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Asunto:NoticiasdelCeHu 1312/05 - IGU E--NEWSLETTER
Fecha:Sabado, 8 de Octubre, 2005  00:30:10 (-0300)
Autor:Centro Humboldt <humboldt>

NCeHu 1312/05

IGU International Geographical Union Union Géographique Internationale UGI

IGU E--Newsletter




# 1 July 2005

Editor-in-Chief: Ronald F. Abler — Associate Editor: Markku Löytönen — Editors: Giuliano

Bellezza, Woo-ik Yu — Managing Editor: Laura Ayo — Publisher: Home of Geography

Announcements, information, calls for participation in scientific events, programmes and

projects, are welcome. Please convey them to <>

Satellite editions [tentative list]

�� Chineese — editor, Changming Liu, <>

�� French — editor, Gérard Joly, <>

�� Japanese — editor, Hiroshi Tanabe, <>

�� Russian — editor, Nikita Glazovsky, <>

�� Spanish — editor, José-Luis Palacio Prieto, <>


IGU International Geographical Union Union Géographique Internationale UGI

IGU E--Newsletter




# 1 July 2005

Editor-in-Chief: Ronald F. Abler — Associate Editor: Markku Löytönen — Editors: Giuliano

Bellezza, Woo-ik Yu — Managing Editor: Laura Ayo — Publisher: Home of Geography

Announcements, information, calls for participation in scientific events, programmes and

projects, are welcome. Please convey them to <>

Contents of this Issue

�� The IGU E--Newsletter

�� IGU Executive Committee Operational Fields

�� Ten Theses on IGU and Geography

�� Home of Geography Progress

�� Web Sites

�� Cultures and Civilizations

�� 2006 Brisbane Regional Conference

�� 2008 International Geographical Congress

�� Mediterranean Renaissance Programme

�� International Year of Planet Earth

�� The IGU Megacities Task Force

�� The IGU Geopark Task Force

�� Oceans 21

�� Network on Latin American Studies

�� IGU Commission on Landscape Analysis

�� Teacher’s Sustainable Development Guide

�� International Geographical Olympiads

�� African Mentorship

�� Standardisation Guidelines

�� IGU Handbook


The IGU E--Newsletter

In the IGU General Assembly held in Glasgow in August 2004, an extensive discussion took

place of how the IGU could optimise its internal communications. To respond to this demand,

which concerns a strategic component of the IGU’s organisation and activity, the Executive

Committee decided:

1. to circulate electronically a quarterly IGU E--Newsletter with the aim of diffusing

information and calls for collaboration;

2. to consider establishing an international journal, with the essential aim of discussing the

role of IGU and geography in the scientific and social arenas and of focusing on the

Union’s research and educational projects;

3. to use the IGU Bulletin to document the official materials of the IGU, e.g., its statutes, the

minutes of general assembly and executive committee meetings, and memoranda of


The IGU E--Newsletter debuts with this issue. It is circulated to the presidents and secretaries

of IGU National Committees, Commissions, Task Forces and other IGU bodies, to corresponding

members, and to distinguished persons from other organisations. To be included on the E--

Newsletter mailing list, please contact Ms Laura Ayo, Managing Director of the E--Newsletter


The next issues will be announced by e-mail and will be available on the IGU

( and Home of Geography ( web


We would appreciate comments and implementation proposals.

Adalberto Vallega Ronald F. Abler

President, International Geographical


Secretary General, International

Geographical Union

IGU Executive Committee Operational Fields

Following the background decision taken by the Executive Committee in its Venice meeting (23-

27 April 2005), the vice-presidents of the IGU have assumed responsibility for individual

operational fields. The following breakdown was adopted:

Member of the Executive Committee Relevant Operational Field

Adalberto Vallega


General co-ordination

IGU representative in external relationship


Ronald F. Abler

Secretary General and Treasurer

General Secretariat, financial management,

Editor-in- chief of IGU publications

Anne Buttimer

Past President

Senior Advisor

José Luis Palacio Prieto

First Vice-president


Nikita Glazovsky


International research and programmes

Changming Liu


Mapping and GIS

Markku Löytönen


Information technology

President, Home of Geography

Hiroshi Tanabe



Lindisizwe M. Magi


IGU events

Woo-ik Yu


Membership and promotion

Ten Theses on IGU and Geography

In recent months, discussions of the role of IGU have expanded. Comments and suggestions

received during the Glasgow General Assembly in August 2004 with those harvested from

around the world after the event (particularly from young geographers) lead me to believe that the

time has come to discuss the role of the IGU not only in the scientific arena and in society, but

also in terms of its organisation and strategies. Discussions are essential to determining how the

IGU can enhance its participation in the scientific international arena with respect to research and

education, and in particular how it can contribute to dealing with climate change, globalisation,

assisting geographers at the local scale, and disseminating geographical knowledge to the public.

In order to provide a basis for implementing discussions, Adalberto Vallega drafted a

working paper entitled Ten Theses on IGU Strategy and Actions. It may be downloaded from

these web sites: (Documents section);;

Geographers are warmly invited to consider the document critically, and to offer

comments, suggestions, and proposals. Contributions should be addressed to

They will be assembled into a dossier that will be circulated for further consideration, and will be

used by the IGU Executive Committee as a basis for formulating initiatives.


Home of Geography Progress

Thanks to an intense promotional action by the Societŕ Geografica Italiana (SGI), the Home of

Geography has been received renewed funding from the Municipality of Rome. Meanwhile, the

Fondazione della Cassa di Risparmio di Roma (Foundation of the Savings Bank in Rome) has

allocated a financial contribution for carrying out an international initiative aimed at

implementing a dialogue concerning cultures and among civilizations (see Section Cultures and

Civilizations in this E--Newsletter issue). As a result, in Venice, on April 28, a Memorandum of

Understanding was concluded between the IGU and the SGI with reference to the 2005-2008

period, according to which the basic roles (maintenance and organization of the IGU archives,

hosting scientific meetings, editing and circulating IGU publications, assisting stagičres (interns)

and visitors) were confirmed, and a new operational field was outlined, namely technical cooperation

with the IGU General Secretariat as regards the management of corresponding

membership, the production and circulation of the IGU Bulletin and the IGU Newsletter, and

other complementary activities. The new membership of the Celimontana Committee, which is

responsible for managing the Home of Geography during the 2005-2008 period, includes IGU

representatives Markku Löytönen (president), Ronald F. Abler, and Woo-ik Yu, and SGI

representatives Cosimo Palagiano and Franco Salvatori. Giuliano Bellezza was confirmed as

Director, and Laura Ayo as the Executive Secretary. Further information and materials may be

found in

Publications Series edited by the Home of Geography

Volume I

Editor: Armando Montanari

Title: Human Mobility in a Borderless World?

Year of publication: 2002

Number of pages: 450

Volume II

Editor: Armando Montanari

Title: Food and Environment – Geographies of taste

Year of publication: 2002

Number of pages: 144

Volume III

(has not been published yet)

Volume IV

Editors: Yoshitaka Ishikawa; Armando Montanari

Title: The New Geography of Human Mobility – Inequality trends

Year of publication: 2003

Number of pages: 244

Volume V

Editors: Christian Vandermotten; Gilles Van Hamme; Pablo Medina Lockhart; Benjamin Wayens

Title: Migrations in Europe – The four last decades

Year of publication: 2004

Number of pages: 142


Volume VI

Editors: Gisella Cortesi; Flavia Cristaldi; Joos Drooglever Fortuijn

Title: Gendered Cities: Identities, Activities, Networks – A life-course approach

Year of publication: 2004

Number of pages: 243

Web Sites

Geographers around the world are cordially invited to visit the IGU web sites and to download

their materials. At the present time, two cardinal web sites are in operation: — This web site provides: i) legal materials, such as the IGU Statutes and

minutes of IGU General Assemblies and the meetings of the IGU Executive Committee, ii) the

organization of the whole IGU, including IGU National Committees and IGU Commissions and

