Engaging Geoscientists in Global Development – Interdisciplinary work across three continents.
Joel C. Gill and Nic Bilham
6pm, Thursday 9th March 2017 (refreshments 5.30pm)
Geoscientists have the potential to make a significant contribution to tackling some of the major socio-environmental challenges of today, including extreme poverty, sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and climate change. This presentation integrates perspectives from Geology for Global Development (a UK-based development charity), the British Geological Survey, and the Geological Society of London to explore the importance and social responsibility of geoscientists to engage in such work.
During 2015 the international community agreed three important agendas for change. Each framework relates to the intersection of environmental processes with human activities and behaviours, addressing significant challenges affecting society.
The frameworks are (i) the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), (ii) the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, and (iii) the Paris Climate Change agreement (COP21). The SDGs for example, include 17 goals aiming to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and ensure environmental sustainability. Specific goals relate to clean water and sanitation, clean and affordable energy, the development of resilient infrastructure, and the need for climate action.
This talk will give a synthesis of the role of geoscience in successfully achieving these global development frameworks, and consider the ethical and social understanding that underpins effective engagement by geoscientists in the science policy – practice interface. Examples will be shared from water projects in rural Tanzania, natural hazards research in Guatemala, and sustainable development initiatives in the Indian Himalaya.