The IUGG Electronic Journal Volume 17 No. 7 (1 July 2017)



The IUGG Electronic Journal

Volume 17 No. 7 (1 July 2017)

This informal newsletter is intended to keep IUGG Member National Committees informed about the activities of the IUGG Associations, and actions of the IUGG Secretariat. Past issues are posted on the IUGG website ( forward this message to those who will benefit from the information.Your comments are welcome.


1.   IUGG Statement “The Earth’s climate and responsibilities of scientists and their governments to promote sustainable development”
2.    IUGG at the United Nations Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction
3.    Report on the Fourth World Landslide Forum
4.    News from the International Council for Science (ICSU)
5.    Resources for Future Generations 2018
6.    Meeting calendar

1. IUGG Statement “The Earth’s climate and responsibilities of scientists and their governments to promote sustainable development”

On 12 June 2017, the IUGG Bureau adopted the Statement “The Earth’s climate and responsibilities of scientists and their governments to promote sustainable development” This statement was drafted by the IUGG Union Commission on Climatic and Environmental Change (CCEC) and discussed with the IAMAS Executives and the IAMAS Climate Commission (ICCL), before considering and adopting by the IUGG Bureau. The statement can be downloaded from the IUGG website:

The Earth and Space Science News (EOS) of the American Geophysical Union published a news story about the IUGG statement:

2. IUGG at the United Nations Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP), as recognized by the United Nations General Assembly, is the main forum at the global level forstrategic advice, coordination, partnership development and the review of progress in the implementation of international instruments on disaster riskreduction. It was established in 2006 and is now the world’s foremost gathering of stakeholders committed to reducing disaster risk and building the resilience of communities and nations.

The GP Opening Ceremony was held on 24 May 2017 in Cancun and was attended by H.E. Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico, who delivered a speech. Hementioned that: “To protect the population from natural disasters is one of the most important humanitarian responsibilities. This is a task in which we should all participate and where we can all contribute. We should work together, society and government, to greater protect our communities.” The GP2017 is characterized by a format that facilitates dialogue and exchanges among all stakeholders, both governmental and non-governmental. It features a high-level dialogue which brings together senior government officials, including heads of state and government, ministers, mayors and parliamentarians and leaders fromthe private sector, science and civil society.

To achieve Target E of the Sendai Framework that focuses on national and local disaster risk reduction strategies, countries will need to access and usecredible and robust multi-hazard risk assessments. This includes evidence based risk information provided by and developed together with the science andtechnology community. The Sendai Framework calls on the science and technology community to focus on understanding disaster risk factors and scenarios,support action by local communities and authorities, and enhance the interface between policy and science for decision-making.

Together with several international and intergovernmental bodies, IUGG coorganized a session “Contribution of Science and Technology to Achieving the 2020 Sendai Target” at the GP. The session discussed the contribution of science and technology in achieving Target E of the Sendai Framework with afocus on illustrating how appropriate global, national and local disaster risk assessments and scientific analysis have been used to inform disaster risk reduction planning and monitoring at national and local levels. The concept note of the session can be downloaded from: More information on the session:

At the GP, IUGG organized a meeting of representatives of several internationaland intergovernmental organizations to discuss cooperation plans to further develop the initiative on setting up an international panel for disaster risk assessment.

Meeting participants (from the left to the right): V. Tsirkunov, T. Koike, G. McBean, C. Wannous, A. Hainsworth, J. U. Fucugauchi, T. Klose-Zuber, and A. Ismail-Zadeh

The meeting was attended by: Jaime Urrutia Fucugauchi, President, Mexican Academy of Sciences; Alasdair Hainsworth, Chief Disaster Risk Reduction Services Division, World Meteorological Organization (WMO); Thorsten Klose-Zuber, Division for Humanitarian Assistance, German Federal Foreign Office; Toshio Koike, Chair, Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction and International Coordination, Science Council of Japan; Gordon McBean, President,International Council for Science (ICSU); Vladimir Tsirkunov, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, World Bank; Chadia Wannous, SeniorAdvisor, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR); Soichiro Yasukawa, Earth Sciences and Geo-Hazards Risk Reduction, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and moderated by Alik Ismail-Zadeh, IUGG Secretary General. The main topic of the meeting was how disaster risk synthesis and assessment should be implemented in policy making. The participants discussed an IUGG initiative, supported by the international scientific community, to work together with international organizations, intergovernmental agencies and other stakeholders on setting up an intergovernmental panel on disaster risk assessment. It was agreed that further discussions and negotiations with representatives of national governments are required to develop a roadmap for this initiative.

