Closing statements of The 36th National and the 3rd International Geosciences Congress
The 36th National and the 3rd International Geosciences Congress
Tehran 25-27 Feb, 2018
The 36th National and the 3rd International Geosciences Congress was held February 25-27 in Tehran. The agenda of the congress was categorized into 6 major topics and was presented by 512 scientists 19 countries, covering wide range of items relating to the physical and chemical properties of earth, local surface studies to deep regional process, as well as human and Earth interaction through mining or dealing with natural hazards. Along the scientific sessions, there were several panel discussions, social events and societies meetings. Participants insist that the Earth Science plays a unique and essential role in today’s rapidly changing world and therefore requires further attentions. Proper knowledge of Earth Sciences is important because most human activities are related to interaction with the planet Earth. The following statements are summary outcomes of three days' discussion which is categorized and agreed by participants and scientific committees.
- Many countries, including Iran, are prone to natural hazards. We can learn how to minimize our risks earthquakes by proper understanding the seismic sources. Geoscientist different organization and universities must work hand in hand to prepare and integrate a precise database for the earthquake sources and their seismic hazard potential.
- Public awareness about earthquake hazard has to be developed by Earth scientists. Myths and pseudoscience have to be avoided.
- There are no standard codes for development of cities in areas which are prone to landslide hazards. This poses major threat to cities which are developing in mountains and foothills.
- Climate change has altered pattern of flood hazard, and has increased the related risk. However, despite to their major risk, they are much less studied in geological literature. Flood warning systems may be implemented in flood prone population centers.
- Most of the countries in arid regions of the world are losing their aquifers because of extreme usage of groundwater and the related land subsidence. Major changes in cultivation pattern and irrigations systems have to be implemented in order to reduce this effect.
- Water, an important natural resource, is scarce in many parts of the world. The study of geology can help us find water resources underground to reduce the impact of water scarcity of people and civilization. The drought consequents is not just shortage of water but cause more serious problems like land subsidence, desertification and dust storms. Geologists study those processes and can recommend action plans to minimize damage in case such events occur.
- Geoscience community needs to pay more attention to the current challenges in water resources, vulnerability of the Iranian environment to climate change and the impact of the human activity on the natural environment. The analysis of the papers by the scientific committee revealed that the geoscience community in Iran needs to broaden their perspective with respect to the environmental challenges by taking multidimensional approaches.
- The environmental pollution was another major topic of the congress but less attention has been paid to solutions for controlling and mitigation.
- Geologist study rocks and the fossils they contain to understand the evolution of our environment and the life within it. We can learn how and why Earth’s climate has changed in the past, and use that knowledge to understand both natural and human-caused climate change and take measurements to avoid more severe changes in the future.
- We rely on Earth for valuable resources such as soil, oil, gas, metals, minerals, and we need to know how to find these resources and exploit them sustainably. Earth science is of great importance to locate those Earth energy sources, how to extract them Earth more efficiently and at a lower cost, and with the smallest impact on the environment.
- International collaborations, especially with those who have experience in utilizing advanced techniques, and training young scientist, are important for proper understanding of the resources with minimum impact on environment.
- Mineral processing consumes considerable volume of water. It is important to utilize advanced techniques, methods and redesign mineral processing chain in order to reduce water consumption.
- Recycling of cultural products such as used cars, machinery, electronic boards, etc. can reduce our need to limited resources of the earth and help to save our environment.
- Rare elements are becoming increasingly important in our daily life. It is important to seek support of industries for research on exploration and processing of rare elements.
- Geoscience teaching materials have to be included in all levels of school training while the materials need to become more attractive and useful to the primary needs of the society.
- Emphasis should be laid upon awareness about geohazards, environmental issues, geological attractions and application of Geosciences in everyday life.
- A “geoscience and everyday life” course is advised in undergraduate level for various disciplines.
- Geotourism may become a major source of income for local societies which are deprived of other sources for economic growth. Geological NGOs have to be established and involved in education of geotourism to the society.
- Attraction of the geoparks may be improved by adding geological museums and playgrounds.
- Geological surveys and universities should work together to improve and support registered geoparks.
- Conservation of geological heritages needs awareness of people via public media and require education for the society at all levels schools to local communities and especially among researchers and academicians.
- Review of history of geosciences improves knowledge of young geologists about importance of Earth Science studies. Experienced geologists have to be persuaded to write and publish their experiences as part of the geological heritage of the society.