Friday, December 13, 2019

The IAPG co-coordinator showcases geoethics at the Cameroon Association of Geoscience Colloquium in Yaounde (December 2019)

From the 4th to the 7th of December 2019, the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Yaounde 1 (Cameroon) and the Institute of Mining and Geological Research (IRGM), through the Cameroon Association of Geosciences (CAG), organized the second geosciences colloquium of Cameroon under the theme "Geosciences: Motivation of Sustainable Development". The colloquium had as objectives:

  • To present research results in the different geoscience branches.
  • To highlight geological and mining research in Cameroon and in Central Africa.
  • To discuss the importance of harmonizing research actions between Universities, Research Centers, and Mining Companies.

IAPG-Cameroon was officially present at this colloquium and participated in all its activities. During this period, IAPG Cameroon members were all dressed in the white T-Shirts of IAPG-Cameroon, which caused a lot of sensation and admiration from the over 300 participants. The visibility of the IAPG was greatly achieved. The following posters were presented:

  • Physico-chemical characterization of pollution levels in the Wouri Tropical Estuary in Douala, Cameroon, by some members of the Cameroon section of IAPG.
  • New Advances in Geoethics: The Activities of The International Association for Promoting Geoethics (IAPG). This poster was presented at EGU General Assembly by IAPG Executives Giuseppe Di Capua and Silvia Peppoloni. This poster was a crowd puller and colloquium participants were curious to know more. IAPG Cameroon members took time to explain about IAPG activities and geoethics.

Also remarkable during this event was a presentation on the on "Geoethics: New paradigm in the practice of the Geosciences", by Prof. Njilah Isaac (IAPG-Cameroon Co-Coordinator - in the middle of the photo on the right). With the numerous enthusiastic questions that followed, this section is sure that the message went through and the practice of geosciences research will never be the same again. That same morning, the stand of IAPG was installed and this stand did not only have the posters but also carried some innovations. In preparing for the colloquium, IAPG Cameroon members pre-assembled some molecules of compounds youths should avoid and those that should be encouraged because geoethics starts from the individuals before evolving towards professional community and society. As the participants passed around, amazed at these molecules, they listened to explanations about their significance in the body and what ethical precaution to take. The following molecules were displayed:

No. | Molecule /crystals | Advice 
1 | Sodium Chloride | Reduce intake.
2 | Nicotine | Avoid.
3 | Guanine, Adenine, Deoxyribose & phosphate (Building blocks of DNA) | Avoid intake of some genetically modified foods.
4 | Diamond | Rehabilitate the mine after mining operations.
5 | Vitamin C | An antioxidant found in fresh fruit (increase intake).
6 | Vitamin B6 | A lack of this makes one irritable, sleepy and over-emotional (increase intake).
7 | H2O | Increase intake.
8 | Ethanol (found in beer and wine) | Reduce alcohol intake
9 | Methane, ethane | Avoid burning of fossil fuels (go for renewable energy).
10 | Sugar (sucrose) | Reduce intake.
11 | Paracetamol | A common pain killer (intake should be reduced).

The success in the visibility of IAPG during the colloquium can be well expressed by the increase in membership. IAPG Cameroon prepared and printed membership forms. This facilitated on-site registration to the Association. At the end of the event, 33 new members were registered to IAPG-Cameroon from Universities and Research Institutes as shown below:

Institution: Number registered
University of Yaounde 1: 22.
University of Buea: 2.
University of Bamenda: 2.
University of Douala: 2.
Institute for Mining and Geological Research: 2.
National Civil Engineering Laboratory: 1.
Western Institute of Mining Metallogeny and Petroleum: 1.
Teacher (Civil engineer): 1
Total: 33

In an interview broadcasted over the National Radio (CRTV) during the colloquium, Prof. Njilah Isaac emphasized that most of the research and geoscience practices in Cameroon do not follow ethics. That is why IAPG has come to sensitize and the actors on the importance of Geoethics. The importance of geosciences knowledge to the community was also highlighted.
The Cameroon Section of IAPG was established on December 23, 2015 through the appointment of Ndzishepngong Kelvin Ngwang as the Coordinator. Since then, the section has carried out some activities. On the 12th of November 2019, Prof. Njilah Isaac was appointed as the Co-Coordinator, and just within a short time, he has registered his name on the strategic development paper of IAPG by introducing IAPG and Geoethics to the University milieu in Cameroon. He has brought much life to IAPG and much is now expected in the next years from IAPG-Cameroon.


 IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

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