Task Forces; and iii) technical and scientific materials. Moreover it serves as a portal since it is

provided with many links to IGU bodies, namely national committees, commissions and task

forces, international geographical congresses and regional conferences, and projects and research

programmes. Contact: Markku Löytönen, IGU Vice-president for information and technology

( — This web site, which is closely linked with the web site, includes: i) the presentation of the facilities of the Home of

Geography, ii) information about the activities of the Home of Geography, iii) scientific and

technical materials. Contact: Giuliano Bellezza, Director of the Home of Geography


Cultures and Civilizations

In late 2004, Jean-Robert Pitte, President of the Sorbonne, and Adalberto Vallega, President of

IGU, drafted a document emphasising the need to promote an extended dialogue among cultures

and among civilizations. In particular, they stated that:

it might be helpful if policy makers, science and the humanities, together with

media, are mobilised towards: i) illustrating the width and depth of the

endowment the civilizations human mankind has developed since the Neolithic

constitute; ii) demonstrating how this extended endowment has been built, not

only through the evolution of individual civilizations, but also, and especially,

because civilizations have interacted positively with each other; iii) reaffirming

the universal value of the dialogue among cultures and among civilizations and of

the existence of conditions that could lead to advanced and constructive forms of

civilization, bringing about increasingly progressive stages of human

development; iv) promoting initiatives that — in the frameworks of education,

communication, and relations with the public — aim to strengthen and diffuse an


accurate and positive vision of civilizations and the awareness of the values

appropriate to intercultural and intercivilizational dialogue.

The best outcome of this action — they concluded—would consist of the proclamation of an

International Year of Cultures and Civilizations. The IGU Executive Committee endorsed the

document at its 23-27 April meeting.

As has been mentioned in the Home of Geography Progress section of this issue, the

Fondazione della Cassa di Risparmio di Roma (Foundation of the Savings Bank in Rome),

allocated a financial contribution for carrying out the Cultures and Civilizations initiative in

collaboration with of the Home of Geography. As a result, an ad hoc Action Plan has been

designed and adopted by the IGU Executive Committee concerning the initial steps of this

initiative to be carried out in 2005.

The document Cultures and Civilizations may be downloaded from the following web


Details of the Cultures and Civilizations Action Plan will be circulated in the next issue of the

IGU E--Newsletter (October 2005). Contact person: Adalberto Vallega (

2006 Brisbane Regional Conference

The Brisbane Regional Conference Organizing Committee has been meeting regularly and plans

for the 2006 conference are well in hand. Conference dates are 3-7 July 2006. Conference

sessions will be held at the Queensland Institute of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, which will

substantially reduce costs. QUT is about 0.75 km from downtown Brisbane.

The organizing committee is making every effort to keep the early bird registration fee

below AUD 500 (about US $375). The registration fees will be announced in the second circular,

which will be available in August 2005. The conference web site ( is active.

Questions regarding the conference should be addressed via e-mail to:

2008 International Geographical Congress

This Congress will be held in Tunis, tentatively from 25-29 August 2008. Its theme will be

Collaboratively Building our Territories (Construire ensemble nos territoires). Pre-congress

excursions will take place from 18 to 23 August, and post-congress excursions from 30 August

through 10 September. Some adjustment in dates may be needed to avoid having congress events

overlap Ramadan. The proposed congress structure follows the traditional IGU pattern, with

plenary sessions, paper sessions, technical and poster sessions, an exposition, and social


programs for registrants and for accompanying persons. The organising body is the Comité

National d’Organisation du Congrčs de Tunis 2008 (CNOC 2008). The web site of the Congress

is under construction. At the present time, information and materials may be found on the web

site of the Association des Géographes Tunisiens (

Contact persons are:

Professeur Habib DLALA, President of CNOC, Doyen de la Faculté de Sciences

Humaines et Sociales, Université de Tunis, 94, bd du 9 Avril 1938, Tunis 1007 Tunisia.

