Geology for Global Development

Geology for Global Development

GfGD at EGU16 – Summary Poster

GfGDEGU16

Attending #EGU16? Come along to one of the events in the image above to find out more about our work, and the role of geoscience in global development frameworks!

Not attending EGU16? 

We’ll be posting slides/poster downloads from all GfGD contributions on our website after the event.

You can see some commentary throughout the week on both the GfGD Twitter feed (@Geo_Dev) and my personal account (@JoelCGill). The main conference tag is #EGU16.

GfGD at the EGU General Assembly 2016

BANNER (1)The EGU General Assembly is an annual gathering of thousands of geoscientists from all over the world, taking place this year in Vienna from 17-22nd April. It has been a regular feature of my personal research calendar since 2012, becoming a great opportunity to also talk about GfGD and learn from others engaged in development activities.

The EGU Programme includes 10,000+ abstracts, covering all disciplines of the Earth, planetary and space sciences, and great debates, press conferences, and multiple short courses. It is an important opportunity for research dissemination, learning and networking.

Here are a few sessions that we are involved in together with others that may be of interest…

Monday 18th April

  • Natural Hazards Education, Communications and Science-Policy-Practice Interface [Details] >> GfGD will be supporting this session through a PICO presentation on ‘Mobilising and equipping young geologists to engage in disaster risk reduction’. Come join the session from 8.30-10.00 in PICO Spot 1. Following this PICO session there will be a splinter meeting for further discussion on relevant topics, details here
  • Geoethics: theoretical and practical aspects from research integrity to relationships between geosciences and society [Details] >> GfGD will be supporting this session through a poster on ‘Increasing the Engagement of Geoscientists in Global Development Frameworks’. Come see it and meet the GfGD team from 13.30-15.00 in Poster Hall D (Poster D32).  
  • Promoting and supporting equality of opportunities in geosciences [Details].
  • Meeting the water needs of a growing global population: groundwater contamination, monitoring, mitigation and adaptation in developing countries [Details].
  • Energy, Resources and the Environment [Details].

Tuesday 19th April

  • Geosciences in the Anthropocene [Details].
  • Plan it Earth: is there enough resource for all? Is it just a matter of planning for the future? [Details]
  • Splinter Meeting for Early Career Scientists working on Natural Hazards [Details]. I’ll be giving a short introductory talk about the work of GfGD in this splinter meeting.

Wednesday 20th April

  • Is global economic growth compatible with a habitable climate? [Details]

Thursday 21st April

  • Working at the science policy interface [Details].
  • Geoscience and the Sustainable Development Goals: Strategies for Eradicating Global Poverty [Details]. We are organising this splinter meeting in cooperation with others from University of Tübingen. This will be an interactive session and we’d love to have your input and ideas.
  • Sergey Soloviev Medal Lecture by Irasema Alcántara-Ayala [Details] >> Landslide risk assessment and landslide disaster risk management: on the missing link between scientific knowledge, decision making and practice.
  • Soil contributions to the UN-sustainable development goals [Details].

The following sessions are based on a preliminary look at the programme, and we’re sure there are many others worth following, depending on your interests!

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We’ll be posting slides/poster downloads from all GfGD contributions on our website after the event.

You can see some commentary throughout the week on both the GfGD Twitter feed (@Geo_Dev) and on my personal account (@JoelCGill). The main conference tag is #EGU16.

Putting Science at the Heart of Development

Putting Science at the Heart of Development
Sue Desmond-Hellman (CEO of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and Nick Hurd (Minister for International Development, DFID – UK Department for International Development) have written a joint article on putting science at the heart of development.
“If we are going to end extreme poverty, it’s going to take more than additional funds or deeper commitment, however. We are going to have to put science at the heart of international development…… We believe that science should go not only to improving the lives of those who can afford it, but also to those with the greatest need, regardless of where they are.”
We would add the following short reflections to this article:
 
(1) Putting science at the heart of development means greater recognition of the role that ALL the sciences can play, ensuring that all the sciences are playing their role in ending poverty. For many of those reading this post, that means working hard to put geoscience at the heart of development (including natural resource management, agriculture, water and sanitation, disaster risk reduction, climate change, health…). Geology has a significant role to play in many of the Sustainable Development Goals.
 
(2) Putting science at the heart of development means greater integration of scientists within the development sector. We need to see more effective, meaningful partnerships between scientific organisations and those delivering development support. Having scientists embedded within development organisations (including international NGOs) helps increase understanding of the benefits and limitations of science, together with supplying specialist technical knowledge to inform policy, programmes, and campaigning.
 
(3) Putting science at the heart of development means strong technical capacity strengthening. It’s great to see the article emphasise the importance of developing scientific knowledge in Africa and, we would add, other low income countries. Scientific and development organisations should be actively engaged in strengthening the technical capacity of institutions such as universities, research institutes and public-sector geological surveys. This requires meaningful consultation, with all relevant groups represented and working together as equals. This demands a wide range of supporting skills, including cultural understanding, effective communication, diplomacy and knowledge exchange (read more).

World Water Day 2016

The 22nd March 2016 is World Water Day, an annual event organised by the United Nations to promote the vital importance of ensuring universal access to clean, safe water. Around 10% of the world (650 million people) still lack access to clean water. 

Water is essential for life. When communities don’t have clean water they are forced to drink dirty and dangerous water, causing illness and sometimes death. Communities may also have to walk several kilometres to collect their water, sometimes clean and in other cases dirty but the closest or only water source around.

Clean water can transform lives, having a direct impact on many other areas of development. As it is usually women and children who collect water, a sustainable, clean water supply close to homes means that children can attend school and enjoy an education. Women can engage in more income-generating activities, adult education and see improvements in gender equality. Health is also transformed across the community, with reductions in disease and premature deaths.

Daily collection of water in Tanzania (2014)

Daily collection of water in Tanzania (2014)

Great progress has been made in recent years in helping bring access to clean water to more and more people, but there is still a lot of work to do. Geologists in both research and practice have a significant role to play in identifying sources of water, managing water supplies and protecting them from contamination. The relevant and important knowledge that we already have needs to be effectively used to support local (often village level) water user committees, government water departments and NGOs operating in affected regions. Effective technical-capacity strengthening at all levels is vital to ensure that water supplies are sustainable and effective.

Find out more… At the EGU General Assembly, the Geological Society of London and Geological Society of America are co-organising a session on “Meeting the water needs of a growing global population: groundwater contamination, monitoring, mitigation and adaptation in developing countries (GSL/GSA sponsored session)”

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