During the open session on 19 February, National IGCP Committees, representatives of UNESCO’s Member States and other UNESCO Programmes, as well as cooperating organizations and UNESCO’s international sciences programmes are invited to participate in the discussions.
The Board stressed the very high quality of all new project proposals which provide long-term geological perspectives on contemporary issues addressing key UNESCO themes relating to natural disasters and global environmental change. The Board announced that all are recommended for funding.
Geodynamics in the Andes (586-Y) proposed by young geoscientists from Argentina, Chile and USA - two of whom were female researchers - recommended for provisional acceptance for 1 year. Despite the restricted geographic focus and very limited international representation, the Board wished to encourage the young research team to continue to develop and enlarge their activities under guidance from the Board.
Many of the 32 on-going projects are working well and had been highly rated by the Board’s evaluations. It was emphasized that many of these projects, although dealing with geological topics, address important issues of relevance to society and to UNESCO priority areas. In partnership with the IUGS (International Unions of Geological Sciences), the Board will take steps to trigger new project proposals in Resources and Water issues, in part through targeted calls for new proposals.
Chairperson of the IGCP Professor Vivi VAJDA highlighted the under-representation of project leaders from Latin America, Arab countries, Middle East and especially Africa. This imbalance will be addressed with a possible financial support under negotiation from an important donor. Funds would allow mentoring of scientists from those countries and to allow them to make effective project applications and project management. The funds also allow participants from key under-represented countries to get funding to join existing IGCP projects. This is an efficient low-cost way for capacity building in developing nations.