International Geoscience Programme

© G. Lansard
Cheran River, France

Better understanding the Earth is essential for the diversity of life and future of human society.

UNESCO is the only United Nations organization with a mandate to support research and capacity in geology and geophysics, and the International Geoscience Programme is our flagship.

The International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) serves as a knowledge hub of UNESCO to facilitate international scientific cooperation in the geosciences. The IGCP mission includes promoting sustainable use of natural resources, advancing new initiatives related to geo-diversity and geo-heritage and geohazards risk mitigation.

Since 1972, the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) has partnered with the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) to bring together thousands of Earth scientists from around the world and allowed them to benefit from the cooperative spirit generated under the umbrella of UNESCO.

In 2018, IGCP welcomed a new partner, the Jeju Province Development Corporation (JPDC) of the Republic of Korea. Through the new project partnership agreement entitled “Geoscience for Society: JPDC supporting the International Geoscience and Geoparks programme” the JPDC supports IGCP projects and UNESCO Global Geoparks.

The IGCP promotes collaborative projects with a special emphasis on the benefit to society, capacity-building, and the advancement and sharing of knowledge between scientists with an emphasis on North-South and South-South cooperation. IGCP operates by providing seed funding grants donated by UNESCO, IUGS, Jeju Province Development Corporation (JPDC) from the Republic of Korea and the National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO. IGCP projects primarily deal with geosciences on global issues within its five themes:

  • Earth Resources
  • Global Change
  • Geohazards
  • Hydrogeology
  • Geodynamic

Each project has an average lifespan of five years and its progress is assessed annually through a rigorous peer review process conducted by the IGCP Council following the evaluation reports from members of the Scientific Board during the first half of February.

IGCP project proposals for 2020 must reach UNESCO by 15 October 2020 in order to be considered for funding by the IGCP Council in 2021


IGCP 685-Higher Education Learning Resources Launch

The not-for-profit Organisation Geology for Global Development, supported by IGCP Project 685, are pleased to announce the launch of a set of Learning Resources on ‘Geoscience and Sustainable Development’.

These aim to improve the integration of sustainability concepts and skills into the training of geoscientists in Higher Education.

The module includes eight classes:

  1. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,
  2. Working in the Global South,
  3. Decarbonisation,
  4. Disaster Risk Reduction,
  5. Water Security,
  6. Health and Land Degradation,
  7. Sustainable Urban Development
  8. Reducing Inequalities.

The learning resources are fully open-access, available free of charge.

Download the resources and find out more on their website


7th SGA-IUGS-SEG-UNESCO Short Course on African Metallogeny

Landscape in namibia

This short course will address geological, technical, and societal challenges associated with “energy metals” that are needed for low CO2 footprint clean energy systems.

Venue: Windhoek, Namibia

Dates: Postponed Autumn 2021


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