Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Session on Geoethics at the AESC 2021

Call for Abstracts

deadline: 24 August 2020

Sandra Villacorta, past national coordinator and currently scientific coordinator of IAPG-Peru, has launched a call for abstracts for the session "Geoethical Aspects in Geosciences", to be held at the AESC - Australian Earth Sciences Convention in 2021

The congress is planned from 9 to 12 February 2021 in Tasmania (Australia).

The session "Geoethical Aspects in Geosciences" was accepted by organizers under the Theme 5 "Geoscience in society, education and environment".

This is the session description:

There is an urgent need to promote geoethical values to deal with the implications of geosciences activities and discuss the appropriate behaviours and practices, wherever human activities interact with the Earth system worldwide.
The scope of this session is to discuss the ethical implications of developing geoscience activities. Acknowledging the role of Geoscientists at the service of society, this session will develop discussion on ethical and social problems related to the management of land, coasts and open oceans; socio-environmentally sustainable supplies of energy and geo-resources; geoscience communication and education, role of geosciences in socio-economic development, sustainable development and intercultural exchange among others.
It is expected participation of professionals of the International Association for Promoting Geoethics – IAPG (

Colleagues are invited to submit an abstract on issues of interest for geoethics.

You find information about the abstract submission at:

The session is supported by the IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics.


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Monday, June 15, 2020

Webinar on Hydrogeo-ethics

18 June 2020, 5:00-6:00 pm (BST)

ZOOM link:

Inspired by the recent IAPG-IAH conference on geoethics and groundwater management, the Hydrogeology Group of the Geological Society of London has selected Hydrogeo-ethics as the topic for their next "Lockdown Event" on Thursday the 18th June 5-6pm (BST). The programme is as follows: 

  • Alan MacDonald (BGS, University of Dundee) will give an "Introduction to hydrogeo-ethics". Alan will provide his perspective as a Chartership scrutineer for the Geological Society as well as share his experience of working in different countries and his thoughts on the Precautionary Principle.
  • Jude Cobbing (Consultant groundwater hydrologist) will present on "Groundwater in Sub Saharan Africa and the precautionary principle"; and,
  • Jane Dottridge (Technical Director Mott MacDonald and Chief Scientific Editor of the QJEGH) will present on the "Safeguarding of groundwater abstractions by enforcement of source protection zones".

The three talks will be followed by 15-20 mins discussion.

The hydrogeology committee expect the event to appeal to a wide audience, not just hydrogeologists. It promises to provoke thoughts and stimulate conversation. The event will be of interest to those working overseas and those who want to understand professional ethics more generally.

For those interested in attending please contact Alex Gallagher who organises and Chairs the Lockdown Events ( for additional information, or join the Hydrogeology Group LinkedIn Group

The ZOOM link for the event is 

Picture above from:


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Friday, June 12, 2020

1st International (Virtual) Symposium on Geoethics

14 June 2020, 02:30-04:30 pm (IST)

The symposium is organized by IAPG-India and hosted by the School of Earth and Environmental Science, Amity University Haryana (India).

Among the speakers, Silvia Peppoloni (IAPG Secretary General), Surya Parkash (IAPG-India Coordinator), Giuseppe Di Capua (IAPG Treasurer).

The programme is in the picture.

The symposium registration URL for participants is:


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

The “robbery mining”:
grab the money and run

by Nicola Careddu*

Ph.D., Mining Engineer, Associate Professor
Civil, Environmental Engineering and Architecture Department, University of Cagliari (Italy)

Nicola Careddu
Robbery mining refers to the irrational and unplanned exploitation of natural resources. It refers to mining activity which is carried out with no adequate safety standards in working places. This kind of mining activity dates back to ancient times and it has remained in operation until modern ones anywhere in the world.

