2018, part I 8:30-9:45, part II 10:30-12:00, room 119)

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics is partner of the RFG 2018 Conference.

Details on the programme of the sessions above (dates and hours, titles of presentations, authors) are available here:

Vancouver (Canada)
We look forward to meet you in Vancouver!

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The IAPG section of France

Welcome to the IAPG section of France! 

The section is co-chaired by Michèle Barbier and David Crookall.

Michèle Barbier
Working in marine sciences for 20 years, Michèle Barbier has developed multidisciplinary skills. Scientist and Manager, she is now Independent Ethics Adviser and founder of the Institute for Science & Ethics. This private Institute based in France aims to develop ethical approaches in science and innovation to improve organizations and social issues at the global level through value-based collaborations. She is also Ethics Expert for the European Commission and has been involved in many projects dealing with Intellectual Property Rights and the Protocol of Nagoya (Author of the CIESM Charter on access and Benefit Sharing) related to marine resources. She has a long experience as scientific officer at CIESM, the Mediterranean Science Commission, an inter-governmental organization, in setting dialogue with Policy makers and various stakeholders,

David Crookall
David Crookall, PhD, FRSA, has worked all his life in the experiential learning dimensions of geosciences. He is interested in the ethical dimensions of the geosciences, especially when referring to climate change, environmental pollution, geo-resources, sustainability, fishing, oceans. During his time in the USA, he obtained a large grant from the prestigious Fund for Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE), a Federal Agency supporting innovative projects. During his (26-year) editorship of the world's foremost journal on education simulation/gaming, David's editorial policy emphasized (a) debriefing (the source of learning from experience) and (b) ethical issues related to the environment. He shepherded and edited several important symposium issues, including one on natural resource management using simulation and agent-based modeling and one on climate change and simulation. David has also served and continues to serve on various academic journal boards. David is a member of a number of organizations, including: UCA Union for Concerned Scientists, AGU American Geophysical Union, GfGD Geology for Global Development, IGEO International Geoscience Education Organisation, EGU European Geosciences Union, ISAGA International Simulation and Gaming Association; he has been a member of the IAPG International Association for Promoting Geoethics since 2015. After working in various universities in France, USA and Singapore, he has recently retired from the Université Côte d'Azur, but continues to fight for environmental justice, especially through learning and education - which he calls geo-edu-ethics.

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