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UNESCO Lecture Series: Earth Materials for a Sustainable and Thriving Society Recap

In response to the major disruption in programme activities caused by Covid-19, the International Geosciences Programme (IGCP) developed an online Lecture Series designed to raise awareness about the role of Earth materials in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The highly successful Lecture Series opened new avenues of engagement between IGCP and the global geoscience community and it offers a model for reaching very dispersed audiences. 

The Lecture Series provided geoscience and social science perspectives on Earth materials and their role in society and achieving the SDGs. The 11 speakers included six women and five men from nine countries and four continents. 

  • Earth Materials: The Foundation for Development, by Dr. Larry Meinert (USA) and Dr. Nellie Mutemeri (South Africa) | Video
  • Climate Neutrality, the Circular Economy, and Earth Materials, by Dr. John Thompson (Canada) and Prof. Frances Wall (U.K.) | Video
  • The Neglected Minerals and Materials of Development, by Prof. Daniel Franks (Australia) | Video
  • Mineral Extraction and Communities, by Dr. Rajiv Maher (Mexico) and Dr. Melba Kapesa Wasunna (Kenya) | Video
  • Suppliers, Consumers, and the Global Minerals Supply Chain, by Dr. Kathryn Moore (U.K.) and Dr. Judy Muthuri (U.K. and Kenya) | Video
  • Earth Materials and a Sustainable Future, by Prof. Murray Hitzman (Ireland) and Ms. Halleluya Naantu Ekandjo (Ireland and Namibia) | Video

The lectures and the Q&A sessions were recorded and are available for free access on YouTube. Links to each video are provided at the Lecture Series website

The Series was developed in collaboration with the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and iCRAG, the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences. The lectures were produced and broadcast live between 26 January and 9 March 2021. We were very gratified to see that more than 4,300 people from 145 countries registered for the Series and that 1,696 Certificates of Attendance have been issued to participants from 89 different countries. The online videos have attracted an additional 5,500 views to date. 

Our next challenge is to see how best to incorporate online events such as this Lecture Series into the IGCP’s long-standing educational, capacity-building, and outreach activities which are mainly based on in-person meetings. The pandemic has been very difficult for all of us but we have learned that there are many exciting opportunities to expand our global connections. We look forward to developing new initiatives, both in person and online, to advance UNESCO’s mandate to support research and capacity in the geosciences !

 

© Murray W. Hitzman

 

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