Friday, March 31, 2017

Geoethics at CINAREM '17

Yurisley Valdes Mariño
Thanks to our section IAPG-Cuba, leaded by Yurisley Valdes Mariño, geoethics has been included among the topics of CINAREM '17 - IX International Conference on The Better use of Mineral Resources, that will be held from 14 to 16 November 2017 in Cuba, at the Instituto Superior Minero Metalúrgico de Moa.


IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics is partner of CINAREM '17.

Download the official announcement here:

Other IAPG events:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The IAPG section of Pakistan

Welcome to the IAPG section of Pakistan! 

The section will work under the responsibility of Muhammad Yaseen and Emad Ullah Khan, Lecturers at the Department of Geology, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan.

Currently IAPG-Pakistan can count on 33 members.

Facebook page of IAPG-Pakistan:

Muhammad Yaseen
Muhammad Yaseen works as Lecturer in the Department of Geology at the Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan (Pakistan). He got a Merit Certificate of the Department of Geology at University of Peshawar in 2013. He has worked in different national and international research projects funded by Schlumberger, PPL and HDIP Pakistan. He worked as Assistant Geologist at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil & Gas Company Limited (KPOGCL), where he carried out project activities on shale gas, shale oil and tight gas study (SSTS) and on the assessment of shale gas potential of upper Indus Basin by integrating geological, geochemical and petrophysical data. He has been involved in mapping for more than 5 years, contributing to, or coordinating 2 published and 2 still unpublished geological maps in the areas of the Peshawar Basin. He started his studies in petrophysics and structural geology, but working on sedimentary & metamorphic terranes, he also became interested in sedimentary petrology and sedimentology. He coordinated or contributed to geological reports and technical studies of Peshawar Basin and adjoining FATA areas.

Emad Ullah Khan
Emad Ullah Khan works as Lecturer in the Department of Geology at the Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan (Pakistan). Before joining AWKUM he worked as visiting lecturer at University of Malakand. He did his Mphil in the Department of Earth Sciences, Quaid-e-Azam, Islamabad in 2015. He got his Bachelors in Earth Sciences at COMSATS, Abbottabad, in 2012. His expertise is in the field of carbonate sedimentology focusing on the dolomitization process, geochemistry & reservoir characterization..

Other IAPG national sections:

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

by IAPG-Peru
concerning the recent climatic events in Peru 
and the resulting damages

Lima (Peru)
28 March 2017

In the light of extreme meteorological events occurred in Peru in the last weeks, IAPG-Peru has released an Open Letter addressed to the Peruvian Society with an exhortation to adopt a series of actions to face extreme meteorological events in order to reduce geo-risks.

Download the Open Letter:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Picture credit:

Friday, March 24, 2017

Susan Kieffer, a legendary geoscientist!

IAPG is honored to announce that its Vice-President, Professor Susan Werner Kieffer, has been recognized as the 2017 Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist.

Congratulations to Susan from all the IAPG worldwide community!!!

Here below the Press Release by AGI - American Geosciences Institute (

March 22, 2017

Alexandria, VA - The American Geosciences Institute is pleased to recognize Dr. Susan Werner Kieffer, Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with the 2017 Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medal. The Medal will be awarded to Dr. Kieffer at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists awards ceremony on April 2, 2017, in Houston.

Dr. Kieffer's career illustrates an amazing commitment to research and service. Her approach-involving field, experimental, and theoretical work-has profoundly influenced understanding of planetary interiors and surfaces, and has highlighted unifying themes across disciplines. In addition, her service to geoscience, both through societies and through other venues, positively impacts both fellow geoscientists and society in general.

Dr. Kieffer has touched the broadest range of geoscience disciplines throughout her career, enriching scientific discovery through her field work, empirical research, and contributions to geoscientific theory. Her research has fundamentally improved our understanding of Earth's interior and surface, and our neighbors in the Solar System. Examples of her eminence in the geosciences abound: Her model of lattice dynamics was instrumental in developing a method to calculate thermodynamics parameters from spectroscopic data, revolutionizing both mineral physics and isotope geochemistry; while working for the U.S. Geological Survey, she rafted the Colorado River numerous times to produce hydraulic maps for all of the rapids within the Grand Canyon; she was the first researcher to lower a video camera into Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park; she was one of the first researchers to visit Mt. Saint Helens after its 1980 eruption; and her research on gas plumes observed on Saturn's moon, Enceladus, has driven vibrant discussion about the presence of water on some of the moons in our Solar System.

