Chief Editor: Ronald F. Abler - Associate Editor: Markku Löytönen - Editors: Giuliano Bellezza, Woo-ik Yu Managing Editors: Dawn Bissell- Publisher: Home of Geography
This issue is circulated to more than 1000 individuals and bodies.Announcements, information, calls for participation in scientific events, programmes and projects, are welcome. Please send them to email@example.com
Contents of this Issue
Celimontana Committee meeting
Paradiso & Kellerman meeting 20-21 Feb
Water sustainability book
Home of Geography publications
1) 1) Message from José Luis Palacio Prieto
The 2004-2008 period has witnessed many unanticipated changes for the IGU Executive Committee. The early passing last November of the IGU President, Adalberto Vallega, demanded that I, as First Vice-president, should now fulfil the duties of Professor Vallega for the remainder of his term of office, until August 2008. Professor Vladimir Kolossov was elected Vice President late last year after the untimely death of Vice-President Nikita Glazowsky in October 2005, and on 1st January 2007 Professor Woo-ik Yu was appointed Secretary General and Treasurer of the Union, succeeding Professor Ron Abler, who became Vice President upon the request of Professor Vallega. In April, all IGU Executive Committee members met in Tokyo to discuss the main items of the IGU agenda for the immediate future. Many initiatives had previously been launched by Adalberto and demand attention and continuity. Three of these include the Mediterranean Renaissance Programme, the Cultures and Civilizations for Human Development initiative and the promotion of the 31st International Congress in Tunis.
The Cultures and Civilizations for Human Development initiative was initially conceived by Adalberto Vallega with support from Professor Jean-Robert Pitte, President of the Sorbonne. The initiative seeks to implement approaches and actions aimed at valuing cultural identities and encouraging inter-civilizational dialogue and co-operation with a view to pursuing the social concerns included among the UN Millennium goals, and also supporting the strategies of UNDP. Materials concerning this initiative, including information on both the Action Plan and the Proposal for a UN International Year on Cultures and Civilizations for Human Development may be found on the Home of Geography website (http://www.homeofgeography.org). Vladimir Kolossov was appointed IGU-EC Liaison and Benno Werlen General Coordinator for the CCHD Initiative.
The 31st International Geographical Congress will be held in Tunis, Tunisia from 12 -15 August 2008 (http://www.agt.org.tn). This event, one of the first major geographical congresses organized by the large Arab geographical community, will constitute an unprecedented opportunity for an intercultural encounter, an opportunity to bring together geographers from the entire world. We strongly encourage your participation. The Organizing Committee is led by Professor Adnane Hayder (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Secretary General is Professor Ali Toumi (email@example.com).
Many other issues are included on the IGU agenda. The three mentioned above are just a brief example of the seeds sown by Adalberto Vallega. All EC members are committed to bringing them to a successful harvest. However, this will not be possible without your active participation.
José L. Palacio
IGU Acting President
2) Tunis 2008 IGU Congress
2a) 31st International Geographical Congress - Tunis, August 12th - 15th 2008
The 31st International Geographical Congress "Tunis 2008" will be held in Tunis from the 12th to 15th August 2008. It will take place in the Congress and Exhibition Centre of Le Kram, where the World Summit of the Information Society (2005) was held. It is a very large complex that can encompass a wide range of people from different backgrounds.
The motto of the Tunis Congress 2008 is: "Building together our territories". Other topics will also be addressed within the framework of the IGU programs (Cultures and Civilizations for Human Development; Mediterranean Renaissance) or the programs of international organizations, such as the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE).
The National Organizing Committee of the 31st International Geographical Congress (Comité Nationale Organisation Congrès, CNOC Tunis 2008) is currently finalizing the scientific program.
This program will focus on topical geographical issues, including applied geography, new trends in the teaching of geography, and new tools available to geographers. Particular attention will be given to geography in Africa, the Arab world and the Mediterranean.
The Congress will also serve as an opportunity for many IGU Commissions to hold their meetings in Tunis during or after the Congress in order to present the results of their work. This is a very useful opportunity for several commissions.
As per usual, proposals for new commissions will be examined at the Congress. The deadline for submission of these proposals is May 30th 2007.