Tel: ++216 71- 564 713 ; Fax: ++216 71 569 416, 00216 71 567 551; E-mail:

Professeur Ali TOUMI, General Secretary of CNOC, Faculté de Sciences Humaines et

Sociales, Université de Tunis, 94, bd du 9 Avril 1938, Tunis 1007 Tunisia. Tel. ++216-79-

328 083 ; E-mail:

Mediterranean Renaissance Programme

In order to mobilise intellectual energies and scientific contributions to the 2008 Tunis

International Geographical Congress (see Section 2008 International Geographical Congress)

the IGU Executive Committee has approved a Mediterranean Renaissance Programme (MRP).

This initiative was designed to focus on the geographical conditions of the Mediterranean region,

its perspectives for human development, the peculiarities of inter-cultural relationships among

local communities, the perception of this region from the rest of the world, and the perception of

the rest of the world from the region. The initiatives concerned with the MRP may have various

content and formats: scientific meetings and publications, exhibitions, TV performances, and

other media products.

The MRP will be implemented during the 2004-2008 period, and the subsequent

outcomes will be presented and discussed in Tunis, in the framework of the 31st International

Geographical Congress. The MRP was lodged on the IGU web site (see

Section Documents to Download), where subsequent materials will also be posted. At the present

time, only the English version may be found. The French version is expected soon.

The MRP will be implemented according to bottom up principles. Participation in the

MRP is open to all the IGU Commissions and Task Forces, as well as to bodies external to the

IGU. Those bodies that are interested in participating in the MRP are cordially invited to contact

Adalberto Vallega (, and to provide some essential information:

1. concisely presenting the proposed initiative;

2. specifying the date, or the period in which, the initiative is expected to come out;

3. indicating the collaboration and the international relationships on which the initiative will

be based;

4. designating the scientific outcomes that are expected to be achieved.


Recently the MRP Steering Committee was established. It includes: Adalberto Vallega,

Chair (, Ronald F. Abler, IGU Secretary General and Treasurer (,

Antoine Bailly, Chair of IGU Commission on Applied Geography (,

Giuliano Bellezza, Director of Home of Geography (, Aharon

Kellerman, Chair of IGU Commission on Information Society (, Maria

Sala, Co-ordinator of the Mediterranean Network (, André-Louis Sanguin,

Chair of IGU Commission on Political Geography (, Alě Toumi,

( General Secretary of Association des Géographes Tunisiens, and

General Secretary of the Comité National d’Organisation de Congrčs 2008.

The role of Secretary of the MRP Steering Committee was assumed by Maria Paradiso,

Executive Secretary of the IGU Commission on Information Society (

International Year of Planet Earth

The idea of an International Year of Planet Earth was launched in 2000 at an International Union

o f Geological Sciences (IUGS) Council meeting. Proclamation of an International Year was seen

as a potentially powerful means of demonstrating how society could profit from the accumulated

knowledge of the solid Earth as part of System Earth. This idea was discussed further at the 48th

IUGS Executive Committee meeting in February 2001, and a feasibility study was launched.

UNESCO’s Earth Science Division provided immediate support, making it a joint initiative by

IUGS and UNESCO. Proclamation of the International Year of Planet Earth by the UN is

planned for the earliest possible date, probably in 2007 or 2008. Realisation of its ambitious

science and outreach programmes demands a period of at least three years centred on the UN

Year. A Science Programme Committee (SPC) developed its Terms of Reference in 2002, and

these were approved by the initiators soon afterwards. At the present time, the following range of

themes is in operation:

Theme Leader Members

Groundwater Struckmeier (Ge) Rubin (USA), Horn (Ge), Jones (UK), Zhang


Climate Dodson (Au, now


Alverson (USA, now UN), Nield (UK), Yuan

(Cn), Yim (CN), Wiegand (Ge)

Health Selinus (Se) Centeno (USA), Finkelman (USA), Weinstein

(Au), Derbyshire (UK)

Deep Earth Cloetingh (Nl) Ludden (Fr), Zoback (USA), Emmermann (Ge),

Thybo (Dk), Horvath (Hu)

Megacities Kraas (Ge) Nennonen (Fi), Marker (UK), de Mulder (Nl)

Resources Sinding-Larsen (No) Shields (USA), Hovland (USA), Gleditsch

(No), Leach (USA), Nurmi (Fi)

Hazards Beer (Au) Marsh (UK), Bobrowsky (Ca), Canuti (It),

Cutter (USA), Alexander (UK), Babase (UN)

Ocean Chen (Cn) Lin (USA), Fischer (USA), Devey (Ge),

Whitmarsh (UK)

Soils Dent (UK), Hartemink (Nl), Kimble


A main role was assigned to the outreach programme . The Outreach Programme

Committee has developed a web site (, produced flyers, and distributed

10,000 general information brochures and leaflets. As with the science programme, the outreach

programme will essentially operate in a bottom-up mode. Individuals and organisations will be

invited to submit proposals for realization through the International Year.

