Geology for Global Development

The International Association for Promoting Geoethics

As geoscientists we have to consider the human impact of the decisions we make throughout our careers. There are many circumstances that require us to  consider and discuss the ethical code of our profession. Developing the necessary soft skills and creating a forum for the discussion of ethical issues is one of the aims of Geology for Global Development.

The International Association for Promoting Geoethics (IAPG) is working to raise the profile of ethics within the geoscience community. The IAPG aims make geoscientists more conscious of their role and responsibilities, and inform society about environmental and resource issues. One area which particularly stands out to us is their theme of “organizing effective teaching tools to develop awareness, values and responsibility, especially amongst young people.”

Research into geoethics is often considered ‘low profile’ compared with traditional geoscience research, and fails to make it into the public domain in the form of journal articles. The IAPG has ensures that research gets due credit and discussion. The IAPG are active at conferences, and you can find them at the upcoming international groundwater conference and the 2013 EGU annual meeting.

GfGD will be following the work of the IAPG with interest, and we look forward to possible future collaborations in areas where our work may overlap.


Rosalie was the Himalayas Programme Officer for Geology for Global Development and writer for the GfGD blog. She is a geochemist and a postdoc at the University of Oxford.


  1. Dear colleague,

    As an EGU member, I would appreciate the incorporation of the following information regarding Geoethics. I hope it will provide a wider panorama about this discipline.
    Thanks in advance and best regards,

    Prof. Jesús Martínez-Frías
    First Vice President of the International Association for Geoethics (IAGETH)
    Coordinator of the AGID Working Group in Spain (mainly devoted to Geoethics)

    International Association for Geoethics (IAGETH)

    Geoethics is not a new discipline. Despite the term being used with various meanings, Geoethics was born in 1991 at the junction of Ethics and Geology. Dr. Vaclav Nemec (since 2004 Vicepresident for Europe of the Association of Geoscientists for International Development -AGID, Head of the AGID Working Group for Geoethics, Krumbein Medalist of the Insternational Association for Mathematical Geology and current President of the IAGETH) is considered the father of this discipline. Geoethics has been accepted by both Earth and Social Sciences because the necessity of an appropriate ethical attitude to the whole geosphere and of critical analysis of geoethical dilemmas and finding ways how to solve them (Dr. Vaclav Nemec dixit).

    Numerous contributions on Geoethics were presented in all International Geological Congresses (Japan, China, Brazil, Italy, Norway, Australia) (since 1992 — in the 29th IGC, Kyoto (Japan) as Ethical Geology in the Education Process ), as well as in other specific workshops in different countries. The most important and emblematic conference of Geoethics is held in the framework of the Mining Příbram Symposium (Příbram, Czech Republic), with around 300 congress contributions, since 1992. The first world monograph about Geoethics was published in July 2012 in Russia by the IAGETH Vice-President Dr. Nataliya Nikitina. N. Nikitina Geoethics: theory, principles, problems. Monograph. M:, LLC Geoinformmark, 2012. 155 pp. ISBN 978-5-98877-049- 7?

    In accordance with the IAGETH, Geoethics is an interdisciplinary field between Geosciences and Ethics which involves Earth and Planetary Sciences as well as applied ethics. It deals with the way of human thinking and acting in relation to the significance of the Earth as a system and as a model. Geoeducational, scientific, technological, methodological and social-cultural aspects are included (e.g. sustainability, development, geodiversity and geoheritage, prudent consumption of mineral resources, appropriate measures for predictability and mitigation of natural hazards, geoscience communication, museology, etc). In addition, the necessity of considering appropriate protocols, scientific integrity issues and a code of good practice – regarding the study of the abiotic world – is covered by this discipline. Studies on planetary geology (sensu lato) and astrobiology also require a geoethical approach.

    IUGS has institutionally supported the link between Geoethics and Geoducation. Geoethics is extremely important in the context of the activities of the IUGS Commission on Geoscience Education, Training and Technology Transfer.

    The official business meeting of the AGID international Working Group of Geoethics on August 7, 2012 in Brisbane (Australia), adopted the following conclusion:

    “After more than 20 years of activities reflected in all International Geological Congresses since 1992, regular international meetings at Pribram /since 1992/ and elsewhere activity of the WG under the umbrella of AGID, we have to take into consideration the increasing interest for this discipline in both theoretical and practical aspects, and the significance of the International Declaration of Geoethics. Therefore, we have decided by unanimity to establish a new International Association for Geoethics (IAGETH)”

    Geoethics and IAGETH will be present in the International Congress of Stratigraphy (STRATI 2013), 1-7 July, Lisboa (Portugal), and in the EOS7. Session: Geoethics and Geoeducation. European Geoscience Union (EGU). 7-12 April 2013. Likewise, The International Conference on Geoethics will be held in Pribram (Czech Republic), 14-18 October 2013.

    The International Association for Geoethics (IAGETH) is the only one that inherits an extraordinary tradition of international fruitful cooperation, and a long legacy of more than 20 years of experience and pioneering work promoting geoethics, credited with numerous workshops, symposia, and academic and scientific talks and more than 350 congress contributions and publications.

  2. Hello Jesús, Thank you very much for all this extra information. If you would like to write for us about geoethics you would be welcome to submit a guest blog to us discussing this subject in more detail,

    Thank you,

    • Dear Rosalie,

      Thank you so much! I appreciate your kindness. Please, let me know how I can participate, if not now, when you consider more appropriate.
      Kind regards, Merry Christmas/Season’s Greetings and happy New year,


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