The small size of the country and paradoxically the great diversity of its landscapes and dynamics make Tunisia a place with plentiful sites of scientific and teaching interest, which can serve as examples and support for geography courses and textbooks. The CNOC has identified ten scientific excursions, and at least one hundred sites are of considerable interest to various branches of geography.
Moreover, the Congress offers travellers the opportunity to enjoy basic and good accommodation in order to undertake individual excursions.
In parallel to the academic work, the Congress will host a fair with exhibitors ranging from the National Geography Committees to professionals in the fields of publishing, cartography and new technologies, and other operators who will be able to present and sell their products. Special exhibitions are also planned.
As a family tourism country, Tunisia offers many possibilities, such as seaside resorts, archaeological sites, medinas, museums, spas, thalassotherapy centres, and so on. The Congress will be a wonderful opportunity for the friends and families of participants to spend time discovering what Tunisia has to offer.
The CNOC has secured many facilities for congress participants and their companions. Accommodation for congress participants and their companions will be offered at the favourable rates in downtown hotels, and in seaside resorts of the northern suburbs. Special arrangements have been made for participants.
Transport between the accommodation areas and the Congress and Exhibition Centre, where the Congress will be held, will be provided at the beginning and the end of the day.
Registration fees, as well as the various details relating to accommodation, excursions and the social program, will be announced in the second and final congress circular, which will be issued in the near future.
2b) Mattei Dogan Foundation Prize to be Awarded at the Tunis IGU Congress
The first Mattei Dogan Foundation Prize in Human Geography will be conferred at the 11-15 August 2008 International Geographical Congress in Tunis, Tunisia. The recipient will be an internationally accomplished and renowned geographer who will receive the Prize in recognition of exceptional scholarly achievements in international human geography over an extended period of time or over his or her lifetime. The Prize will consist of a citation and a financial award of $4,000. The recipient will be expected to present a major lecture at the Tunis Congress on the subject for which he or she is being recognized.
Nominations for the Prize are due at the IGU Secretariat no later than 31 August 2007. Nominations must include: a) the nominee's complete curriculum vitae; b) a written statement of no more than 1,000 words documenting the nominee's qualifications for the Prize; and c) a minimum of three, and no more than five letters of recommendation solicited by the nominators from experts in the nominee's specialties who are capable of judging the nominee's qualifications for the Prize.
Those eligible to nominate candidates for the Prize are: a) chairpersons of IGU Commissions, Task Forces, and Special Committees; b) chairpersons of National Committees for the IGU from IGU member countries in good standing; or c) any three IGU Corresponding Members in good standing. Self-nominations will not be considered. Officers of the IGU are not eligible for nomination during, and for four years following the expiration of their terms of office.
The qualifications of nominees will be evaluated by an independent Prize Committee appointed by the IGU Executive Committee. Nominees will be evaluated solely on the basis of the nominees' sustained contributions to the advancement of theory, methods, and applications of human geography over an extended period of time.
The Mattei Dogan Foundation Prize in Human Geography was established in 2005 with the generous support of the Mattei Dogan Foundation. It will be awarded for the first time at the 2008 Tunis Congress, and thereafter at four-year intervals in conjunction with IGU International Geographical Congresses.
3) Vallega commemoration day by the Italian Geographical bodies
On 3rd May 2007, in Rome, the Italian Geographical Societies and Associations dedicated a day to the memory of Adalberto Vallega, President of IGU, following his untimely death on 22nd November 2007. In the morning, the event was hosted by the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (Italian National Research Council). Giuliano Bellezza gave the opening address, explaining that the intention was to celebrate the life of a lost friend, and not hold a formal memorial day. In fact, all the Presidents of the convening entities fully agreed, and all the speakers avoided, as far as possible, sad words.
G.Bellezza opens and A.Guerrini closes the 1st Session
In the second part of the morning, Sergio Conti chaired a session devoted to a series of speeches given by distinguished friends of Adalberto, such as Anne Buttimer, Paul Claval, Franco Salvatori, Vincenzo Guarrasi and Giacomo Corna Pellegrini (the text of the speeches of A. Buttimer, P. Claval and G. Corna Pellegrini are available on the Home of Geography website).
Left: Sergio Conti, chair of te second Session, with V.Guarrasi, giving his speech. Right, G. Corna Pellegrini, A. Buttimer and P.Claval
In the afternoon a meeting was held at Villa Celimontana, chaired by Prof. Maria Tinacci Mossello, former President of the Società Italiana di Studi Geografici (Florence), dedicated to Adalberto Vallega's last published book: "Geografia del Tempo" (Geography of Time).