The IUGG Secretary General delivered an IUGG statement at the GP on 26 May,which can be read at: and watched at:

3. Report on the Fourth World Landslide Forum

The Fourth World Landslide Forum was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 29 May to 1 June 2017. Scientists, engineers, and policymakers working in the area oflandslide technology, landslide disaster investigation and landslide remediation attended the Forum to share their work with the global community. A high-level panel discussion was held at the Forum. Representatives of several international and intergovernmental organizations, including IUGG, were invited to contribute to the discussion. IUGG was represented by Alik Ismail
Zadeh, IUGG Secretary General. The major topics for discussion were (i) how can theim plementation of the ISDR-ICL Sendai Partnerships be generally advanced?, and(ii) how do we achieve better commitment of the Partners to the ISDR-ICL Sendai Partnerships, and better networking and interaction to enhance cooperation among Partners and to provide substantive services to developing countries?

IUGG was one of the signatory organizations of the Sendai Partnership, and the IUGG’s principal commitment is to promote science to benefit society. Considering the Sendai Partnerships, Ismail-Zadeh mentioned that contributions of the IUGG can include (but are not limited to) (i) scientific research related to understanding of landslide hazard and disaster risk; (ii)development of a scientific foundation for reliable prediction of landslidesand for landslide early warning systems of increased precision; (iii) landslidehazard and vulnerability assessments, and multi-hazard risk identification;(iv) improved technologies for monitoring, testing, and analysis of landslidesand their analogue and computer simulations; and (v) teaching courses and tools on natural hazards.

At present, commitments of the Partners may lead to multidisciplinary work,when each Partner determines its own priorities and tasks within the framework of the Sendai Partnerships declaration, but works independently considering specific questions, employing the methodologies related to their individual discipline, deriving independent conclusions, and disseminating their results independently. Ismail-Zadeh proposed to move from multidisciplinary tointerdisciplinary and transdisciplinary work. Compared to a multidisciplinary approach, interdisciplinary work allows for transferring knowledge from onediscipline to another, researchers informing each other about their work,comparing individual findings, developing common conclusions whilst still working independently using their own methodologies, but often coming up withnew problem sets and approaches. Such interdisciplinary work is co-designed and co-produced but still lacking the involvement of actors in public bodies, business and civil society in the academic research process. Transdisciplinary work would help the Partners work together to contribute their unique expertise. They can address a common problem and try to understand the complexities of the entire problem rather than its parts only. To achieve acommon goal, Partners exchange data and information, share resources, create conceptual, phenomenological, theoretical, and methodological innovations, integratedisciplines, and move beyond discipline-specific approaches. Transdisciplinary work could allow for addressing the complexity of landslide disaster risk problems using a holistic view of the problems and the diversity of perceptions of them, involvement of actors from non-scientific fields, and implementation of research results by developing the solutions to be used in practice. Therefore, Ismail-Zadeh proposed to determine a few specific problems on whichall Partners can work together in an interdisciplinary and perhaps even transdisciplinary way, all contributing to the implementation of the Sendai Partnerships on landslide disaster risk reduction.

4. News from the International Council for Science (ICSU)

ICSU/ISSC held meetings to plan strategy and governance for merger

Discussion at the Strategy Working Group (SWG) meeting focused on a drafthigh-level strategy for the new organization, following the feedback from ISSC and ICSU members on the initial draft circulated at the end of March. Ashighlighted in a recent webinar with ICSU and ISSC members, the strategy was further developed with reference to agenda-setting, particularly to expand onhow the organization’s members and leadership were involved in selecting priorities. Members of the SWG also worked to strengthen proposals on the neworganization’s regional presence, on relationships with members, and on developing an impactful communications strategy. The SWG meetings on 30-31 Maywere followed by a two-day meeting of the Transition Task Force (TTF), which isresponsible for developing statutes and rules of procedure for the neworganization, a consolidated budget and multi-year financial analysis, as well as a legal framework for the merger. Following the meetings, the final draft strategy and draft outputs of the TTF should be submitted to executives of ISSCand ICSU for their joint meeting to take place on 28-29 June. An updatedversion of the strategy and TTF outputs will be submitted to members in July2017, ahead of the joint meeting of ICSU and ISSC that will take place duringthe ICSU General Assembly to be held in Taipei on 25-26 October 2017. At thisjoint meeting, members hold a final vote on the merger between ISSC and ICSU.

