International Geoscience Programme

© G. Lansard
Cheran River, France

2018-Appointment of three new members to the IGCP Council

According to the Statutes of the International Geoscience and Geopark Programme approved by the 38th General Conference, the IGCP Council is composed of six ordinary members, appointed by mutual agreement by the Director-General of UNESCO and the President of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). Initial six members of the Council were appointed by the Director-General of UNESCO in December 2016 indicating those whose initial term shall expire after two years. To renew the membership of the three Council members in 2018, on the 31 December 2017, the IGCP Secretariat issued an open call using the channels of the IUGS, the IGCP National Committees and the UNESCO National Commissions to reach potential new members beinghigh-level experts actively engaged in scientific research related to the objectives of the IGCP.

By the 12 March 2018 deadline, the IGCP Secretariat had received 115 applications from 37 Member States, 62 applications from 33 Member States were qualified to be IGCP Council member for the currently open three positions including 20 qualified female candidates applications (from 14 member states).

Keeping in mind the priority gender in UNESCO and ensuring a good geographical distribution of the Council members, while making sure we still have highly qualified members, below listed scientists were nominated by UNESCO Director-General Ms Audrey Azoulay for the new IGCP Council and they will start their activities in October 2018.

  • Mr Sobhi Nasir (Jordan): Earth resources
  • Mrs Weijian Zhou (China): Global Change
  • Mr Carlos Vargas Jimenez (Colombia): Geohazards

UNESCO and IUGS would like to thank Mr Guy Narbonne (Canada), Ms Maria-Julia Orgeira (Argentina) and Mr Alik Ismail-Zadeh (Azerbaijan) for their exceptional efforts to promote and support the IGCP as outgoing council members since their initial appointments in 2016. Three other current active IGCP Council members are from Netherlands, Republic of Korea and Zimbabwe were appointed by the DG in 2016 and will serve until 2020.

IGCP project proposals for 2019 must reach UNESCO by 15 October 2019 in order to be considered for funding by the IGCP Council in 2020.


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

The Earth sciences hold key answers to the challenges we must overcome to preserve our environment and develop sustainably.

For over forty years, UNESCO has worked with the International Union for Geological Sciences (IUGS) to mobilize global cooperation in the Earth sciences through the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP). This Programme has provided a platform for scientists from across the world to push the frontiers of knowledge forward through concrete projects.

In the early years, the Programme enhanced scientific exchange through the correlation of geological strata and research data, focusing on basic geoscientific research and on making connections between events throughout the Earth's history.

The Programme supports work on five themes:

  • Earth Resources: Sustaining our Society
  • Global Change: Evidence from the geological record
  • Geohazards: Mitigating the risks
  • Hydrogeology: Geoscience of the water cycle
  • Geodynamic: Control our environment

The Programme has always built bridges between disciplines and between scientists, including young ones, with aims of stimulating cutting-edge research and sharing scientific knowledge for the benefit of all.

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.


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