M. Tinacci Mossello, between A.Turco and F.Salvatori, chairs the aftermoon Session, in the SGI
At the end of the day Mrs. Bruna Vallega, Adalberto's widow, presented Franco Salvatori, President of the Società Geografica Italiana, with a CD containing the almost complete text of the last book which Adalberto was writing: "Geografia e Semiotica" (Geography and Semiotics). In order to publish this last legacy, Prof. Mauro Spotorno has been appointed to complete the text.
Franco Salvatori lifts the CD just received from Mrs. Bruna Vallega
4) SGI awards to Anne Buttimer and Adalberto Vallega
In November 2006, the Board of the Italian Geographical Society (SGI) decided to confer honorary membership of the SGI upon the then IGU President, Adalberto Vallega, and IGU Past President, Anne Buttimer, in a ceremony on 28 March 2007. The passing of Adalberto meant that these plans had to be changed. While Anne received her award in March, as scheduled, Adalberto's diploma and medal were awarded posthumously to his widow on 3 May 2007.
4a) To Anne Buttimer
The text below is taken from the citation of the award, given on 28th March 2007: In view of her active, constant drive to promote the discipline and raise awareness of geographical science and knowledge, and her commitment to intercultural dialogue and to the fostering of productive interaction between natural and human sciences with regard to the fundamental issues underpinning the relationship between Man's activities and the Planet, the Board of the Italian Geographical Society is pleased to propose to the Assembly of Members, the appointment of Anne Buttimer as Honorary Member of the Society.
Anne Buttimer receiving her diploma from Franco Salvatori
4a) To Adalberto Vallega
The text below is taken from the award citation for Adalberto, as it was originally written a few days before his death, in November 2006, and presented to his widow on 3rd May 2007: President of the Association of Italian Geographers, and longstanding member of the Board of the Italian Geographical Society, Adalberto Vallega has put a great deal of energy into the worthy endeavour to establish vital links between the community of Italian geographers and the international geographical community. He has pursued this aim both within the IGU, in important positions, through to his appointment as Vice-president and then President, and within the bodies of the United Nations and other international institutions. These activities have also earned him awards from other quarters, such as the conferral of honorary membership of the Russian Geographical Society and honorary degrees from the University of Nantes and the University of Bucharest.
The wealth of his scientific work, in areas often of crucial importance to geographical debate, his efforts to collaborate with the international geographical arena, his unwavering, determined commitment to methods and epistemological innovation in geography, all make Adalberto Vallega an inevitable point of reference, both in Italy and abroad. The Board of the Italian Geographical Society is pleased and honoured to propose to the Assembly the honorary membership of Adalberto Vallega.
5) International Polar Year started in March 2007
The International Polar Year is a large scientific programme focused on the Arctic and the Antarctic from March 2007 to March 2009.
IPY, organized through the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), is actually the fourth polar year, following those in 1882-1883, 1932-1933, and 1957-1958. In order to have full and equal coverage of both the Arctic and the Antarctic, IPY 2007-08 covers two full annual cycles from March 2007 to March 2009 and will involve over 200 projects, with thousands of scientists from over 60 nations examining a wide range of physical, biological and social research topics. It is also an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate, follow, and get involved with, cutting edge science in real-time. To see detailed information, visit the website: http//www.ipy.org
6) Saudi Geographical Society News
Recommendations of the SGS assembly and the accompanying meeting on:
"Tourism in the Ha'il Region- Saudi Arabia" (20-22/3/2007)
The assembly and the meeting were held at Almughwah Ha'il City Park and were organized by the Saudi Geographical Society, in collaboration with the College of Teachers in Ha'il city.
Upon the approval of His Royal Highness Prince Saud Bin Abdul Mohsen Al Saud, the Prince of the Ha'il, a meeting: "Tourism in the region of Ha'il: Future Vision" was held. Invitations to attend the meeting were forwarded by the SGS to members and to those interested in tourism matters. The meeting program included scientific sessions, a workshop, and a scientific trip around the Ha'il area. Several recommendations emerged from the meeting as follows:
First: uplifting telegrams of thanks and gratitude:
1-Participants in the meeting offered their sincere thanks and gratitude to His Royal Highness the Prince of Ha'il for his approval to hold the meeting in Ha'il.