ICSU calls on United States to support international efforts to combatdangerous climate change

Following the announcement of the United States of its intent to withdraw fromthe Paris Agreement on climate change, the International Council for Science(ICSU) expresses its concern about the decision, warning that climate change isa problem that can only be tackled through international cooperation. TheInternational Council for Science believes that global problems can only betackled by global cooperation. The Council’s stance is that policy shouldalways be informed by the best available science. The Paris Agreement is theresult of an unprecedented effort to build an international agreement. Itsdevelopment was informed by the thousands of scientists, including those whocontributed to the research of the World Climate Research Programme, theInternational Geosphere-Biosphere Program (now part of Future Earth) and otherglobal research programs sponsored by the International Council for Science andits international partners. This research was assessed globally by theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the NobelPeace Prize in 2007. The science shows that the human influence on the climatesystem is clearly causing unequivocal warming of the climate system. Changes inextreme weather and climate events, including heat waves and extremeprecipitation events will become more intense and frequent. Global mean sealevel is rising and threatens coastal communities around the globe, includingthe United States. Climate change is dangerous, and actions to limit itsconsequences are urgent. Greenhouse gas emissions threaten the stability of our Earth system, which supports life and is vital for our economies. As theworld’s second biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, the United States has aresponsibility to work with the rest of the world to implement the agreement.“You can’t build a wall around climate change. No matter how hard you try toignore it, this problem is not going away. The consequences are being felt inthe USA – through extreme weather and sea-level rise and other impacts.Tackling the problem of climate change is also in the best interests of theUSA,” said Gordon McBean, President of the Council. “What were once consideredextreme climate events have now become the norm. 2016 was the hottest year everrecorded. The biggest global problems such as climate change, biodiversityloss, ocean acidification, are problems that transcend the short-term lens ofnational politics. They can only be solved if we put aside our nationalinterests for the greater good of humanity, now and for generations to come”.

Source: ICSU website

5. Resources for Future Generations 2018

Human existence and progress is based on a sustainable supply of energy, minerals and water. To minimize impacts, it is important to develop and utilizethese resources in better and cleaner ways. The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) in cooperation with several Canadian geoscienceorganizations will bring industry, academia, governments and civil society together to tackle these issues. The Resources for Future GenerationsConference (RFG2018) will take place in Vancouver, Canada, from 16 to 21 June 2018. It takes its theme from an IUGS initiative of the same name designed tomobilize geoscientists, policy-makers and other stakeholders to explorere source and related sustainability issues. The RFG2018 countdown is on withover 200 proposed sessions that have come in from around the globe providing ahighly diverse program that will be delivered by geoscientists, industryprofessionals, students, educators, policymakers, and civil society. RFG2018 will showcase advances in Earth Sciences, education, and innovation. IUGG is a Technical Partner of the Conference. Important deadlines:

1 August 2017 (opens) - 15 January 2018 (closes): Call for abstracts
15 August 2017: Call for Short Courses and Field Trips closes
1 September 2017: Registration and housing central opens
1 March 2018: Notification to authors of accepted abstracts
1 April 2018: Presenters registration deadline / End of early-bird registrationrate
More information on the conference can be found at

6. Meeting calendar

A calendar of meetings of interest to IUGG disciplines (especially thoseorganized by IUGG Associations) is posted on the IUGG website ( Individual Associationsalso list more meetings on their websites according to their disciplines.