Implementation of the outreach programme will be undertaken largely at regional and

local levels. Countries and regions will be encouraged to develop their own outreach

programmes, as was successfully achieved by Germany in 2002. Components in the outreach

programme may include:

Cooperation for increased visibility: affiliate with the Year

Recycling educational material

Support scientists from countries with weak economies

Citizen science: involve the public in research


Stories (news, books)

Programme making

Art commissioning

By mid 2003, three ICSU sister Unions (IUGG, IGU and IUSS) had agreed to become

partners in the IYPE initiative, a move soon followed by ICSU’s International Lithosphere

Programme. Partners share moral and financial responsibilities in this endeavour. Other such

partners are the Geological Society of London and the Geological Survey of the Netherlands

(TNO-NITG). A consortium of three geo-scientific associations/societies, affiliated to IUGS

(IAEG, ISRM and ISSMGE) joined these partners in mid-March 2005.

At the present time the IGU participation in the IYPE consists of a financial contribution and

the co-ordination of the Megacities Project (Prof. Frauke Kraas). At its 23-27 April meeting, the

IGU Executive Committee decided:

to allocate $5,000 per year to support of the IYPE program;

that IGU will focus its IYPE efforts on interactions between natural and social processes;


that R. Abler, N. Glazovsky, Changming Liu, and A. Vallega will constitute a working

group to formulate a distinct IGU initiative as a contribution to the IYPE;

that H. Tanabe will be nominated to serve on the IYPE Outreach Program Committee;


that the IYPE leadership will be encouraged to consider renting the Home of Geography

as meeting site.

Contact: International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS)


The IGU MegaCities Task Force

Since its inception in 2000 the IGU MegaCities Task Force has focused on applying geographic

expertise to megacity issues of continental and global scale, with particular reference to global

change in environmental systems and the globalisation of economy, politics, and society.

The primary focus of the task force is its scientific orientation in aiming at the

development, promulgation, and dissemination of new research topics on megacities with

relevance for society from a geographic perspective. Moreover, it is aiming at improving the

competitiveness of geography in relation to neighbouring disciplines, strengthening the

perspective of undividable connectivity between natural forces and the human dimension in the

earth system in research and education, and improving geography’s public relations and


The special character of the task force is expressed by the following principles: a)

strategic external networking by enhancing the role of geography in international organisations

and institutions as well as in interdisciplinary cooperation, b) internal networking by promotion

of worldwide cooperation among geographers with respect to scientific research, applications,

and education, c) enhancing visibility of geographic expertise in public and the media by quick,

flexible reaction on questions, information demands, statements.

The Steering Committee consists of 20 members from 16 countries (Austria, Brazil,

Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Myanmar, Pakistan, Peru, Singapore,

South Africa, Switzerland, and the USA). More than 280 researchers are connected by a mailing


The major achievements of the last years are: establishment of an international research

network (web site platform:, conferences and round tables,


conference sessions, papers and presentations, newsletters, participation in the IHDP urbanisation

core project, publications, and poster exhibitions.

Any feedback and collaboration is highly appreciated (details about activities, new projects,

recent publications, material on individual megacities, and items for the task force web page).

Please contact either Frauke Kraas ( or Ursula Dörken (u.doerken@unikoeln.

de), who is responsible for the secretariat in Cologne.

The IGU Geopark Task Force

At the end of 2004, the IGU Executive Committee decided to launch a new task force on

Geoparks, an initiative that could bring a geographical perspective to a recently developed

UNESCO program for the management and protection of the natural and cultural heritage.

According to UNESCO, a Geopark:

is a territory with well-defined limits that has a large enough surface area for it to

serve local economic development. It comprises a certain number of geological

heritage sites (on any scale) or a mosaic of geological entities of special scientific

importance, rarity or beauty, representative of an area and its geological history,

events or processes. It may not solely be of geological significance but also of

ecological, archaeological, historical or cultural value.

Initially developed by geologists, the concept and its criteria were taken seriously enough

by UNESCO to develop and disseminate the International Network on Geoparks. Today, 29

Geoparks, located in China (12) and Europe (Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy,

Spain, and UK) constitute the UNESCO network, whereas Africa and the Americas are not yet

represented. Bridging nature with culture, management with protection, and geo-conservation

with local sustainable development are the most outstanding characteristics of this new

international effort, but its main feature may be the active local participation for the establishment

and administration of Geoparks, linking education, participatory research, sustainable

development (i.e. geo-tourism) with geo-conservation as their main goals. Geoparks may also

bridge geosciences, ecology, and the social sciences for protecting our world’s heritage.

Since 2000, geographers and geologists have met on several occasions to discuss the

pertinence of an interdisciplinary perspective on Geoparks, linking geo-conservation with

endogenous local development. The latter has been one of the topics seriously undertaken by

geographers during the last decades. The geographical perspective on Geoparks includes

integrating landscape as its main concept; requires a holistic approach and trans-disciplinary

research to promote multicultural participatory bridges, and links local knowledge and practice

into the research-development agenda. It encourages solid scientific inter-union linkages and

focuses on establishing Geoparks in Africa and the Americas. It also promotes South-South

research relations and North-South exchanges.

The Geoparks’ task force main activities during the last six months are the:


Constitution of a task force that includes ten experts from Europe, the Americas and


Organization of the GEOSEE Initiative’s first annual meeting in Morelia, Mexico in

April 2005. The GEOSEE Initiative was launched in Beijing in 2004, during the First

International Conference on Geoparks. This is an inter-union (IUGS-UNESCO-IGU)

effort promoting geo-conservation in a wide perspective. The IGU holds a vice-president

chair for the next couple of years.

Construction of the IGU Geoparks’ web page that will be launched by the end of this

year and linked to the IGU web page, according to our union pre-established criteria.

Integration of an interdisciplinary and international research group, hosted by the

National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), based in Morelia, Michoacán. The

team is constituted of researchers, PhD and MSc students from Mexico, the USA, China,

Colombia, Spain and the Netherlands, and

Initiation of participatory research for the establishment of the First UNESCO Geoparks

Network in the Americas (Paricutin Volcano-San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutíro) with

support from the Michoacán state government and the local authorities.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Narciso Barrera-Bassols

Co-ordinator, IGU Geoparks Task Force

Instituto de Geografía, UNAM

Unidad Académica de Morelia

Aquiles Serdán 382; Morelia 58000, Michoacán, México

Tel + 52 (443) 3179424

Fax + 52 (443) 3179425;

Oceans 21

In November 2004 the programme Oceans 21, jointly convened by IGU and the

Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, re-started with the

partnership of:

Gerard J. Mangone Center for Marine Policy, Newark, Delaware, USA

CoastGIS International Executive Committee

GIS International Group (GISIG), Genoa, Italy

International Centre for Ocean and Coastal Policy Studies (ICCOPS), Genoa, Italy


The Steering Committee includes the following members from IGU:

David R. Green, Co-ordinator of the IGU membership, CoastGIS’05 Host & CoastGIS

International Committee, Univ. of Aberdeen UK (

Darius Bartlett, member of the Steering Committee, CoastGIS International Committee

and Department of Geography, University College Cork, Cork IE (

Roger Longhorn, member of the Steering Committee, Director, Info-Dynamics

Research Associates UK & CoastGIS International Committee; City University, London,

UK (

Dr. Emanuele Roccatagliata, member of the Steering Committee and responsible for the

Oceans 21 Technical Secretariat, GISIG-Geographical Information System International

Group IT (

The Technical Secretariat may be contacted at:

Oceans 21 now focuses on using and promoting GIS technology and geospatial data, as

the practical linkage among ocean, near-shore, coastal, inland environmental, as well as cultural

heritage research and management. Details may be found at

Network on Latin American Studies

In recent years the IGU Executive Committee has recognised the need for regionally-based

research collaboration particularly on matters of environmental concern. Intra-regional scholarly

communication, however, is often impeded by divides of language, nationality, and cultural

tradition. And many countries, particularly in the so-called "developing" world, do not participate

in IGU programmes and projects. In addition to the scientific rationale for a research focus on

biophysically defined regions, it was suggested that intra-regional cooperation could enable the

better endowed countries to assist the less well-endowed in addressing regional challenges and

becoming more involved in IGU.

The IGU Executive Committee approved a specific proposal from Latin America during

the 30th International Geographical Congress in Glasgow in order to promote a Network on Latin

American Studies (LAS). The objective of the LAS network is to establish an instrument to

catalyze the participation of geographers within a region characterized by a common background,

cultural affinities, and mutual academic interests, regardless of language, religion, race, and other

potential barriers. The main goal is to incorporate regional and local knowledge of geographers in

the international geographical work of the IGU. Participants are not exclusively from Latin

America, but include Latin Americanist geographers from various regions of the world.

Some recent activities of the LAS network include academic events (“Latin America

beyond the Nineties,” Cordoba Argentina) and the publication of the book Geografía(s) de

America Latina, together with the Latin American Geographical Association, among others.


The network is chaired by Ana María Liberali, Buenos Aires, Argentina


IGU Commission on Landscape Analysis

This newly established Commission, chaired by Niko Beruchashvili (Georgia) convened its first

international conference in Tbilisi from 4-6 May 2005, to discuss Critical Areas in a Landscape:

From Theory and Mapping to Management. Eminent specialists and practitioners in land and

ecosystem conservation and management from 12 countries of North America, Europe, and Asia

attended the meeting. A conference statement was approved, that stated in part:

The landscape approach is a fertile crossroads for scientists, practitioners, and

policy-makers for devising spatial-temporal tools, integrating physical/natural,

economic, and socio-cultural dimensions, promoting and for communicating

land/ecosystem and natural hazard management solutions for sustainable

development at a ground level.

Proposed next steps include:

Publication of conference proceedings, e.g. World Bank series on forest management – in

English and Russian (Fall/Winter 2005) and submission of a series of articles for a

possible new journal, which tentatively will be called Landscape Analysis.

Initiating a quick series of technical meetings of practitioners in the second half of 2005

as a step toward establishment of an international ‘Height Conservation Value Forest

(HCVF) Resource Network. (for example in Vladivostok in September-October 2005).

Developing proposals (second half of 2005) for several network development projects to

be implemented in 2006-2007, including: joint expeditions for mapping critical landscape

areas in a specific region (e.g. the Caucasus); development and publication of a

Landscape Analysis applications manual/sourcebook; and development and publication of

college-level Landscape Analysis curricula and textbooks under the Bologna Process. The

establishment of a Landscape Analysis network in 2005-2007 is intended to lead to the

design and launch in 2007-2008 of larger-scale international projects on landscape

monitoring and management, including landscape laboratories.

An important milestone for reporting interim results will be the IGU Regional Conference

in Brisbane, Australia in July 2006.

Contact person:

Nicolas Beroutchavhvili (, 27 Mnatobis str, Tbilisi 0132, Georgia

Teacher’s Sustainable Development Guide


The IGU organized a workshop at the Home of Geography in Rome, from 13th through 24th June.

The purpose was to gather teachers from several countries of the world, to discuss the most

effective teaching methods applicable in local schools, aiming at educating pupils on the

important issue of Sustainable Development. Several projects were designed, targeting specific

existing environmental and social problems in the various countries examined and proposing

some practical action plans.

Three participants gathered in Rome for the first workshop of this kind, held in 2002: Nikoloz

Berouchashvili (Georgia), Morris Chauke (South Africa) and Alvaro Sanchez-Crispin (Mexico).

