Covering the interests of all in the global geoscience community
The earth sciences affect, in some way, every aspect of our lives. If you have any interest or opinion on this subject, attendance at the 33rd INTERNATIONAL GEOLOGICAL CONGRESS, in Oslo, is a must for the year 2008.
This is one of the world’s oldest scientific conferences, and the premier event of the earth science calendar, providing the forum for ample debate on all significant advances in the earth sciences.
In recognition of the changes occurring around us, the main theme of this Congress is Geology and Sustainable Development --Earth System Science: Foundation for Sustainable Development. The aim, to promote discussion on the fundamental role of earth scientists and the industry as a whole, in responsible development and the preservation of our environment.
The INTERNATIONAL GEOLOGICAL CONGRESS started in the XIX century, and the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) has been its scientific sponsor since the 60's, when the Union was formed. However, funding was always a responsibility of the countries hosting the event, particularly local government and geoscientific societies.
The importance of the Congress, in the eyes of the local governments, has increased with each new venue, to the point in which the most recent ones, in Kyoto (1992) and Beijing (1996), were attended by very prominent figures such as Crown Prince Naruhito in Japan and Prime Minister Li Peng in China.
The organization of the IGC is a major undertaking. Preparation for the Beijing Congress took four years and involved about 900 people in China alone. People from IUGS and from previous IGC's organizing commissions were also involved, but the continued support from the Chinese government was fundamental for the success of the event.
The 31st INTERNATIONAL GEOLOGICAL CONGRESS is considered a landmark event as it will be the first to be held in South America, where it will coincide with the 500th anniversary celebrations of the arrival of the Portuguese to the continent. Furthermore, the theme, Geology and Sustainable Development - the Challenges for the Third Millennium, is one that is highly relevant to society as a whole, and the contributions to be debated will certainly influence many of the guidelines on environmental issues and their relationship with economic and social development.
This theme aims to create awareness of the need to deal, in a balanced way, with technology, and the environment, while still improving the quality of life of Mankind. Discussions will cover subjects as varied as basic research and mapping, exploration, resource management, the conservation and protection of mineral, water, energy resources and soils, as well as global monitoring Earth systems aimed particularly at minimizing the effects of natural hazards.
For the earth science community in Brazil and South America, this represents a unique opportunity to present the geology and mineral potential of the continent. We thus have a great responsibility and challenge ahead of us, to ensure that this event is the huge success that it promises to be.