She is an active participant in geoscience service at equally high levels. Her work on shockwaves, hydraulic jumps, and volcanic explosions reached lay audiences in her popular science book, The Dynamics of Disaster (2014, W.W. Norton & Company). She is Vice President of the International Association for Promoting Geoethics and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. As the recipient of the prestigious "genius award" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, she founded the Kieffer Institute for Development of Science-Based Education, a nonprofit located in Phoenix, Ariz., where she helped teach science to at-risk 7th to 12th graders.

Additionally, she has been an associate editor for American Mineralogist, chairman of the Canadian Geoscience Council for study of nuclear waste disposal, chair of the Geology/Geography Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was co-founder of the Critical Issues Caucus, which organized early interdisciplinary meetings on sustainability.

Dr. Kieffer is delighted to receive this latest award, and she shared the following note: "My first reaction was that it must be a hoax--never been called a legend before! Then I had the feeling that I've had before many times--life as a geologist has been, and continues to be, wonderful, and I'm very thankful to the community for all the opportunities throughout the many years."

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Monday, March 20, 2017

Geoethics of fracking and oil

by Franco Oboni
Franco Oboni

(Riskope, Vancouver B.C. Canada; email:

Picture credit: © Copyright K A

We recently read about geoethics of fracking and oil in this blog.

Stephen Crittenden, the author of the paper, brilliantly explains "bad practices" in geoethics of fracking and oil, which strike stunning similarities with ethical issues in mining, a topic we are familiar and have written over 20 papers in the last 10 years.

Stephen adeptly starts by defining "bad practices" as both, deliberate and accidental (avoidable) and sometimes due to ignorance while lamenting the negative publicity suffered by oil and gas industry.

The reasons he invokes for the bad publicity are reasons we have discussed for mining at length in the Riskope Blog in the past, namely:

1) The lack of clarity in explaining/communicating to the public what the industry does, how it does it and what are the resulting risks to people, infrastructure and the environment. We discussed this specific theme at CIM in 2013 in a paper titled:"Can we stop misrepresenting reality to the public?"). Energy has striking resemblance with mining insofar it is required to sustain our societies, but also generates risks that should be managed while ensuring economic sustainability.

2) The lack of undefined terminology (you can download an ISO 31000 compatible version here) and jargon, leading to endless misinterpretations and re-interpretations, often for political reasons (which we exposed in our chapter in Geohazards Caused by Human Activity).

3) The apparent "gaps" in Corporate Social Responsibility and "Corporate Ethics and Compliance" due to simplistic approaches which we discussed here.

4) The poorly explained evolution the industry has followed in the last decades, although, like for the mining industry, tarnished by some highly publicized accidents with the shortcomings discussed here.

So, we know the culprits, but way more importantly, we know how to fix them.
Why do we want to fix them? Because we want to serve our societies and make economic, environmental, ethical sense with our operations.

This will not be "lip-service". It is the correct approach.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The issue #1 - 2017 of the IAPG Newsletter is out!


- Congresses (Geoethics at EGU 2017, XX Argentine Geological Congress...)
- Cape Town Statement on Geoethics: news (IUGS endorsed the Statement)
- New national sections (IAPG-Romania)
- Publications (2 new papers on geoethics and social geology and a book)
- Videos (2 videos on Disaster Risk Reduction and a Workshop in Nigeria)
- From IAPG Blog (4 articles on several geoethical issues)
- Focus (on sustainable mining and Global Risks Report 2017)
- Donations

Download the IAPG Newsletter #1 - 2017 at:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017



Vienna (Austria)
26 April 2017

Another great IAPG session on geoethics is planned on 26 April 2017 (Room L4/5) at EGU General Assembly.

The session (EOS14) is entitled "GEOETHICS: ETHICAL, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL IMPLICATIONS OF GEOSCIENCE KNOWLEDGE, EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND PRACTICE" and is convened by Silvia Peppoloni (IAPG Secretary General and IAPG-Italy coordinator), Nic Bilham (IAPG Continental Coordinator for Europe), Martin Bohle (IAPG Corresponding Citizen Scientist), Giuseppe Di Capua (IAPG Treasurer), Eduardo Marone (IAPG-Brazil coordinator).