-    2-7, ICA, Washington, DC, USA, ICC 2017 - 28thInternational Cartographic Conference.
-    3-5, UCPS, Berlin, Germany, 1st IUGG Symposium on PlanetaryScience (IUGG-PS 2017) Web:
-    3-7, IAG, Paris, France, 2017 IGS Workshop.
-    3-15, NC BRAZIL, IAMAS, Sao Paulo, Brazil, São Paulo Schoolof Advanced Science on Climate Change: Scientific Basis, Adaptation,Vulnerability and Mitigation.
-    6-7, UNESCO-IGCP, Yaoundé, Cameroon, Training Course of theInternational Geosciences Programme (Project 646). Contact:
-    7-9, IUGG, IAMAS, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, TrainingWorkshop on Processing of Cloud Particle Measurements.
-    10-12, IAG, Paris, France, Unified Analysis Workshop.
-    10-14, IAHS, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, IAHS ScientificAssembly 2017.
-    10-14, WCRP, UNESCO-IOC, New York City, NY, USA,International WCRP/IOC Conference on Regional Sea Level Changes and CostalImpacts.
-    11-12, IAG, GFZ, Berlin, Germany, SGI 2017 Summit.Specialized Summit on Space Geodesy and Ionosphere Research. Web:
-    16-29, CODATA, Beijing, China, CODATA InternationalTraining Workshop in Open data for Better Science, for Researchers from Lowerand Middle Income Countries. Web:
-    25-27, GRC, IAG, Sendai, Japan, 2017 GNSS Tsunami EarlyWarning System Workshop. Web:
-    July 30 - August 4, IAG, IASPEI, Kobe, Japan. IAG-IASPEIJoint Scientific Assembly 2017. Web:

-   1-2, IACS, Lanzhou, China, International Workshop onCryosphere Change and Sustainable Development.
-    6-11, AOGS, Singapore, Asia Oceania Geosciences SocietyAnnual Meeting. Web:
-    14-18, IAVCEI, Portland, USA, IAVCEI Scientific Assembly2017. Web:
-    19-26, URSI, Montreal, Canada, 32nd URSI General Assembly& Scientific Symposium. Web:
-    27-30, YES, Tehran, Iran, 4th YES Congress. Web:
-    August 27 - September 1, IAPSO, IAMAS, IAGA, Cape Town,South Africa, Joint Scientific Assembly 2017. Web:
-    August 30 - September 1, CODATA, Berlin, Germany, DCH 2017- Interdisciplinary Conference on Digital Cultural Heritage. Web:

-    4-8, ICTP, IUGG, Kigali, Rwanda, ICTP-Rwanda Joint School onSubseasonal to Seasonal Weather and Climate Prediction. Web:
-    4-13, GFZ, Potsdam, Germany, Potsdam Summer School. HumanEnvironments in a Changing World. Web:
-    10-15, IUGG, IACS, IAPSO, SCAR Trieste, Italy, PastAntarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics (PAIS) Conference. Web:
-    11-15, GFZ, Potsdam, Germany, EGSIEM Autumn School forSatellite Gravimetry Applications. Web:
-    11-15, IGU, IUSS, WMO, Prague, Czech Republic, WMESS 2017.World Multidisciplinary Earth Sciences Symposium. Web:
-    18-22, COSPAR, Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, 3rd COSPARSymposium. Web:
-    18-22, ISPRS, Wuhan, China, ISPRS Geospatial Week 2017.
-    18-23, IUGG, IAGA, L'Aquila, Italy, International School ofSpace Science. Advanced Course on Complexity and Turbulence in Space Plasmas.
-    19-21, IAG, Bonn, Germany, IAG Workshop: Satellite Geodesyfor Climate Studies.
-    21-22, IAHS, Warsaw, Poland, STAHY 2017. Web:
-    September 24 - October 3, IAVCEI, Ecuador, 13th GasWorkshop.
-    25-27, IAG, IAU, Alicante, Spain, Journées des Systèmes deRéférence et de la Rotation Terrestre. Furthering our knowledge of EarthRotation.
-    25-29, UNESCO/IGCP, Ibadan, Nigeria, Second Workshop andField Trip "Long and short-term geodynamic interaction in tropicalAfrica”. Contact:
-    30 September - 7 October, IUGG, IAGA, Hekla, Iceland, 8thNordic Workshop - Paleography, Paleoclimate and the Geomagnetic Field. Web: TBA

IUGG Electronic Journal Volume 17 Number 7 (1 July 2017)

Editors: Tom Beer, Alik Ismail-Zadeh (Editor-in-Chief), Franz Kuglitsch(Associate Editor), and Kathryn Whaler.

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