UNESCO has supported international geoscientific research for many decades. The reason for this special focus is that most geological features such as fuel sources or disaster-prone rift zones do not stop at national borders and that research on these topics is a matter of national sovereignty.
UNESCO and IUGS founded the International Geoscience Programme IGCP in 1972 as a permanent scientific programme. It is special for UNESCO because it operates upon proposals from the scientific community. With limited financial support, the formation of multinational research teams is facilitated, allowing scientists from developing and newly industrialising countries to participate in joint workshops and field trips.
Some 30 research projects are currently underway in the framework of the IGCP; altogether more than 500 have already been accomplished successfully. Within every research project, up to 100 scientists cooperate for four or five years, meeting at special symposia and working together in the field. Results have been documented in more than 25,000 scientific publications.
Germany and the IGCP
German geoscientists have always been very intesively involved in IGCP projects. Currently, German geoscientists take part in about two thirds of the IGCP projects. The German national committee for the IGCP exists since 1972, it is funded by the German Foreign Office. It advises German scientists on participation in the IGCP and it reviews project proposals for their eligibility. The German Commission for UNESCO is a member of the national committee.
Dr. Peter Königshof
Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseum Senckenberg
60325 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
Tel.: +49 69 7542257