33 abstracts have been submitted in this session by 74 authors from 19 countries (Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Switzerland, Tanzania, United Kingdom, USA).

12 orals are grouped into 2 sub-sessions: Part 1 - Defining and communicating Geoethics and Part 2 - Operationalising Geoethics: professional, institutional and industrial perspectives.
21 posters complete the programme of the session.

Presentations cover a wide spectrum of issues in geoethics, including theoretical aspects of geoethics, geoscience professionalism, ethical implications in geoscience communication, information, education, geo-hazards and data management, mining, geoparks, ocean science, geo-archeology, forensic geology, data science policies, citizen science.

Look at the programme and read abstracts at:

The session starts at 13:30 in the Room L4/5; the poster session is in the Hall X4 from 08:00.

See you in Vienna on 26 April 2017!

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Revisiting the geoparks initiative: general notes!

by Mamoon Allan
Mamoon Allan

Faculty of Archeology and tourism, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
IAPG-Jordan coordinator


Disclaimer: the views expressed in this paper solemnly engage the author

Picture above:
Langkawi UNESCO Geopark (Malaysia)

In 1999 UNESCO established the basics of the "geoparks initiative". The concept of geopark was developed directly after the foundation of both the European Geoparks Networks (EGN) and the Chinese National Geoparks Network in 2000. 

One of the most important benefits of the "geoparks initiative" is that it has linked into a worldwide network all existing geoparks and combined them under one global program patronized by UNESCO.
Interestingly, the list of the UNESCO global geoparks shows that a large proportion of those geoparks is concentrated in Europe and Eastern Asia. Only few geoparks have been established in Africa, the Middle East and South America. Thus, it is fundamental to support the efforts to promote the importance of establishing geoparks in the different parts of the world and assist the developing countries which have potential of great geoparks to join the global geoparks initiative.

Geoparks can play a significant role in enhancing the socio-economic development of an area also by promoting geotourism activities. A geopark can also reinforce the relationship between the local communities and their land.
UNESCO has contributed in developing geotourism activities through its geoparks, mostly without the participation of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
In any case, the UNWTO database still lacks any valuable information about the scope of geotourism and its outcomes.

Madonie UNESCO Geopark (Italy)
Notwithstanding the significance of the UNESCO geopark list, some confusion has aroused in relation to the World Heritage List, which incorporates "properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value".
In the same vein, Gray (2004) asserts that it is inappropriate to consider the UNESCO geopark list as a "mainstream UNESCO project", rather than a rational expansion of the World Heritage List.
However, Marinos (2001) indicates that the extent of the World Heritage List is too narrow for some exceptional geological sites. As a result, the different aspects of the geological heritage exceed the capacity for the World Heritage List. It is also proper to found "a World Network of Geosites/Geoparks".
Overall, the contribution of UNESCO in the geopark initiative is essential to increase the "public awareness for geological heritage issues" as indicated by Dowling and Newsome (2006). Thereby UNESCO also supports global recognition of geotourism and is having an efficient political effect.

Peppoloni and Di Capua (2012) state that "geological culture and geoethics can strengthen the links between people and their land, between the places of their origins and their own memories". 
So, it seems reasonable to claim that it is vital to promote the concept of geoethics in the different practices related to geoparks. Therefore, it would be appropriate to consider geoethical implications among the geopark nomination criteria. Employing the notions of geoethics in the geoparks could promote the best practices in geotourism development within the geoparks and enhance the sustainability and conservation efforts.


Dowling R. & Newsome D. (2006). Geotourism. Oxford, Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

Gray, J. (2004). Geodiversity: valuing and conserving abiotic nature. West Sussex, England, John Wiley and Sons.

Marinos P. (2001). Engineering geology and the environment. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Engineering Geology and the Environment (Vol. 5). Athen Balkema.

Peppoloni and Di Capua. (2012). Geoethics and Geological culture: awareness, responsibility and challenges. Annals of Geophysics. 5, 335-341.

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

International Union of Geological Sciences - IUGS​ 
has endorsed the "Cape Town Statement on Geoethics" 

The IUGS​ has endorsed the "Cape Town Statement on Geoethics" (

Silvia Peppoloni, IAPG Secretary General, presented the "Cape Town Statement on Geoethics" at the 71st IUGS Executive Council Meeting, held at UNESCO (Paris), last February.

IAPG wishes to thank the IUGS Executive Council and the IUGS - Task Group on Global Geoscience Professionalism for this important acknowledgment of the IAPG work, that has led many colleagues worldwide to cooperate.

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics:

Friday, March 3, 2017


Silvia Peppoloni

Silvia Peppoloni
Researcher of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Rome (Italy); Secretary General of IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics

From an article published in 112 Emergencies Journal.
Disclaimer: the views expressed in this paper solemnly engage the author

Picture credit:
Above: Damages in Accumoli after the Central Italy earthquake in August 2017 

All the piuctures from: 112 Emergencies journal.

Italy has always been exposed to disastrous natural events, in the collective imagination it has become the symbol of living exposed to risk, almost as if it was inevitably condemned to suffer the natural catastrophe. Are things still this way? 

Following the great emotional impact that accompanied the dramatic events like the earthquakes in Belice, the Po and Arno floods, and continued with the earthquakes in Friuli and Irpinia, from the end of the sixties in Italy the need to create a technical structure that was able to coordinate the operational phases of an environmental emergency in a systematic way and with appropriate procedures became apparent. That's why the Civil Protection was founded. 

The term "Civil Protection" encompasses the concept and the ethical value for which a Government protects its citizens: the State is made of citizens, who, if necessary, protect each other. From this reference point, many other concepts started to enrich and strengthen the meaning of this institution, so that today we all recognize its irreplaceable value. 

Flood in Northern Italy in November 2016.
Prevention activities in the last years
have mitigated damages and avoided victims.
With the progress of science and with it, the possibility of protection from natural hazards, the concept of emergency started to move side by side other important concepts, such as risk prediction and prevention, which unequivocally demonstrate a significant change in the way we conceive the meaning of protection of society from danger. In fact, the modern Civil Protection doesn't only manage operations during an emergency, but has a new ethical and social function that sees it as a constantly active body in changing the culture of rescue and emergency into the culture of prevention and risk reduction. The current Department of Civil Protection is certainly busy managing the several emergencies in our territory, but it is also involved in forecasting, warning and prevention activities, that are carried out through financing scientific research projects, the issuance of guidelines for possible studies as well as the plans of action to undertake to achieve risk reduction, the management of environmental monitoring networks, and especially through the implementation of educational campaigns and by providing the population at risk with valuable information. It is precisely the awareness and education of the population, with projects and campaigns such as "Io no rischio" ("I don't risk") and Edurisk, that lay down the first stones to set a new relationship between institutions, citizens, science and territory. 

Recent studies have clearly established that the Italian population has gained very little awareness of the seismic risk to which it is exposed. That is why education through capillary and continuous information campaigns to the population is the key to facilitate new ways of tackling these risks and to promote the culture of prevention. 

Earthquake training for risk reduction
in a Japanese school.
The concept of risk also includes the social vulnerability and thus the resilience of a community, in other words its ability to respond to a disaster and to recover by restoring the material and spiritual conditions that existed before the event occurred. This ability can also be enhanced by informing and educating about the existence of these dangers and on how to prevent them. The tragic events that continue to affect Italy, from earthquakes to floods or landslides, indicate that there is still much to do in terms of prevention. There is no culture of risk culture in our country, nor the full awareness of the fragility and value of our land. This ignorance is reflected in our constant lack of preparation to deal with not only the most rare extreme events, but also the most common and frequent natural disasters. 

Who has the responsibility to sort out these issues? Through which tools? And in light of which criteria? Prevention involves both the entire social body and each individual. Everyone has their own share of responsibility in taking care of the common good. There are aspects of which the State must necessarily take charge, through a structure like the Civil Protection, with its operational mission and ethics. But there is also an ethical duty of each person to improve their preparation and to get ready to cooperate, a duty that as well as having value in itself and for themselves has the advantage of producing positive effects on the whole community. Therefore, the lack of preparation in the face of a potentially disastrous event is not just a political or technical issue, but more generally of all of us citizens, that we too often tend to delegate our safety to the responsibilities of others, or even, to entrust ourselves to fate. Defense against natural hazards is a form of respect for our human intelligence and a civic duty towards society.

Other articles published in the IAPG blog:

IAPG - International Association for Promoting Geoethics