2-Participants expressed their sincere thanks and appreciation to His Excellency, undersecretary of the Ministry of Education for teachers colleges for his agreement to the participation of the College of Teachers in Ha'il in the organization of the meeting.
Second: Symposium concluded with the following recommendations:
1-Pay greater attention to regional development planning in the area of Ha'il by enforcing procedures and mechanisms to accommodate the tourist potential in the promising area of Ha'il, whether natural, environmental or human. Attention should also be given to the definition of these possibilities locally and externally, and to coordination between the regional council, the Authority of Development in Ha'il, and the Tourism Authority of the city of Ha'il in accordance with scientific geographic terms, in order to avoid places that could pose a threat to people.
2-Promote investment possibilities in tourism in the area to attract investors from within and outside the region, according to the strategy based on the priorities which seek to diversify the cultural, historical, sports and environmental tourism product supply (especially with regard to the mountain environment and the desert).
3-Work on the establishment of natural reserves and heritage in order to maintain the general appearance and heritage sites in the region and resettlement of the vital area, especially in the Aja and Salma mountains, with the implementation of regulations and legislation on the conservation of protected environments to promote ecotourism.
4-Stimulate investors in tourism in the Ha'il area to adopt joint projects between the public and private sectors to attract private sector investments, and establish projects focusing on infrastructure related to the development of tourism potentials, and encourage owners of farms and parks regarding their organization and transformation into tourist resorts, without prejudice to aspects of the natural environment.
5-Promote elements of the tourist attractions which form part of the natural and environmental geographical characteristics of Ha'il region (such as the Zubaydah path, the Oqdah site, the site of Old Tappeh, Machar, Al Shuaibin and so on). Periodic sports, cultural heritage and economic festivals and celebrations should be encouraged in order to achieve the aims of the various services which seek to attract tourists, and the participation of the public and private sectors in their organization should be encouraged. Long tours to the region can be facilitated in the light of all regulations that are consistent with religious values of Saudi society.
6- Recruit tourist guides from the highly qualified and knowledgeable people of the region in order to provide tourists with the best possible introduction to the region. Here, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the region can be called on to provide specialized tourism courses. Attention should also be paid to the posting of signboards in appropriate geographic locations and consideration given to producing maps that indicate tourist sites, and warn against committing criminal acts and clarify the penalties for offenders, with security support in tourist sites. Specialized tourist security teams must be trained.
7-Work to raise awareness among tourists, using audio-visual media documentaries, in order to conserve natural resources and promote ecotourism, as well as spread tourism awareness among the local population in order to attract tourists, provide services to them and highlight the cultural heritage of the region. Research and scientific studies are important to analyze the behaviour of the population when dealing with tourists and to improve these behaviours.
8-Support research and studies relating to the development of tourism and promote the use of modern technology in these studies, and foster the role of the Saudi Geographical Society in the adoption of such studies on the Ha'il region and other regions of the Kingdom. Such studies should emphasize the degree of environmental protection and the social and economic development of certain tourist activities (such as Ha'il Rally - The Great Nufud Challenge). Attempt to limit negative aspects, and protect the local environment from arbitrary use (firewood or fertile soil collection, waste disposal, the use of modern means of transportation in areas that are not earmarked for customers).
9-Develop means of transport and communication, especially to and from areas of environmental and archaeological importance. Develop the concept of integrated transport (comprehensive ticket), and construct rest centres, establishments selling food and places to pray in these areas, all supplied with electricity, to enable tourists to stay for longer, even after sunset, and construct information centres at the main entrances to the area.
10-Develop complementary tourism programs between the tour operators so that the program consists of a single package including travel, accommodation and tours. We should call here on the Supreme Tourism Authority in the region to support integration and coordination between the various sectors of tourism in the entire region, and to promote tourism groups and scientific tours.
11-Support small-scale local industries and promote their role in the development of tourism in the region.
12-Coordinate with the Ministry of Civil Service to identify job qualifications and describe them in detail in line with the tourism sector, and provide new areas of work for men and women, with an emphasis on the need to develop female employment in the tourism sector under the independent female sector.
