The IUGG Electronic Journal

Volume 5 No. 11 (November 1, 2005)

This short, informal newsletter is intended to keep IUGG Member National Committees informed about the activities of the IUGG Associations, and actions of the IUGG Secretariat. Past issues are posted on the IUGG Web site. Please forward this message to those who will benefit from the information. Your comments are welcome.


  1. Revised IUGG Vision and Mission Statement
  2. Brief Report from the 2007 GA Scientific Programme Committee
  3. Brief Report from the 2005 GeoUnions Meeting
  4. Brief Report from the 2005 ICSU General Assembly
  5. UNESCO Adopts Resolution on Proclamation of International Year of Planet Earth
  6. IUGG-Related Meetings Occurring during November 2005 – January 2006

1. Revised IUGG Vision and Mission Statement

At the September 2005 Executive Committee meeting, a working group of Harsh Gupta (Chair), Charles Barton, Gerhard Beutler, Masaru Kono, and Michael MacCracken reviewed and combined several suggestions for a revised Vision and Mission Statement that better defines our role and purpose. They agreed on the following statement, which will be placed on the IUGG home page in the near future.

The International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) is the international organization dedicated to advancing, promoting, and communicating knowledge of the Earth system, its space environment, and the dynamical processes causing change.

Through its constituent Associations, Commissions, and Services, IUGG convenes international assemblies and workshops, undertakes research, assembles observations, gains insights, coordinates activities, liaises with other scientific bodies, plays an advocacy role, contributes to education, and works to expand capabilities and participation worldwide.

Data, information, and knowledge gained are made openly available for the benefit of society – to provide the information necessary for the discovery and responsible use of natural resources, sustainable management of the environment, reducing the impact of natural hazards, and to satisfy our curiosity about the Earth’s natural environment and the consequences of human activities.

2. Brief Report from the 2007 GA Scientific Programme Committee

The Scientific Programme Committee for the 2007 IUGG general Assembly met in Perugia, Italy, 12-13 July 2005. Those attending included Paola Rizzoli, Chair; Christian Tscherning (IAG); Bengt Hultqvist (IAGA); Pierre Hubert (IAHS) and Georg Kaser (UCCS); Roland List (IAMAS), Shiro Imawaki (IAPSO); Peter Suhadolc and Bob Engdahl (IASPEI); Steve McNutt (IAVCEI); Uri Shamir (IUGG President); and Jo Ann Joselyn (IUGG Secretary General).

A timetable of deadlines for the General Assembly scientific programme was agreed as follows.

January 2006 - Receipt of descriptions of Union and Association scientific programmes
1 April 2006 – Publication of the Second Circular (Call for Papers)
31 August 2006 - IAHS Deadline for abstracts for prepublished symposia
1 December 2006 – completion of Electronic Version of the Third Circular
31 January 2007 – deadline for receipt of abstracts and travel assistance applications
1 March 2007 – symposia convenors must complete the first draft of all programmes
31 March 2007 – all travel assistance letters must be issued
15 April 2007 - deadline for early registration
31 May 2007 – complete scientific programme completed and posted on the web

The Schedule of IUGG Administrative meetings was set as follows.

Bureau Meetings
1 July (Sunday) 9-12 am
5 July (Thursday) 12-2 pm
10 July Tuesday) 12-2 pm

Executive Committee
1 July (Sunday) 2-6 pm
5 July (Thursday) 4-6 pm
10 July (Tuesday) 4-6 pm

4 July (Wednesday) 2-6 pm + Opening Ceremony from 6:30-8 pm; dinner at 8 pm
6 July (Friday) 4-7 pm
11 July (Wednesday) 4-7 pm

Closing Ceremony
13 July (Friday) 4-5 pm

3. Brief Report from the 2005 GeoUnions Meeting

Twelve members from 5 ICSU Unions (IGU. ISPRS, IUGG, IUGS, IUSS) and INQUA were hosted by the Geological Institute of Shanghai and Hongren ZHANG, President of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), on 16 October 2005 in Shanghai, China. A message of welcome from the Minister of Land and Resources of China was read by Zongli HUANG, director of the Ministry’s Bureau of International Cooperation. Dr. Sospeter Muhongo, Director of the new ICSU Regional Office in Africa, was a special guest. Progress to date on each of the GeoUnions scientific themes was reported; it was noted that most of them will be able to develop further in association with the corresponding themes proposed under the International Year of Planet Earth. The GeoUnions agreed on a Mission statement and welcomed expressions of interest from INQUA and IAU to affiliate with the consortium. Much discussion was spent on the impact that the GeoUnions could make in Africa. One outcome of this discussion was that the next GeoUnions meeting will be held in Maputo, Mozambique, in July 2006 in conjunction with a regional meeting of the African Geophysical Union.

4. Brief Report from the 2005 ICSU General Assembly

The International Council of Science held their triennial General Assembly in Suzhou, China, 19-21 October 2005. Uri Shamir and Jo Ann Joselyn attended for IUGG. While a number of substantive issues were addressed, of special interest to IUGG was a successful proposal to extend ICSU’s sponsorship of the Federation of Astronomical and Geophysical Data Analysis Services (FAGS) until 2008 “during which time FAGS will continue to fulfill its role of coordination among the Services while ICSU examines integration of this function within its activities in data and information.”

The nomination of Uri Shamir to become a member of the ICSU Executive Board was successful. He was the unanimous choice of the Earth and Space Sciences Unions cluster; he follows Robin Brett (IUGS) who has served for the previous two terms. The new ICSU officers are President: G. Mehta (India), President-elect: C. Bréchignac (France), Vice President for Scientific Planning and Review: K. Mokhele (South Africa), Vice President for External Relations: H. Chaimovich (Brazil), Secretary General: A-M. Cetto (Mexico), and Treasurer: R. Elliott (U.K.).

Other decisions included:

  • Officially sponsored the International Polar Year (2007-2008) to be co-sponsored with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO);
  • Disbanded the Committee on Disaster Reduction and established a new programme on Natural and Human-induced Hazards;
  • Withdrew ICSU sponsorship of SCL/ILP and recommended that responsibility should shift to IUGG and IUGS;
  • Established an ad hoc committee that will convene an international Scientific Data and Information Forum (SciDEF) in order to develop a framework for the production, management and dissemination/access of scientific data and information;
  • Established an ad hoc group to define ICSU’s future role in science education;
  • Approved a Strategic Plan (2006-11);
  • Announced suspension of the ICSU Grants Programme for 2007;
  • Admitted 3 new Union Members: International Union for Quaternary Science (INQUA), International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), and the International Union of Materials Research Societies (IUMRS)

5. UNESCO adopts resolution on proclamation of International Year of Planet Earth

A Draft Resolution on the proclamation of the International Year of Planet Earth in 2008 was adopted by Commission III of UNESCO's 33rd General Conference on October 12th, 2005. As of now, 51 UN member countries have explicitly expressed their support for the initiative. On 19 October a Resolution passed the UNESCO General Conference unopposed recommending that the United Nations General Assembly, at its 60th session, adopt a resolution declaring 2008 as the United Nations International Year of Planet Earth. The resolution invites UNESCO National Committees to create national groups for the implementation of the Year and to collaborate with earth science societies and groups throughout the world, including the developing countries. The United Republic of Tanzania will be taking the lead of a core group of nations co-sponsoring a Draft Resolution in the United Nations General Assembly. Adoption of the UN Year of Planet Earth (2008) is anticipated by late December 2005.

6. IUGG-Related Meetings Occurring during November 2005 – January 2006

A calendar of meetings of interest to IUGG disciplines (especially those organized or sponsored by IUGG Associations) is posted on the IUGG Web Site [ ]. Specific information about these meetings, including web links, can be found there. Individual Associations also list more meetings on their web sites appropriate to their disciplines.

October 30 - November 1, 2005
IAHS; Nanjing, China; International Symposium on Methodology in Hydrology

October 31 - November 3, 2005
ASOVIG & LUZ; Maracaibo, Venezuela; 2nd International Congress in Geodesy and Cartography; 1st Iberoamerican Symposium on Recent Earth Crust Movements

November 1 - November 3, 2005
IASPEI; Lisbon, Portugal; International Conference on the 250th Anniversary of the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake

November 3 - November 4, 2005
EMSEV; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; EMSEV 2005 Workshop

November 10 - November 12, 2005
UNESCO/ICSU; Budapest, Hungary; World Science Forum

November 10 - November 14, 2005
IAGA; Chengdu, China; Seventh China International Geo-Electromagnetic Workshop

November 16 - November 20, 2005
IAVCEI; Tagaytay City, Philippines; Chapman Conference on the Effects of Basement, Structure, and Statigraphic Heritages on Volcano Behavior

November 20 - November 25, 2005
UN/ESA; Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates; Workshop on Basic Space Science with special emphasis on the IHY

November 22 - November 24, 2005
IAHS; Montpellier, France; International Seminar in the UNESCO-IHP-FRIEND program: Climatic and Anthropogenic Impacts on the Variability of Water Resources

November 25 - November 27, 2005
IASPEI; Tanta, Egypt; 4th International Symposium on Geophysics

December 5 - December 9, 2005
AGU; San Francisco, California, USA; Fall Meeting

December 7 - December 9, 2005
Indian Geophysical Union; Bhopal, India; 42nd Convention on Earth System Processes related to Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanic Eruptions

January 4 – 6, 2006
IAHS; Dindigul, Tamilnadu, India; IGC 2006 International Groundwater Conference on Sustainable Development and Management of Groundwater Resources in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions

January 21- 26, 2006
IGBP; Boulder, Colorado, USA; First Integrated Land Ecosystem Atmosphere Processes Study (iLEAPS) Science Conference

End of IUGG Electronic Journal Volume 5 Number 11 (November 1, 2005)
J. A. Joselyn, Secretary General  [ ], fax:  1 303 497 3645.