This time six more teachers joined them: Shyam Asolekar (India), Gabriel Bautista (Argentina),

Manuela Ferreira (Portugal), Hugo Romero (Chile), Chanchai Thanawood (Thailand) and

Shaohong Wu (China), under the direction of Margaret Robertson, Executive Secretary of the

Commission on Geographical Education. Each of the nine participants presented three different

projects for field studies that they will carry on with their students in the next months, in order to

publish a second Teacher’s Guide by the end of 2005.

In the opening days the team enjoyed the presence and support of Ron Abler, Ashley Kent and

Stuart Brooks, while Anne Buttimer joined the group in the last days of the workshop.

Throughout the workshop, the participants received unfaltering assistance from the Director of

the Home, Giuliano Bellezza, the HofG Secretary, Laura Ayo and Dr. Anna Cossiga.

International Geographical Olympiads

The first International Geography Olympiad was held in the Netherlands (1996), followed by

similar events in Portugal, South Korea, South Africa, and Poland. Sixteen countries participated

to the last Olympiad. Olympiads aim first to stimulate active interest in geographical and

environmental studies among young people, second to debate the importance of geography as a

senior secondary school subject by drawing attention to the quality of geographical skills and

interests among young people, and third to facilitate friendly contacts between young people

from different countries and by so doing, to contribute to understanding among nations.

The Olympiad incorporates teams of four 15-19 year old students in secondary education

from individual countries, though it is primarily a competition among individual students.

Olympiads focus on a geographical competition with three parts: a written test, a multimedia test

and a substantial field project. Geography provides excellent opportunities for activities focusing

on cultural exchange, and these cultural activities are part of a social programme of each

Olympiad. The official language of the Olympiad is English.

The next Olympiad is planned in association with the IGU Regional Conference in

Brisbane in 2006. The IGU has established a Task-Force for the Olympiad to assist the local

organizers, and each national committee that wishes to send delegates to this event. Though

financial support is limited for the Olympiad itself as well as for the task force, the IGU

Executive Committee will ask the national committees of all member countries to support the

young students who participate.


Questions about the International Geography Olympiad should be addressed to the co-chairs of

the Task-Force:

Joop van der Schee (

Henk Ankoné, (

Standardisation Guidelines

The Standardisation Guidelines is a document prepared following a decision taken by the IGU

Executive Committee at its 28 September-2 October 2004 meeting. It provides criteria and

instructions for:

design and use of IGU letterheads;

mention of the name of the IGU and the IGU’s bodies in official documents;

use the IGU’s logo;

design of IGU book covers;

journal including materials from the Union’s bodies;

mention of the IGU in papers in edited books;

designing leaflets;

designing the programmes of IGU events;

designing web sites.

The Standardisation Guidelines may be downloaded from the IGU (http://www.igunet.

org/) and the Home of Geography ( web sites.

IGU bodies and individual geographers operating in the framework of IGU are cordially


1. to apply the instructions included in the Standardisation.pdf file, and

2. to contribute to the utility of this work by conveying comments, suggestions and

proposals to Vice -president Markku Löytönen (, who is the

Vice-president in charge for this initiative.


IGU Handbook

The IGU Handbook is meant to serve as instructions for the use of the IGU. It includes

information on how to contact various individuals and how to work in the framework of the IGU

Statutes. It consists of the following sections:

1. Becoming an IGU member

2. Establishing and conducting research bodies

3. Conducting National Committee business

4. Communicating with the IGU Executive Committee

5. Communicating and interacting within the IGU

6. Using the Home of Geography

7. Networking on a regional basis

8. Convening IGU events

9. Asking for, and giving, sponsorship.

Each Section was designed with the aim of responding to the following basic queries:

What regulations may be found in the IGU Statutes?

What guidelines are provided by the Executive Committee?

How is the optimum way to operate?

Who is the contact person in the Executive Committee?

This initial edition will be periodically updated. In this respect, the IGU bodies and

individuals are cordially invited to contribute by conveying comments, suggestions, and

proposals to Professor Ronald F. Abler, IGU Secretary General and Treasurer, who is responsible

for this tool.

The Handbook may be downloaded from the IGU ( and the

Home of Geography ( web sites.