Third: The SGS Assembly concluded with the main recommendation:
A renewal of the SGS administrative board for a new period of three years. The board members are:
1. Prof. Mohammad Shawqi Ibrahim Makki: Chairman, King Saud University.
2. Dr. Mohamed Ben Saleh Rabdi: Vice-Chairman, Islamic University of Imam Mohammad bin Saud.
3. Dr. Abdullah bin Hamad AlSolea: The Secretary General of the Board, King Saud University.
4. Dr. Mohammad bin Abdullah AlFadel: The Secretary of Finance, Islamic University of Imam Muhammad bin Saud.
5. Prof.A. D. Ali bin Mohammad Shiban Arishi: member, University of King Khaled.
6. Dr. Mohammad bin Abdel-Hamid Mishkhes: member, King AbdulAziz University.
7. Dr. Meraj bin Nawab Merza: member, University of Um AlQura.
8.Dr. Anbarrah Bent Khamis Bin Bilal: member, King Saud University.
9.Mr. Mohammad Bin Rashid Ahmed: member, the Geological Survey Authority, Saudi Arabia.
7) IGU Great Explorers Medals Series
A French gentleman wrote to Anne Buttimer in January announcing that he had discovered in one of his relative's houses a complete series of silver medals dedicated to great explorers. Anne asked the Home of Geography to look for any relevant material in the IGU archives, and we found a considerable amount of information. The series was commissioned in the 70s by the IGU Commission on the History of Geographic Thought and minted in the USA by the world renowned Franklin Mint. The series of 50, sterling silver medals, was produced during the Commission Chairmanship of Philippe Pinchemel, and the IGU Presidency of Jean Dresch.
On the basis of this find and the information we provided, Anne presented a report to the IGU Executive Committee in Tokyo. The possibility of reissuing this series, together with new medals, was evaluated at the meeting, although no final decision was reached.
The Certificate of Authenticity accompanying Magellan's medal, which appears on an envelope sent from Mactan, the Philippines (where the explorer was killed). All the Certificates of Authenticity were signed by IGU President, Jean Dresch.
8) Summary of forthcoming 2007 IGU events
The following are events which will be held before the next Newsletter is issued. Clearly the list is far from complete, but we can only publish the ones which were notified to us. To see more details, please follow the links or visit the Home of Geography's website: http://www.homeofgeography.org/ (then choose Events 2007).
UPDATE: ACTIVITIES OF THE HOME OF GEOGRAPHY
Celimontana Committee Meeting, Tokyo
The 2007 Meeting of the Villa Celimontana Committee (the Executive Committee of the Home of Geography) took place in Tokyo, April 4-8. Attending were the Home of Geography President, Markku Löytönen, the IGU representatives, Ron Abler and Woo-ik Yu and the Director, Giuliano Bellezza, who was also acting as representative of the Società Geografica Italiana.
The President said that, as the topics concerning the Home were already included on the Agenda of the IGU Executive Committee meeting, the Villa Celimontana Agenda could be fully discussed during the IGU EC Meeting, without allocating a separate session. The most interesting point was the Report presented by the Director, which is summarized here.
Some slight changes have been made to update it, with regard to certain activities at the Home after Tokyo.
Report of Activities at the Home of Geography 2006 - 2007
As regards the Archives, at the beginning of 2007, the HG asked the IGU bodies to send in all their outstanding material for the Archives. Due to the physical space limitations of the Home, only e-material was requested, and most of the Commissions answered positively. Now all commission newsletters and so on are being archived on CDs, and immediately posted on the website. The Archives also house a small library of books and journals. First steps towards cataloguing these have been made.
Anne Buttimer requested that a search be made in the Archives for material relating to the IGU Great Explorers Medals Series, issued in the 70s. This was in order to supply a French gentleman, who had found some of these medals, with relevant information. Material was scanned and emailed to both Anne and the gentleman concerned.
Home of Geography Publications Series.
Volume VII: Managing Water Resources in a Changing Physical and Social Environment by Peter J. Robinson, Tony Jones and Ming-ko Woo, was published in March 2007.
In the next few weeks the Home expects to receive the text of Volume VIII: Migration Mobility and Flows After Enlargement of the EU, edited by Dutch scholars Martin Van Der Velde and Ton Vannaersen.
Recent meetings hosted by the HG: