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International Geoscience Programme (IGCP)

IGCP Projects

Following the approval of 18 new and 40 ongoing projects by the IGCP Council during their 6th Council session in March 2021, 58 IGCP projects will be delivered by 326 IGCP project leaders from 91 countries in 2021 with the support of UNESCO, IUGS , Jeju Province Development Corporation (JPDC) from the Republic of Korea and the National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO.

  • If you want to join an active IGCP project, do not hesitate to contact a project leader.

IGCP projects by themes:

Earth Resources | Global Change | Geohazards | Hydrogeology | Geodynamic


1. Earth Resources: Sustaining our Society

Knowledge on natural resources - including minerals, hydrocarbons, geothermal energy, and water - and their management is the frontline of the struggle for more sustainable and equitable development. The environmentally responsible exploitation of these resources is a challenge for geoscience research. The progress of technological development is equally bound to this premise.

Earth Resources | Global Change | Geohazards | Hydrogeology | Geodynamic


2. Global Change and the Evolution of Life: Evidence from the geological record

Changes in the Earth's climate and of life on Earth are preserved in the geologic record. Ice and dust records, terrestrial and ocean sediments, and sequences of fossil plant and animal assemblages all tell the story of our Planet which holds important lessons about present-day environmental challenges and the ways to mitigate and manage environmental damage.

Earth Resources | Global Change | Geohazards | Hydrogeology | Geodynamic


3. Geohazards: Mitigating the risks

Geohazards include earthquakes, volcanic activity, landslides, tsunamis, floods, meteorite impacts and the health hazards of geologic materials, and can range from local events such as a rock slide or coastal erosion to events that threaten humankind such as a supervolcano or meteorite impact. Earth scientists undertake research to better understand these hazards and contribute to risk management policies related to social and technical issues associated with geohazards as well as disaster mitigation.

Earth Resources | Global Change | Geohazards | Hydrogeology | Geodynamic


4. Hydrogeology: Geoscience of the water cycle

Life on Earth depends on water, and its sustainable use is crucial for continued human activities. Earth’s water cycle involves studying, understanding, and managing groundwater systems, hydrogeology, as well as sources, contamination and vulnerability of water systems.

Earth Resources | Global Change | Geohazards | Hydrogeology | Geodynamic


5. Geodynamic: Control our environment

Our habitable environment at the Earth's surface is linked and controlled by processes occurring deep within the Earth. Earth scientists use, inter alia, geophysical techniques to study deep Earth processes ranging from changes in the Earth's magnetic field to plate tectonics to understand better the Earth as a dynamic planet. Those processes are also relevant to natural resource exploration, distribution and management of groundwater resources and the study and mitigation of natural hazards such as earthquakes.

Earth Resources | Global Change | Geohazards | Hydrogeology | Geodynamic


2020 Special topic: Geoheritage for Sustainable Development theme

UNESCO’s mandate acknowledges the research on geological heritage as an important instrument for the holistic approach to sustainable development of UNESCO Member States. The call for proposals under the Geoheritage for Sustainable Development Special Topic will support projects focusing on the protection of geological formations which are essential to:

  • keeping the memory of the evolution of the earth;
  • learning from evolving processes to solve emerging problems and
  • the success of a future sustainable development of local communities, in particular in terms of resource management, renewable energies, energy efficiency, farming, land use and peatland management.

The call for Geoheritage for Sustainable Development will provide seed funding to projects applying best practices and to projects contributing to the strengthening and empowering of local communities to ensure that the geological importance of an area can be preserved and promoted for science, education and culture.

Earth Resources | Global Change | Geohazards | Hydrogeology | Geodynamic