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) IGU EC Meeting, tianjin 17-21 AUGUST 2016

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2) IGU EC Meeting, tianjin 17-21 AUGUST 2016

Minutes of the IGU Executive Committee Meeting

Shangri-La Hotel, Tianjin, China and Institute of Geography

and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Welcome, Meeting Logistics and Introductions
The meeting was chaired by President Kolosov, who welcomed Secretary-General Mike Meadows and Vice Presidents Ron Abler, Dieter Soyez, Joos Droogleever-Fortuijn, Elena dell’Agnese, Jarkko Saarinen, Iain Hay, Yukio Himiyama, RB Singh and Zhou Chenghu. Former Vice-President Bellezza and Ma Xiaoyi (Beijing LOC) were invited to attend. Vice-Presidents Joos Droogleever-Fortuijn and Elena dell’Agnese tendered apologies.
Adoption of the Schedule and Agenda
The schedule was discussed and adopted.
The minutes of the New Delhi meeting in March2016 were previously approved via email, but were tabled for noting and reference.

Working session
Organization and Operations
Executive Committee Member Reports. Members submitted written reports of their activities; Meadows was preparing a brief summary report of these for the forthcoming General Assembly.
Executive Committee Meeting Calendar 2016 onwards. The calendar could only be confirmed once the new Executive Committee was established after the General Assembly. The need to hold a third EC meeting in 2016 was discussed and Saarinen agreed to explore the option of organizing a meeting in Oslo in association with the ISSC-ICSU Special General Assembly the date for which has now been confirmed as 24th October 2016.
IGU Financial Report and Projection. Meadows presented the updated financial report for 2016 together with some financial summary information that would also be tabled at the General Assembly. The long-term financial situation remains sound. The situation for 2016 is being carefully monitored, as the commission grants had been increased, and this year would likely be heavy on expenditure given that there is an ICSU Unions meeting, the IGU General Assembly and the ICSU-ISSC General Assembly. Abler agreed to table the Endowment Fund accounts at the General Assembly, along with the Endowment Resolution which specifies that the capital amount must remain untapped and that interest funds only are to be used for agreed projects. A need to modify the endowment resolution was identified, since the original specifies that the ‘Home of Geography’ (which de facto is no longer in existence) take over management of the fund in the event that the IGU itself ceases to exist. The revised document, following some further iterations, was approved and is presented as Appendix A and is to be presented to the General Assembly in Beijing. Abler further proposed changes to the allocation of funds across several investment bodies in line with the guidelines outlined in the endowment resolution and as requested of him in the March EC meeting in New Delhi.
IGU National Membership Update. Meadows presented an update on the national membership situation. The application from Oman was approved via an email General Assembly ballot. Applications from Bolivia, Ecuador, Luxembourg and Venezuela have been received. Enquiries regarding membership have been received recently from Macau (Meadows will respond positively and provide further information). Executive Committee members were again urged to continue to pursue connections with representatives of countries falling under their responsibility, at the very least in order to ensure that the IGU membership database is kept up to date. Meadows agreed to calculate the number of voting full member countries for Cologne and for Beijing General Assemblies. We need to renew our efforts to incorporate more African countries, not least from West Africa and francophone countries. The meeting with African (and Latin American) geographers planned for the Beijing Congress is an opportunity to re-launch our efforts. Seventeen IGU National Committee reports have been submitted in time for the General Assembly, a number which is somewhat below that which arrived in time for the Cologne report.
IGU Commission and Task Force Reports 2012-16. Inter-congress reports were received in time for presentation to the General Assembly by all Commissions and Task Forces with the exception of the Commissions on Indigenous Peoples, Mountains and Megacities (and for those only recently established). Following the General Assembly approval of the existing and new Commissions and Task Forces, there is to be a letter to each one indicating the comments (Meadows to draft). The list of EC decisions regarding continuation/discontinuation/name change etc. is found in Appendix B. There is one proposal for a new Commission, from Benno Werlen who has proposed a new Commission to support the International Year of Global Understanding (IYGU). This was approved pending finalization of the Steering Committee and that it should take into account some concerns (Himiyama to convey these to Werlen directly) and ensure that there is a degree of co-ordination with the Our Sustainable Cities initiative.

Ideas for new commissions were discussed and it was agreed that a commission dealing with Geography and the Media would be highly desirable. This suggestion would be tabled at the meeting with Commission chairs and at the General Assembly to solicit further ideas. Meadows agreed to promote the activities of the IYGU, Future Earth and OurSus to the Commissions. A late submission was received from Zhang Guoyou proposing a new Commission on ‘Agricultural Geography and Land Engineering’. IGU Statutes suggest that such proposals should ordinarily be received at least nine months ahead of a General Assembly and that the late arrival of this one precludes a formal decision. There appears to be merit in the idea because the field of agricultural geography is rather neglected in IGU. However, further refinement is required and it was agreed to contact the proposers with a view to providing further information and developing it for formal resubmission, especially in relation to the identification of differences between the proposed commission and the Commission on the Sustainability of Rural Systems.

The research questions also need further definition and an indication that this does not simply focus on technical issues in relation to agriculture and includes also a societal element. Perhaps a food security focus could offer fruitful theme. The steering committee also requires attention.

IYGU. This item was held over pending the attendance of Benno Werlen. Werlen tabled the IYGU annual report, received ahead of the meeting.
IGU Website. The French and Spanish versions are now launched and a parallel site in Arabic is also now available. Meadows indicated that, given the amount of work being conducted by the original site-designer, that IGU should pay him a monthly retainer along the lines of that paid to the website manager. A fee of approximately US$100 per month would seem appropriate.
IGU Journals Project. The data have been completely updated by a student at the University of Cape Town at a cost of some US$1000.
IGU Bulletin. Volumes 59-60 will be compiled early in 2017. Meadows to look into the possibility of making these available from the website.

IGU eNewsletter. Former Vice-President Bellezza’s work on this was again praised and it is expected that he will continue to produce the quarterly e-newsletter.
OurSus (Soyez, Droogleever-Fortuijn). Droogleever-Fortuijn reported on attempts to broaden the appeal of the OurSus initiative. The work of a University of Amsterdam Masters student, who has been working on this project, will be presented at the session devoted to the topic during the Beijing Congress. There are some technical issues related to the structure of the home website and the continued lack of participation from cities outside China remains a serious issue to be addressed. Positive developments include the co-ordination of the Olympiad and OurSus at the Beijing Congress and the fact that Ton Dietz has made contact with some 12 IGU national chairs in this regard who have expressed some interest in developing the idea further. A decision will be needed as to the future of the project and this will become an item for the incoming Executive Committee.
IGU Thematic Conferences. The first draft of the circular for the Baku meeting from August 21st to 24th 2017 is ready for circulation but has not yet been distributed; the website also still needs to be launched. The local organizing committee needs to really get the initiative going as soon as possible. The ‘Geography of Peace’ thematic conference in La Paz, Bolivia website has been published and is being showcased on the IGU website also. dell’Agnese is working hard to market this conference and solicit presentations across the diverse aspects of the theme; she is also organizing a field excursion. Singh reported on progress regarding the ‘Urbanisation: Health and Wellbeing’ conference in Hyderabad, India, 17th to 19th March 2016. The local organizing committee is making good progress, first circular and website is available; the possibility of holding an IGU EC meeting will be discussed once the new EC is formally established following the Beijing General Assembly.
International Geographical Education Charter. The final version of this charter is to be presented to the Beijing General Assembly and will be signed formally at a ceremony during the Congress.
Cooperation and Outreach

Festival International de Géographie. There is nothing new to report. Kolosov will attend as a participant and continue to monitor any development.
IGU Representatives on International Bodies. There is nothing to report on this matter.
ICSU (incl. GeoUnions) (Kolosov, Meadows) Kolosov and Meadows attended the ICSU Unions meeting in Paris in April representing IGU. The GeoUnions had convened a meeting ahead of the main agenda and discussed a range of issues, including the proposed change in voting procedures (subsequently rendered irrelevant until the merger proposal is resolved), the new ICSU grants programme (Werlen is preparing an application) and the proposed ICSU-ISSC merger. Meadows had solicited a response from the IGU community and, while it is clear that there is broad support for the idea, there is a concern around the position of the Social Sciences within the proposed future structure. The position of autonomous social science projects is perhaps rendered more precarious and this will need to be carefully considered. Possible governance structures are currently still under development.
ISSC. The ISSC General Assembly has now become the joint special General Assembly.
CIPSH. The Congress of CIPSH will convene in Liège in 2017. There is nothing further to report at this stage. The IGU community is not yet fully aware of the relationship between IGU and CIPSH although it is one of the key bodies supporting IYGU.
EUROGEO, EUGEO (Kolosov). It is recognized that remaining in touch with these organisations is important for IGU. dell’Agnese had attended the most recent meeting of EUGEO and organized a session there. The next conference is in Brussels in September 2017 and she is on the scientific committee (formally representing the Società Geografica Italiana, as well as IGU). Some attention needs to be paid to the formal representative role of IGU within this body and Kolosov agreed to write to the chair of the EUGEO to emphasise this. EUROGEO will meet in Malaga in September this year.
UGAL/EGAL (dell’Agnese). The success of this organization (UGAL) and its meetings (EGAL) continues to impress, and the fact that the next EGAL meeting in La Paz has been branded as an IGU thematic conference is a very exciting development, especially since some 3000 delegates are expected to attend.
IAG (International Association of Geomorphologists) MoU (Meadows). The final draft has been concluded and the document (Appendix C) will be signed formally as part of the General Assembly proceedings in Beijing. Meadows agreed to serve as the liaison person with IGU.
Relations with other organisations (e.g. AAG, RGS, ICA (All).

Himiyama again reported on the regional organization involving young scientists in Asia (China, Japan, and Korea). The next meeting is planned for Sapporo in September and will be attended by a large number of delegates. Singh reported that there are similar initiatives in South Asia. It was agreed to try to meet with Doug Richardson (AAG) as he is attending the Beijing Congress. Singh reported that IGU was represented at the World Cultural Forum in Macau held under the auspices of ISSC and CIPSH.

International Geographical Congresses and IGU Regional Conferences

Beijing, China, International Geographical Congress and General Assembly 2016. Zhou presented an update on the Congress. Some 5000 delegates from 108 countries registered and 4000 paper submissions reviewed. The total budget is expected to exceed US$2m. Nine plenary keynotes will be presented together with 500 parallel sessions, with participation from all IGU Commissions and Task Forces. Six Commissions have held pre-Congress meetings in China. The Olympiad has attracted 174 student participants and 88 teachers from 45 countries. He outlined the arrangements for the opening ceremony, which is scheduled to include folk music performance, speeches and the presentation of the Olympiad awards. The closing ceremony on August 25th will include various speeches, announcement of the new Executive Committee, of the venue chosen to host the 2024 Congress, and presentation of the IGU awards.
Regional Conference, Québec, Canada, 2018. Soyez and Abler attended the CAG meeting in late May 2016 and met with the local organisers. Representatives of the LOC met joined the meeting and presented a report on progress.
Lima, Peru. Juan Manuel Delgado has again proposed Lima as host of a major IGU event. Given that the invitation came too late for the 2024 decision (which closed on 31st January 2016) it is not feasible to consider Lima for this Congress year. It was agreed that Kolosov would write to Delgado and indicate that the offer of a 2019 Thematic Conference, or 2026 Regional Conference would be welcome.

Istanbul, Turkey, International Geographical Congress 2020. Representatives of the LOC met joined the meeting and presented a report on progress.

All the EC members joined (left: a Chinese Secretary)
Extraordinary International Geographical Congress, Paris 2022. Antoine Le-Blanc and Nathalie Lemarchand joined the meeting for this item. The presentation focused on the developments since the last presentation at the Moscow Regional Conference, 2015. In 2017 the Scientific Committee will be formally established and it is intended that relationship with the IGU Centennial Task Force will be deepened thereafter. It is intended to establish an independent association to manage the Congress administratively. The LOC is making connections with individuals and organisations at several levels and very positive signs of support are emerging. Connections have been established also with geographers from francophone African countries that are promising, although it remains clear that access to funding remains the most serious impediment to their participation. Marketing Geography among the general public, especially the younger community, is evident in the ‘La nuit de géographie/Night of geography’ event, which will take place in March 2017.

IGU Congress bids 2024. Presentations were made by organizing committees from four potential venues for the 2024 IGU Congress, viz., Copenhagen-Malmö, Dublin, Melbourne and Prague. There was considerable debate as to the various strengths and weaknesses of each of the bids and the EC members expressed their views in regard to this. Following much discussion and a secret ballot, the following rank order would be recommended to the General Assembly: Rank 1: Melbourne; Equal Rank 2: Copehagen-Malmö and Dublin; Rank 3: Prague.
Other Business
IGU Lauréats d’honneur. Three awards will be made at the closing ceremony: to Burton, Dolores-Ramon and Werlen. Burton and Dolores-Ramon will attend and receive a framed certificate and memento.
IGU Planet and Humanity Award 2016. This award will be presented to Professor Carl Folke, who will attend the closing ceremony in order to receive it. There is a framed certificate and small memento available to present to him but the actual medal still needs to be struck.

The meeting adjourned at 18h00 on 21st August 2016

Appendix A

The International Geographical Union Endowment

The International Geographical Union requires regular and reliable financial support to pursue its goals and fulfill its missions;

And Whereas,

Current and traditional sources of financial support available to the International Geographical Union have proven inadequate to underwrite the costs of the Union’s efforts;

Therefore Be It Resolved

that the International Geographical Union Executive Committee, meeting in Mexico City, Mexico on 1 May 2003, and as amended by the Committee in Tianjin, China-Beijing on 19 August 2016, establishes and ordains The International Geographical Union Endowment as a permanent fund, the earnings from which shall be expended to advance the interests and programs of the International Geographical Union at the discretion of the International Geographical Union Executive Committee or its designate(s), under the supervision of the International Geographical Union Secretary General and Treasurer.

And Be It Further Resolved

That the International Geographical Union Executive Committee shall, in allocating the earnings among International Geographical Union programs, give priority to:

  1. requests and programs that will benefit early career scholars and those from low income countries, and

  2. requests and programs of an innovative and creative nature, especially those in need of startup funding and that hold the promise of generating external funding.

And Be It Further Resolved

That it is the specific intention of the International Geographical Union Executive Committee in establishing The International Geographical Union Endowment that the endowment’s principal shall be a permanent, restricted fund that shall not be invaded to meet ordinary or extraordinary International Geographical Union operating expenses. The principal of the endowment shall be invested in accordance with the investment policies established and modified from time to time by the International Geographical Union Executive Committee and approved by the International Geographical Union General Assembly. Expenditures of the endowment’s earnings shall not exceed the endowment’s accumulated unexpended earnings.

And Be It Further Resolved

That in the event the International Geographical Union shall cease to exist, the principal and any accrued interest remaining in The International Geographical Union Endowment shall be transferred to an international organization with a mission and goals similar to those of the International Geographical Union.

Original signed by the following on 21st August 2016
1) Vladimir Kolosov, President. 2) Dietrich Soyez, First Vice President.
3) Ronald F. Abler, Past President. 4) Elena dell'Agnese, Vice President.
5) Joos Droogleever-Fortuijn, Vice President. 6) Iain Hay, Vice President.
7) Yukio Himiyama, Vice President. 8) Jarkko Saarinen, Vice President.
9) R.B. Singh, Vice President. 10) Zhou Chenghu, Vice President.
11) Michael Meadows, Secretary General and Treasurer.

Appendix B

Commissions and Task Forces review


Commission/Task Force

Chairperson 2016-20



Applied Geography

Lombard, USA



Biogeography and Biodiversity

Mal, India




Matsumoto, Japan



Coastal Systems

Woodroffe, Australia



Cold Region and High Altitude Environments

Vlasova, Russia



Cultural Approach in Geography

To be confirmed



Dynamics of Economic Spaces

Tamasy, Germany



Environmental Evolution

Novenko, Russia



Gender and Geography

Johnston, New Zealand



Geographical Education

Chang, Singapore, Brooks, UK



Geographical Information Science

Sui, United States;

Su, China-Beijing



Geography of Governance

Nunes Silva, Portugal



Geography of Information, Innovation and Technology

Inkinen, Finland



Geography of Tourism, Leisure, and Global Change

Müller, Sweden




Wei Dongying



Geomorphology and Society

Lin, China-Taipei



Global Change and Human Mobility

Dominguez-Mujica, Spain



Global Understanding

Werlen, Germany



Hazards and Risks

Oguchi, Japan



Health and Environment

To be confirmed



History of Geography

Schmidt di Friedberg, Italy




To be confirmed




Ravbar, Slovenia



Land Degradation and Desertification

To be confirmed



Landscape Analysis and Landscape Planning

To be confirmed



Land Use and Land Cover Change

To be confirmed



Latin American Studies

Delgado, Peru



Local and Regional Development

To be confirmed



Marginalization, Globalization, and Regional and Local Responses

Déry, Canada



Mediterranean Basin

Paradiso, Italy



Modelling Geographical Systems

Fotheringham, USA



Political Geography

Virginie Mamadouh, Netherlands; Alexander Murphy, USA



Population Geography

Piguet, Switzerland



Sustainability of Rural Systems

Schmitz, Belgium; Holly, USA




To be confirmed



Transport Geography

To be confirmed



Urban Geography:Urban Challenges in a Complex World

Rozenblat, Switzerland



Water Sustainability

Frank Winde, South Africa



Olympiad Task Force

Sue Lomas, UK, Su-Min Shen, China-Taipei



Centennial and Sesquicentennial Task Force

To be confirmed



Young and Early Career Task Force

Ramdas, Singapore


Appendix C

Memorandum of Understanding for collaboration between the International Geographical Union and the International Association of Geomorphologists

logo_igu1.png iag.png

This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is entered into by and between the International Geographical Union (IGU) and the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG).

The IAG recognises the International Council for Science (ICSU) as being the co-ordinating and representative body for the international organisation of science and is affiliated to it through the International Geographical Union (IGU) and the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS).
This MoU will set the terms and understanding for establishing a mutual beneficial framework of cooperation between IGU and IAG for the exchange of scientific and technical knowledge and the augmentation of scientific and technical capabilities between the members of both scientific bodies, with respect to the geosciences as applied to the investigation of topics of particular relevance to society.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Parties shall encourage and facilitate, where appropriate, the development of direct contacts and cooperation between the members of the scientific bodies and other agencies, including universities, research centers, and institutions of education.
Forms of cooperation under this Memorandum may consist of exchanges of technical

information; visits; participation in training courses, conferences and symposia; the exchange of professional geoscientists in areas of mutual interest; and any other collaboration research consistent with programs of the Parties. Specific areas of cooperation may include, but are not limited to, such areas of mutual interest as:

  1. Both scientific bodies shall maintain a link, including the logo, to the other organization in their respective websites .

  2. When organizing joint scientific events, both organizations will have their respective logos in relevant documentation

  3. Members of each organization will have access to the materials produced by the other organization (for example abstracts, online material, etc.).

  4. Both organizations will support each other in international fora for the development of their respective activities and recognizing their roles on geosciences and their impact on solving societal problems.

  5. Topics of interest may include hazards, vulnerability, disaster risk, risk assessment, natural resources, environment, geographical, geomorphological and geospatial analysis and investigations among others, and involve joint workshops and scientific fieldtrips, especially during conferences.

  6. Other similar activities as might be deemed necessary and agreed upon by both scientific organizations in the future.

This MoU is not a commitment of funds by either party. Third-party funding will be sought by both the IGU and IAG to help with the funding of the collaboration activities.

Cooperative activities under this Memorandum shall be subject to the availability of personnel, resources, and funds. This Memorandum shall not be construed to obligate any particular expenditure or commitment of resources or personnel.

This MoU is at-will and may be modified by mutual consent of authorized officials from the IGU and IAG. This MoU shall become effective upon signature by the authorized officials from the IYGU and IAG and will remain in effect until modified or terminated by any one of the partners by mutual consent. This MoU is signed for an initial period of four years and will be automatically renewed, for the same period, except as indicated otherwise by either Party.
Beijing, August 23rd 2016

Original signed by the following:

International Geographical Union (IGU)


Professor Vladimir Kolosov

Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Staromonetny per., 29, 119017 Moscow, Russia

Phone: +7 495 959 0029

Fax: +7 495 959 0033

Email: vladimirkolossov@rambler.ru & vladimirkolossov@gmail.com

International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG)


Professor Eric FOUACHE

Vice Chancelier

University Paris Sorbonne Abu Dhabi

PO Box : 38044, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Mobile : + 971 (0) 50 26 32 323

E-mail: Eric.Fouache@psuad.ac.ae


3) REPORT OF THE 33rd International Geographical Congress, Beijing, China, August 21-25, 2016

shaping our harmonious world”
The 33rd International Geographical Congress was held in Beijing China, on August 21-25, 2016. The IGC 2016 was organized by the Geographical Society of China and Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. 8 years ago, Geographical Society of China won the bid of the International Geographical Congress 2016 on the International Geographical Congress 2008 in Tunisia. The theme of the 33rd IGC is “Shaping Our Harmonious Worlds”. Through academic exchanges and communications on geography, the congress aims at promoting the harmony between humankind and nature, respecting the nature and cultural difference, and leading geographers from all over the world to conduct the researches on global understanding, future earth and sustainable development in a profound way.

Opening Ceremony, Plenary Hall, CNCC
The Congress began with the Opening Ceremony held at the China National Convention Center (CNCC), on August 22. Yanhua Liu, Co-chair of the 33rd IGC Organizing Committee, Counselor of the State Council, China, Vladimir Kolosov, President of the International Geographical Union (IGU), Dahe Qin, Co-chair of the 33rd IGC Scientific Committee, Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Wei Shu, Executive Secretary of the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and Jinghai Li, Vice President of the International Council for Science (ICSU), Vice President and Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) successively delivered speeches on the opening ceremony. Many well-known and influential scientists were also present at the congress, which included Chinese academicians Bojie Fu, Changming Liu, Du Zheng, Ying Wang, Dadao Lu, Anthony Yeh, Tandong Yao, Peng Cui, Fahu Chen, Jun Xia, and Vladimir Kotlyakov, Honorary President of the Russian Geographical Society, Nikolay Kasimov, First Vice President of the Russian Geographical Society, Jean-Robert Pitte, President of Société de Géographie France, Alexander Murphy, Former President of AAG, Douglas Richardson, Executive Director of AAG, Michael Meadows, Secretary-General of IGU, Ronald Abler, Past President of IGU and IGU Vice Presidents, Prof. Dietrich Soyez, Prof. Joos Droogleever Fortuijn, Prof. Elena dell’Agnese, Prof. Yukio Himiyama, Prof. Iain Hay, Prof. Jarkko Saarinen, Prof. Ram Babu Singh, etc. The opening ceremony was chaired by Chenghu Zhou, Secretary-General of the 33rd IGC Organizing Committee, Vice President of the IGU, Academician of CAS. During the last part of the ceremony, the outstanding individuals of the 13th International Geography Olympiad were awarded the gold medals. The best score was achieved by the team of Singapore.

Left, Chinese Instrumental Performance at the beginning of the opening ceremony

Right, 13th iGeo Gold Medal Awarding Ceremony
262 sessions were organized during the congress, consisting of 156 thematic sessions proposed by 41 IGU Commissions, 44 sessions which focused on 5 key topics: “Geographical Sciences and Future Earth”, “Climate Change and Global Understanding”, “Urbanization and Sustainable Development”, “Environment-Health and Social Welfare” and “Geography in Different Cultures”, 42 forums, symposiums, workshops, keynote lectures and special sessions, such as “Forum for Think Tank of International Scientists Union of ‘the Belt and Road Initiative’”, “Forum for Resources and Environment of Central Asia across Silk Road Economic Belt”, “3rd International Conference on Mountain Environment and Development, ICMED” , “Inheritance and Innovation of Geography: Young Scholar in Action” and 20 business meetings. In about 500 time slots of oral sessions, 2600 presentations were made. In parallel to the oral sessions, 1200 posters were presented.

Group photo of Forum for Think Tank of International

Scientists Union of “the Belt and Road Initiative”
The commissions which organized the largest number of sessions were:

•C12.15 Geography of Tourism, Leisure and Global Change: 16 sessions

•C12.11 Geographical Education: 11 sessions

•C12.39 Urban Commissions: Urban Challenges in a Complex World: 11 sessions

•C12.11 Political Geography: 8 sessions
During the congress, 9 plenary lectures were given by 10 world-famous scholars, which were Geographical Sciences and Future Earth: Research for Solutions, from Local to Global Scales given by Prof. Mark Stafford Smith (Australia); Understanding Chinese Geography: Linking Science and Society by Prof. Bojie Fu (China); Back to the Future: Reasoning the Territorial Way of Life by Prof. Woo-ik Yu (South Korea); Urban Dynamics and Geo-diversity: From Theory to Modeling by Prof. Denise Pumain (France); A 21st Century Agenda to Shape “Our Harmonious Worlds” through Research on the Geographies of Health and Care by Prof. Mark W. Rosenberg (Canada); Climate Change and Its Impact by Prof. Dahe Qin (China); Geography and Future Earth: Perspectives from Africa by Prof. Michael Meadows (South Africa); Global Understanding for Global Sustainability by Prof. Benno Werlen (Germany); From Inter-state to Multiscalar Political Geographies by Prof. Virginie Mamadouh (Netherlands) and Prof. Takashi Yamazaki (Japan). The lectures focused on global issues regarding future earth and sustainable development, such as climate change, urbanization, environment and conflicts, and demonstrated the great success and considerable contribution of Chinese geography and Chinese geographers to the basic researches and our society.

Left, Prof. Mark Stafford Smith was giving the first plenary lecture

Right, Prof. Woo-ik Yu, 2004-2010, Vice President / Secretary General,

International Geographical Union (IGU) was giving his plenary lecture
There were 4299 people who participated in the congress (including 292 for iGeo) and 758 people who attended the pre-congress meetings organized by IGU commissions. They came from 101 countries and regions worldwide, including 2349 participants from China mainland. Attendance by countries and regions (outside China mainland) is presented in the figures below. Thanks to the 3 types of grants offered by IGU and the Local Organizing Committee, more geographers from developing countries, more young scholars from the world were able to attend the congress. 111 researchers from developing countries were awarded the grants, including 28 for IGU travel grant, 18 for LOC all cover grant and 65 for LOC registration fee grant.

Figure I : Countries with more than 30 participants of the IGC 2016

Figure II: Countries with 10-30 participants of the IGC 2016
Apart from scientific sessions of the congress, there were pre-congress meetings organized by IGU commissions, the 13th International Geography Olympiad, exhibition, IGU General Assembly, IGU Centennial Interviews, field excursions (during and after the congress) and several social events.
Several days ahead of the congress, seven pre-conferences under IGU Commissions on GIS, Geographical Education, Urban Challenges in a Complex World, Geography of Tourism, Leisure and Global Change, Political Geography, Health and Environment and Sustainability of Rural Systems took place in various cities of China.

•17th International Symposium on Spatial Data Handling, August 18-20, Beijing

•IGU-CGE Special Symposium ECNU, August 18-19, Shanghai

•2016 IGU Urban Commission Conference, August 15-20, Shanghai

•IGU Tourism Commission Pre-Congress Meeting, August 15-18, Nanjing

•International Forum on Frontiers of Political Geography, August 17-21, Guangzhou

•Pre-conference on Shaping Geographies of Health, Health Care and Environment, August 18-21, Xi’an

•Pre-IGC Workshop-Land Use and Rural Sustainability, August 17-20, Xi’An

IGU Executive Committee Meeting was held in Tianjin on August 18-20.
On August 16-21, 292 teachers and students from 47 countries and regions in the world participated in the 13th International Geography Olympiad, which includes written tests, multimedia quizzes and field work tests. The contents of the competition focused on 12 topics including “Climate and Climate Change”, “Economic Geography and Globalization”, “Development Geography and Spatial Unbalance” and others, and 3 skills including map skills (reading, analysis, interpretation and the ability to draw a map), skills of exploring and solving problems, and skills of describing and judging (reading, analyzing, interpreting images, photos, statistics and graphs).

During the congress, the exhibition was also organized. It attracted nearly 40 domestic and international publishers, companies, institutions and organizations, including Springer, Wiley, Commercial Press, Supermap, UNEP, IGU, IYGU, RSA, AAG, RGS, etc. Many recent published achievements and products in the relevant field were presented. In addition, for this congress, Journal of Geographical Sciences launched a two special issues (2016, No. 7, No. 8), Human Geography and other domestic journals made poster presentations, Geographical Research has produced a disc concerning about some geographical ideas and arguments. China Post has published “the 33rd International Geographical Congress” commemorative stamped envelopes. Chinese geographical communities published The Geographical Sciences During 1986–2015: From the Classics to the Frontiers (both in English and Chinese versions), Academic and Social Contribution by Chinese Humanities and Economic Geography Scholars (both in English and Chinese versions) and a number of other academic monographs.

Left, IGC 2016 Commemorative Stamped Envelope Launching Ceremony in the exhibition area. Right, Books written and compiled by the Local Organizing Committee of IGC 2016

According to the customs of IGU, IGU General Assembly was held during the congress. On the General Assembly attended by representatives from 46 countries, the new national members, IGU Commissions, Task Forces and their chairpersons were approved. The IGU new President and new Executive Committee were elected, and the host city of the International Geographical Congress 2024 was decided (Dublin, Ireland) by vote.

To continue the existing studies on the IGU history, IGU Sesquicentennial / Centennial Task Force in cooperation with the Commission on History of Geography conducted a serial of interviews on 12 influential geographers on August 22-24: Prof. Vincent Berdoulay, Prof. Vladimir Kolosov, Prof. Maria Dolors Garcia- Ramón, Prof. Carmen Delgado-Viñas, Prof. Ronald Abler, Prof. Jean-Robert Pitte, Prof. Aharon Kellerman, Prof. Yukio Himiyama, Prof. Rana Singh, Prof. Dadao Lu, Prof. Dahe Qin and Prof. Michael Meadows.

Left, IGU General Assembly. Right, Prof. R. Abler receiving the IGU Centennial interview
2 types of excursions were available to the participants during and after the congress:

One-day local tours in Beijing during the congress:

•Ming Tombs − Great Wall,

•Forbidden City − Tian'anmen Square − Temple of Heaven,

•Hutong Tour − Beihai Park − Jingshan Park,

•Lama Temple – Beijing Zoo(Panda Garden) –Summer Palace

Post-congress field excursions in China:

•Beijing-Chongqing-Yangtze Cruise-Wuhan,

•Beijing-Xining-Qinghai Lake-Lhasa,


•Beijing-Guilin-Kunming (co-organized by Institute of Karst Geology)
Three social events had been organized for the participants:

•Welcome Reception, on the evening of August 21, on the 4th Floor and the terrace of the CNCC;

•New International Charter on Geographical Education, on the morning of August 24, joined by officials, high school teachers, IGU Geographical Education Commission & two European associations – Eugeo and Eurogeo;

•Gala dinner, on the evening of August 23, in the Plenary Hall B of CNCC.

Left, Welcome Reception on August 21 Right, Gala Dinner on August 23
The congress came to a close on the afternoon of August 25. Bojie Fu, President of the Geographical Society of China presented the basic statistics and made a summary of the congress. Vladimir Kolosov, the outgoing President of IGU delivered a speech of thanks and confirmed the success of the congress. Then Joos Droogleever Fortuijn, Vice President of IGU announced the IGU and LOC Grant recipients. Michael Meadows and Vladimir Kolosov handed in the IGU Commission Excellent Award 2015 to Commission on Geographical Education; IGU Planet and Humanity Medal was awarded to Prof. Carl Folke, IGU Lauréats d’Honneur were presented to Prof. Ian Burton, Prof. Maria Dolores Garcias-Ramon and Prof. Benno Werlen. Chinese Geography Outstanding Achievement Awards were presented to Prof. Dadao Lu, Prof. Ke Liao and Prof. Cairui Jing. The representatives from the upcoming IGU Regional Conferences and congresses, Matthew Hatvany from Quebec 2018, Ehmet Ertek from Istanbul 2020, Antoine Le-Blanc from Paris 2022, Frances Fahy from Dublin 2024 presented successively the programmes. Then the IGC flag was handed over to Ehmet Ertek, the representative of the Organizing Committee of the 34th International Geographical Congress. At last, Yukio Himiyama, the new President of IGU made a speech.

Left, Prof. Carl Folke was awarded the IGU Planet and Humanity Medal

Right, IGC flag was handed over to the representatives of the 34th IGC
Thanks to continuous efforts and full support from Chinese and overseas colleagues, the 33rd IGC achieved great success and became the largest congress ever in IGU history. Special thanks to the sponsors and supporters, who supported the congress financially, as well as 236 volunteers from universities and institutions in China, who provided the services to participants during the whole congress.
Provided by the Local Organizing Committee of the IGC 2016

Geographical Society of China



(note of G.Bellezza, Editor: in September 2016, the complete downloadable text of the

Draft Minutes has already been published, see in www.homeogeography.org)
The IGU 2016 General Assembly met in two sessions chaired by IGU President Vladimir Kolosov, who welcomed delegates, observers, and guests to the assembly.

Secretary-General Meadows called the roll and recorded the list of countries/regions represented. Representatives of 46 countries or regions attended one or more sessions of the assembly.

The proposed Agenda was adopted, the Minutes of the 2012 was approved, and so were unanimously approved the Tellers proposed for the ballot cast during the Assembly: Professors Elena dell’Agnese (Italy) and Henrik Toft Jensen (Denmark).

Following, the appointment of Finance Committee (Professors Carol Harden (United States), Olof Stjernstrom (Sweden) and Dan Shrubsole (Canada), of new National Members (Bolivia, Ecuador, Luxembourg and Venezuela) were approved unanimously. The Assembly also approved the EC Actions on Commissions and Task Forces.

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