Avid and unethical exploitations, which the Germans have always referred to as "raubbau" ("coltivazione a rapina" in Italian), took place when miners and/or entrepreneurs mined the best portions of ore deposit and then proceeded to immediately close their activity down. Such mining methods prevented any further work including any potential discovery of other parts of deposits which may have been of economic interest [1].

In the U.S.A. the term "gophering" was also used to indicate mining in irregular drifts or other openings, which "follow or seek ore with no regard to maintenance of a regular grade or section"; this method was also called "coyoting" in Western U.S.A., which generally designates any small-size, irregular, unsystematic workings [2].

Throughout history, this mining method consisted on small excavations in which walls required little or no support; it goes without saying that this method could be applied in portions of veins, beds or masses, but it is the worst option in well-planned and managed mining. When used to mine abundant seams in a large orebody, robbery mining often resulted in short-term profits with a possible loss, incurring when the irregular openings resulted in the excessive increase in the cost of mining of low-grade parts.

When discussing mining legislation in 1871 in Italy, the deputy and finance minister Quintino Sella underlined the fact that "ownership rights have been conferred to the owner of the ground over the mine, which in many cases has charged a high fee on the extracted minerals, to be paid by the miner who works in the quarry. The situation described is reminiscent of the feudal system", which was exactly what was happening in regions such as Tuscany and Sicily.

Miners were encouraged to provide incentives for that system, and asked to immediately extract the best minerals they could find, without spending money and time for improvements. Work conditions used to be inhuman as workers were exposed to humidity, heat, gases, scarce ventilation, shoulder carrying, work shifts, etc. Basic forms of protection for miners did not exist.

Sella went on explaining that "such fees on the mining industry, may be convenient if spent to cover the use of the land, even if the impact is lower when miners work in a shallower environment than those who work in deeper environment, and who are the ones to be affected more".

Sella's arguments reflected a technical-economical point of view, which also included ethics: "as a matter of fact, the servitude of miners to landlords has had the unequivocal effect of limiting the extractions to more superficial layers, and prevented a massive production of minerals, ultimately resulting in what the Germans have eloquently defined as Raubbau, i.e. robbery-mining".

If the objective of mining is to dig out only what can make higher earnings on a short term, then "raubbau" looks more like a bank robbery: grab the money and run. A long term planning facilitate the delivery of more complex projects, including deeper excavations, water management, ventilation, all of which would improve the life of miners and the productivity of mines. Instead, there are still cases in which it doesn’t really matter if people die at work, nor does it matter if same areas are exploited over and over again at the sole expense of the environment and health of miners, resulting in serious social, health and environmental issues for many years to come.

Sella had already clear in his mind the idea of responsible mining and a better and ethical way to exploit minerals.


[1] Careddu N., Di Capua G., Siotto G. (2019). Dimension stone industry should meet the fundamental values of geoethics. Resources Policy, 63, 101468.
[2] Peele R. (1941). Mining Engineer’s Handbook, Vol. 1. Wiley.
[3] Sella Q. (1871). Sulle condizioni dell’industria mineraria nell’isola di Sardegna, Relazione alla Commissione parlamentare d’inchiesta. Firenze, Tipografia Eredi Botta, 1871 (in Italian).


Other articles published in the IAPG Blog:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Vitor Correia appointed IAPG Delegate for Relationships with European Organizations

Vitor Correia was appointed IAPG Delegate for Relationships with European Organizations.

Delegates are IAPG key-officers, whose aim is to create opportunities for the IAPG in order to facilitate, in specific contexts, projects, initiatives, activities, agreements with other organizations, that have the development and promotion of geoethics as their main focus.

Vitor is Secretary-General of the International Raw Materials Observatory and Past-President of the European Federation of Geologists. He founded and managed several companies working in geosciences, and he has over 25 years of experience in strategic management, innovation and organizational effectiveness. He began his career as a mining geologist, and he worked in mineral exploration, geological engineering and environmental geology in Europe, Africa and South America. Vitor holds a BSc in Geology and an MBA, both from the University of Lisbon. He is registered.


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics