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International Geographical Union

IGU E-Newsletter


# 10       October       2007
Union Géographique Internationale

Chief Editor: Ronald F. Abler - Associate Editor: Markku Löytönen - Editors: Giuliano Bellezza, Woo-ik Yu Managing Editor: Giuliano Bellezza- 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 g,

Contents of this Issue
  • 1) Message on behalf of IGU Acting President José Luis Palacio Prieto

  • 2) Communications from IGU Secretary General Woo-ik Yu

  • 3)Next IGU initiatives: Tunis Congress 2008 and Tel Aviv Regional Conference 2010

  • 4)Reports from IGU Commissions

  • 5) Festival International de la Géographie 2007

  • 6) Herodot Working Conference: "Geography for Society: Putting Bologna into Action"

  • 7) Sustainable Futures, a book conceived in the Home of Geography

  • 8) Summary of forthcoming 2007 IGU events

  • Home of Geography publications

1) Message on behalf of IGU Acting President José Luis Palacio Prieto

Discussion following the recent appointment of a new Rector in the Universidad de Mexico revealed to be such a demanding event for IGU Acting President José Luis Palacio Prieto that even in the next days he has no possibilities to write the usual Message to open our Newsletters. So, on his behalf, I pass on all of you his wishes to continue your activities of research and teaching in the most satisfactory way. As there is not a general update on the IGU, he agreed with my proposal to begin the Newsletter with what is usually the final point, that is an updating on the Home of Geography.
I start with some lines from the previous issue: Sadly, the Executive Secretary of the Home of Geography, Dawn Bissell, is leaving her position, and indeed Rome, at the end of July. She has been of incredible help for almost two years. Her first kind of help was the amendment of my written English (which she also did for many other scholars, who asked the Home of Geography for this kind of help: to say it clearly, since more than one year they were asking her directly). Since now, and until we could employ a new English language mother tongue Secretary, a part of the next issues will be written in my Italish/Engalian. I want to thank former President Anne Buttimer, who guaranteed me to revise my texts, but for the following lines there is no time: this Newsletter already has a two weeks delay, and I shall distribute it tomorrow.
Over the last summer months, there has been no much activity at the Home of Geography. I have been committed in a field work in Cappadocia (Central Turkey) with my Department: these are, in my opinion, the best moments of our activity. On the other hand, I could not attend the Festival Internationale de la Géographie in Saint Dié des Vosges (see below the Anne Buttimer's report). Soon after I had the opportunity to participate in the joint Meetings of the IGU Commissions C04.35 and C04.36 (see below).
Main recent activities are listed below:
a) following a proposal of Prof. Antoine Bailly, for strengthening relations not only with FIG, but with organizers of Festa da Geografia in Mirandela (Portugal), the Home is taking contacts with local Public Authorities, in order to organize a similar initiative in the Roma Province or Region;
b) thanks to Anne Buttimer the Home of Geography maintains with the Herodot group of Prof. Karl Donert the contacts began in the CCHD Workshop of December 2005, organized in our seat. We will probably host a meeting of the group in the 2008 springtime. I suggest our readers to have a look at the interesting site: ;
c) the Volume VIII of the Home of Geography Series I, Migration in a New Europe: People, Borders and Trajectories will appear between the second half of December 2007 and the first of January 2008. . The book, which deals with migration issues in an enlarged Europe, is edited by Ton van Naerssen and Martin van der Velde;
d) We confirm that, as published in the previous issue, special rates for some top-of-the-range Italian hotels have been secured from an Italian company for friends of the Home of Geography. The quality hotels in this first agreement are all located in Sicily and offer the highest standards of comfort and quality (see the complete list and how to book in Newsletter #9). Please note that the discounted rates are valid until 31 December 2007, but we are now managing to renew the convention obtaining even more convenient rates.
To quote Martin Luther King's famous words, I also have a dream: my one concerns the Home of Geography, and I like to explain this through an example. As you will see, this Newsletter deals largely with the joint Meetings of two IGU Commissions C04.35 (Commission on Indigenous People's Knowledges and Rights) and C04.36 (Commission on Islands): an interesting experience, with great participation and success, demonstrating the amount of work already done by the two most recent IGU Commissions. I asked the organizers to send me some written reports as soon as possible: I came back to Rome on 8th November, and in the following days I received reports and photos. I converted all this material to Web format for the Newsletter, and added some more photos which I took during the excursions.
I consider this as a very good example of how my dream could come true. The aim I am pursuing is to slowly transform the rather impersonal Home of Geography into a more lively Home of Geographers, based on a more bottom-up means of sharing information. Of course, this is an idiom: I don't mean to say that the Home is "up" and the information arriving to the Home from National Committees, Commissions, Task Forces and so on is coming from "the bottom". When I used this idiom speaking to the people participating to the Taiwan Meetings, they immediately understood, and answered enthusiastically.
Success in shifting from Home of Geography to Home of Geographers is directly linked to all of us. I would like to thank those Commissions which, in response to our periodical requests, notify us of their activities. This allows the Home to keep geographers all over the world as informed as possible about the activities carried out by the community.
Of course, keeping the Home informed is not the measure of a Commission's activity; many Commissions, though scientifically active, probably don't consider it particularly important to update their colleagues in other Commissions. This, in my opinion, is a grave error, which goes some way to explaining why public or private entities concerned with territorial planning always consult economists, architects, sociologists, geologists, engineers and many other specialists, whereas the idea of seeking advice from a geographer doesn't even occur to them in most cases.
I am pleased to mention some of the Commissions which are keenest to keep their colleagues informed via the Home: the Commissions e-Archive on our website clearly shows that the Gender and Geography or Geography and Public Policy Commissions (to mention just a couple) are working closely with the Home in this respect.
The best example, to my knowledge, is C04.01: Applied Geography Commission, and a few days ago I received from its Chairman, Antoine Bailly, and its Secretary, Lay James Gibson, their 2007 Report: I invite all readers to have a look at it (on the Commission's website or on I am convinced that the widespread diffusion of reports like this one, possibly even out of the Geographer' community, is the best way to convince governments and international entities of the practical importance of professional geographers.
I am certain that other Commissions are working to the same standard, and I simply hope that they will take the opportunity to use our site and newsletter to raise awareness of the results of their activities. I promise to stress this for the last time (in this newsletter, at least): transforming Home of Geography into a Home of Geographers relies mainly on your co-operation.
The first of the Communication of Secretary General Woo-ik Yu published in the previous issue of the newsletter was informing about the recognition of "a small number of international scholars with the IGU Laureat d'honneur at the 2008 Congress. Nominations from National Committees of individuals to be considered for the Laureat d'honneur are due at the IGU Secretariat by 31 October 2007". I am not member of the EC, but I heard about some possible nomination. In any case, I want to thank the Egypt National Committee, which correctly wrote to IGU Secretary General and informed also the Home that "The Egyptian National Committee of the IGU has unanimously nominated its Chairman Prof. M.S. Abulezz who is also the President of the Egyptian Geographical Society and Emeritus Professor in Cairo University to the IGU Lauréat d' Honneur award of 2008". This demonstrate that in most cases useful information arrives to the Home in top-down direction.
Good work and best regards,
Giuliano Bellezza
Director of the Home of Geography

2) Communications from IGU Secretary General Woo-ik Yu

A letter was sent in early July from Prof Woo-ik Yu to the IGU Executive Committee and Chairs of the National Committees, and we diffused it in the Issue # 9. All the points were of key importance, and the dead lines for points 1. (Laureat d'honneur) and 2. (Mattei Dogan Foundation Prize in Human Geography) had already expired. In any case, we consider it useful to publish again all the following points, as the dead lines had not yet been reached:
3. Nominations for election to the IGU Executive committee for the period 2008- 2012
Nominations of individuals for election to the IGU Executive Committee for the period 2008 to 2012 are due at the IGU Secretariat no later than 31 December 2007. All current members of the IGU Executive Committee, except for Professor Anne Buttimer, are eligible for nomination for president. The eligibility of the current members of the IGU Executive Committee is as follows:
- Past President Anne Buttimer will complete her service to IGU in 2008;
- First Vice President and Acting President José Palacio-Prieto has served two terms as Vice President and is not eligible for re-election to a third term as Vice President;
- Secretary General and Treasurer Woo-ik Yu has served one term as Vice President/Secretary General and Treasurer and is eligible for nomination as a candidate for Secretary General and Treasurer;
- Vice President Vladimir Kolossov has served a partial term as Vice President and is eligible for nomination for one additional term as Vice President;
- Vice President Ronald Abler will complete his service to IGU in 2008;
- Vice President Changming Liu has served two terms as Vice President and is not eligible for nomination for a third term as Vice President;
- Vice President Markku Löytönen has served two terms as Vice President and is not eligible for nomination for a third term as Vice President;
- Vice President Lindisizwe Magi has served two terms as Vice President and is not eligible for nomination for a third term as Vice President;
- Vice President Hiroshi Tanabe has served two terms as Vice President and is not eligible for nomination for a third term as Vice President;
Please note that nominations of individuals as candidates for positions on the IGU Executive Committee should be put forward by National Committees, accompanied by a photograph of the nominee, a curriculum vitae, and a statement of intent of no more than 500 words, written by the nominee, describing his or her priorities for the IGU if elected. The photograph should be suitable for reproduction in the IGU Newsletter.
4. Application for the 2014 Regional Conference/2016 IGU Congress
National Committees wishing to host either the 2014 IGC Regional Conference or the 2016 IGU Congress are requested to send their applications to the Seoul IGU Secretariat by December 31 2007. The applications must include: a) an official letter of invitation; b) a brief proposal containing information on the invitation background, meeting location, tentative conference theme, available conference facilities, and other matters deemed relevant to the proposal and invitation. The Executive Committee will conduct a preliminary review of applications, and representatives of proposals deemed competitive will be invited to meet with the IGU Executive Committee in March 2008. The final decision on the sites of the two meetings will be made by the IGU General Assembly at the Tunis Congress.
5. Official voting delegates
No later than 31 May 2008, I will need to know the identity of each country's official voting delegate at the 2008 IGU General Assembly. You may, if you wish, designate an alternate to cast your country's vote if the delegate must be absent from a meeting of the assembly.
6. Agenda for the Tunis General Assembly
You will receive the agenda for the Tunis General Assembly on or about 1 April 2008. The Executive Committee will invite your suggestions for items of business to be placed on the agenda in early 2008, but I would be pleased to receive any suggestions for agenda items that may occur to you before then.
Plans for the Tunis congress are well in hand. The congress website is operational, and the local organizers have done an excellent job of attracting Commission and Task Force meetings to be held in the Tunis area in conjunction with the Congress. The second Congress Circular is scheduled for distribution this year.

3) Next IGU initiatives: Tunis Congress 2008 and Tel Aviv Regional Conference 2010

The Congress website can be reached with a click on the image; the URL is:

4) Meetings held in Taipei (29 October-3 November) by the C04.35 (Commission on Indigenous Knowledges and Rights) and C04.36 (Commission on Islands)

4.1)Report by Anne Buttimer
On Monday October 29, 2007, the inaugural meeting of IGU's two newest Commissions established in 2006, the Commission on Islands, and the Commission on Indigenous People's Knowledges and Rights, opened in Taipei's elegant GIS International Convention Center. Over 300 people, including students, lecturers and members of the Taiwan public, with visitors from 26 foreign countries, attended the conference. (Of the 60+ international scholars and speakers, a majority was from Europe, followed by equal numbers from Australia+New Zealand and North America, with a small but quite quite vocal presence from the island Pacific). Exhibits and posters displayed films, books and journals, and information on Taiwan's national parks and offshore islands. The carefully designed programme involved three days of paper sessions, followed by a three day excursion to the beautiful Taroko National Park where encounters with Taroko and Amis people were arranged. The setting was truly cordial and, with voluntary student help available, all procedures were smooth and full copies of conference papers were available at the outset. Much of the credit for this success is due to the Local Organizing Committee, chaired by Professor Chang-Yi David Chang, also Chairman of the IGU Commission on Islands (National Taiwan University), with the impressive support of Commission Secretary Dr. Huei-Min Tsai (National Taiwan Normal University), and Professor Wang (Tibu) as key local organizer for the Commission on Indigenous Peoples' Knowledges and Rights. The meeting was chaired by Professor Juin-Chuan Lin, President of the Geographical Society of Taiwan. Professor Sue-Ching Jou, Chair of the Department of Geography, National Taiwan University, hosted the business meetings of the two Commissions on Tuesday November 30.
The Opening session began with a welcome message from President Juin-Chuan Lin who invited a minute silence in memory of the late Professor Adalberto Vallega. Representatives of the various sponsoring organisations spoke briefly on the importance of international research collaboration for Taiwan. Anne Buttimer and Ron Abler welcomed the two commissions, commending them as innovators in extending the global reach of IGU beyond the traditional domains of Euro-American dominance. Both were also invited to deliver keynote lectures at the Opening Plenary Session.
Respectful tribute to untimely dead President A.Vallega
Opening Ceremony, tribute to Adalberto Vallega

While each commission had its own distinctive programme, there were occasions for shared agenda. Both attended, and contributed to Opening and Closing Ceremonies. There were speakers who contributed to both symposia and there was much informal interaction throughout the conference days. While the Commission on Indigenous People's Knowledges and Rights held parallel sessions, the Commission on Islands held plenary sessions throughout. Common to both were concerns about global change and sustainable development, ethno- and bio-diversity and traditional ways of life, practical challenges of education, development and conservation of heritage. There were shared epistemological concerns, too, about language, enquiry methods, social construction of knowledges and the de-colonisation of discourse.
On the morning of November 1, a high-speed train sped delegates along the Northeast Coast Scenic Area to Hualien. By afternoon they were treated to the splendour of Taroko National Park and its famous Ching-shui Cliffs, arriving at the Leader (Shan-yueh) Village Taroko (managed entirely by Taroko people) for an overnight stay. On the following morning there was an impressive "field seminar", organized by the Commission on Indigenous People's Knowledges and Rights, which included several presentations by indigenous people, a moving film, and several hours of dialogue. This was largely a sequel to a pioneering project undertaken by William T Hipwell (Victoria University of Wellington) and colleagues on an "Aboriginal Sustainability Network" (ASN) involving five communities: Maori (N.Z.), Mi'kmaq (Canada), Ngarrindjeri (Australia) and the tSou and Taroko nations of Taiwan. The November 2 event revealed many unresolved tensions and persistent challenges of inter-cultural interaction; among the hopeful signs was the evidence of how geographical methods, cartography, GIS and other technologies could be deployed to elucidate details of tribal landscapes and places involved in aboriginal concerns about territory, identity and property rights. Discussions continued over lunch and well into the afternoon, when the group made their way again through the Swallow Grotto and Tiansiang to overnight at Grand Formosa Taroko Hotel. Before leaving Taroko on Saturday, the entire group formed a circle and each individual was invited to speak, sing or dance: a perfect finale of a splendid experience.
The joint Opening Ceremony
C.Chang and J.Johnson, Commission's Chairs, J.C.Lin, President, A.Buttimer and R.Abler, IGU

A splendid experience indeed, heralding a fresh beginning for practices of geography as well as for IGU itself. For a discipline which has concerned itself primarily with land rather than ocean, with mainland rather than island, with large imperial nations rather than with smaller ones, the programme of this meeting indeed pointed in new directions. From the paradigm-driven approaches so characteristic of conventional academic geography, too, this programme revealed a willingness to explore voices of lived geographical experience, and the varieties of indigenous geographical knowledges. From the IGU vantage point, the welcome expertise from Southeast Asia, Pacific islands and Australasia marked success for a regional network newly launched at Brisbane 2006. And it was splendid for the participants themselves. From the moment they arrived at Taipei International Airport, foreign participants received a cordial welcome throughout their stay. Indeed, given its history and current political climate, Taiwan was the ideal setting for the inaugural meetings of these IGU Commissions on Islands and on Indigenous Peoples' Knowledges and Rights.
Anne Buttimer, University College Dublin
Past President of the International Geographical Union

4.2) C04.35 Commission on Indigenous Peoples Knowledges and Rights
It was during the launch of the Indigenous Peoples' Knowledges and Rights Commission at the Brisbane meeting of the IGU in 2006 that Prof. Chang-yi David Chang of National Taiwan University proposed a joint meeting of the Indigenous Peoples' Knowledges and Rights and Islands Commissions. His work, along with the efforts of Professor Ming Huey Wang (tibusungu'e vayayana) of National Taiwan Normal University provided the leadership for an incredible meeting for our two commissions. The first three days of our joint meeting was spent at National Taiwan University devoted to keynote and concurrent paper sessions. As Prof. Paul Claval noted in his opening plenary presentation, this meeting marked a clear transition for the IGU into the era of post-colonialism and post-modernism. The conference in Taipei was followed by three days in eastern Taiwan, including visiting Taroko National Park and meetings with the Taroko and Amis Nations.
The keynote and paper sessions within the Indigenous Peoples' Commission portion of conference were comprised of presentations from Australia, Fiji, Germany, Hawai'i, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the United States and included numerous papers from the host country concerning Indigenous Taiwanese topics. As the chair of the Indigenous Peoples' Commission, it was my hope that our group of international scholars would be able to share our knowledge concerning Indigenous peoples' struggles from others parts of the world with those academics in Taiwan studying similar issues for Indigenous Taiwanese communities. Certainly, the members of our commission from various parts of the globe learned a great deal from the Taiwanese academics who presented, aided by the adept skills of the translators. We are currently working on a special edition for Geojournal of papers presented at the conference and hope to also have several papers published in a special edition of the Journal of Geographical Science published by National Taiwan University.
Following the conference, we travelled to the eastern portion of Taiwan where we spent three days visiting various parts of Taroko National Park and learned about the displacement of the Taroko people from the park lands which bare their name. Perhaps the highlight for many of us of our time in Taiwan was the session organized by Professor Wang (tibu) with representatives from several different Indigenous Taiwanese Nations, including the Amis and Taroko. Their presentations provided insights into the struggles by their nations over issues of displacement, resource extraction, tourism, language preservation and autonomy. It was during this session that we learned about the current and on-going difficulties faced by the Indigenous communities of Taiwan as well as their vision for the future. One clear message that was conveyed by the representatives of these communities was that they value increased international connections with other Indigenous communities and forums, including the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

In the Fu-Shih Elementary School: lessons in a class and W.Hipwell opening the Seminar
Fu-Shih Taroko Elementary School: a class at left, W. Hipwell opening the Seminar at right

To our hosts among the organizing committee, the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan, and the various Indigenous Nations who welcomed us into their communities we wish to say thank you for sharing with us and for showing us such hospitality.
Jay T. Johnson, Chair, Commission on Indigenous Peoples' Knowledges and Rights

in the Swallow Gorge of the upper Liwu River
The Swallow Gorge, so said as being on the swallows migrating route

4.3) Island Geographies - New Horizons of Geographical Research
What can we learn from peripheral island geographies about key issues at the core of societal dynamics? Some would argue this question is itself yet another example of colonial exploitation on the part of continental centers of power. Island geographies have repeatedly figured as pathway to geographical knowledge of relevance far beyond the unique contexts of small peripheral places. The new IGU Commission on Islands represents an ongoing resurgence of interest in core-periphery dynamics and in seeking knowledge for achieving sustainability for our island Earth, linking local and global processes. The tensions in thought and action this resurgence builds upon provided energy and focus for the inaugural meeting of the commission held in Taipei.
The first day of the conference focused on new horizons of island geographical research, conceptions of island studies, and social and political dimensions of island geographies. Running parallel with the Inaugural Meeting of the IGU Indigenous Peoples' Knowledges and Rights Commission, the opening sessions joined the two conferences, drawing connections between island geographies and issues surrounding biocultural diversity. The meaning of studying islands 'on their own terms', the importance of avoiding the 'local trap', and reimagining the ocean-island interface gave the conference a kick-start of lively debate. This was followed up with examples of island studies highlighting uneven development, the impacts of tourism and mobilities, and embodied geographies of borders.
The second day included sessions on island responses to global change, island cultures and identities, island tourism, island landscapes and heritage, and island vulnerability and resource management. Ethnobiodiversity and local empowerment were just a couple of many aspects of island development that effectively crossed the nature-society divide. Day three focused on issues and strategies for sustainable island development, drawing on experiences from around the world, not least Taiwan's efforts to localize development strategies for its highly diverse off-shore islands.
After three days of animated discussion on island geographies, exchange of thought continued in the field, bringing together the delegates of both IGU conferences in a three day fieldtrip to Hualien and Taroko National Park. Day two of the fieldtrip included a field seminar on the struggles of the indigenous Taroko people. After one day spent in Taipei, some members of the Commission and participants to the Meeting joined in a field trip to the Penghu Island, in the China Southern Sea.
At the Opening Session

Details of the conference program including abstracts are available at the commission's website:
Many of the papers presented at the conference will be published in various journals and books in the coming year.
Future activities of the IGU Commission on Islands include
  • Organizing sessions at the upcoming IGU Conference in Tunis, August 2008
  • Organizing sessions at the ISISA (International Small Island Studies Association) conference, Jeju Island, August 2008
  • Workshops in Tasmania and Bornholm, 2009 (preliminary)
These and other activities can be followed at the commission's website. The commission has a very international and transdisciplinary profile and welcomes new members and participation in its efforts to develop new horizons of geographical research through focusing on islands.
Chang-yi David Chang
Juin- Chuan Lin
Sue- Ching Jou
Huei-Min Tsai
Eric Clark

Penghu Island: columnar lava at left, coral fence at right

5) Festival International de la Géographie 2007

They came in their thousands as they usually do - academic geographers and students, school teachers and pupils, media experts and publishers, farmers and local entrepreneurs - for this 18th occasion of the Saint-Dié Geography Festival. October 2007 also marked the 500th anniversary of the first map containing the name "America" which was produced in this city by Waldseemuller in 1507. The title, La Planète en mal d'énergies, was strongly supported by IGU, given our commitments to the UN Year of Planet Earth (2008), and indeed the impressive work of the French National Committee for IYPE was in evidence throughout FIG 2007.
With the Indian summer weather of October 4-7, there was little lack of energy in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges. Hosts were cordial as ever and the town was festooned with colour. The various salons staged innovative displays of film and literature, school texts and learning materials, geomatics and gourmandise. At the Tour de la Liberté was an impressive exhibition of Braque ceramics and throughout the town, in Cathedral and street, were musical performances of superb quality. School children and their teachers were clearly enjoying the displays, colleagues from France and abroad rejoiced in the opportunity for dialogue and refreshment.
The Inaugural Ceremony (October 4) involved presentations by representatives of regional government and national ministries of education and environment. It also welcomed Roumania as special guest country for 2007 and Mme Elisabeth Roudinesco, psychoanalyst and historian, as "grand témoin". Highlights of the session included her fetching "mental map" of Europe and the passionate (one-hour long) speech by Christian Pierret on the central theme of energy. Prizes were awarded to winners of thesis and poster competitions (organized by the French National Committee for Geography), and Michael Frank Goodchild of Santa Barbara, California was this year's happy recipient of the Prix Vautrin Lud.
The scientific programme included round table panel discussions and plenary lectures, the highly popular "cafés géographiques", demonstrations and poster events. Sessions were fully attended and involved stimulating debates. For the first time a non-French person, Professor Bernadette Mérenne-Schoumaker (Université de Liège, Belgium), was invited to deliver the Opening paper on the geography of energy. Throughout the event there were presentations and debates on other aspects of energy and environment, the quest for alternatives to fossil fuels, issues of climate change and global warming, implications for health and welfare, new developments in agriculture, transport and trade.
With characteristic aplomb, Christian Pierret welcomed delegates from Roumania and Cameroon, Germany and Italy and expressed his deep appreciation for IGU and the partnership with FIG. As IGU's sole representative this year I took the opportunity to inform the public about the XXXI IGC in Tunis 2008. Later, at a short meeting with FIG personnel (October 6), the 2006 "Plan d'action" was discussed and details of FIG contributions to the 2008 IGC 2008 were outlined. By then Ali Toumi, Secretary-General for the Congress, had arrived and he described the state of current planning and announced the website which should be fully operational by October 15 (
The Festival International de Géographie is a highly important event for French geographers and for many others. The 18th occasion was a resounding success with palpable enthusiasm about fresh ideas in technology, cartography and analytical methods. Tension was high on Saturday evening and when the result of the rugby match between France and New Zealand was announced, the Palais Omnisports Joseph Claudel virtually exploded in delight.

6) Herodot Working Conference: "Geography for Society: Putting Bologna into Action"

HERODOT held its main 2007 conference in Stockholm, Sweden. More than 70 participants from 22 countries attended the event. This event was a working conference where participants developed the themes of the network through the four HERODOT working groups or thematic pillars, namely:
  • Citizenship, Culture, Place and Identity
  • 21st century Geography
  • Innovative Teaching
  • Lifelong Learning.
Additionally members participated in some parts of the ESRI User conference, taking place in Stockholm at the same time, presenting papers as part of the Education User track.
The HERODOT conference keynote presentations were given by Professor Anne Buttimer, former President of the IGU on "Geography, Dialogue and Social Integration in Europe", and by Julia Gonzalez-Ferreras from the University of Deusto, Spain on "TUNING Educational structures".
The event also marked the launch of two major network reports on the "State of Geography in Europe" and on "TUNING Geography". This research was undertaken through and with members of the network and provides information on Geography in higher education and also in schools throughout Europe. The reports are available for download from the conference Web pages:

The working groups held their meetings which were aimed at developing publications on learning and teaching about Europe, producing information and guidelines on employability in Geography and establishing a toolkit to promote Geography in Europe, including the development of a GEOcube. To find out more about this see the latest HERODOT newsletter (/ ) and visit the HERODOT Web site
The conference participants also included the prize winners of the first student poster competition. This activity was sponsored jointly by HERODOT, ESRI and Hewlett-Packard. Presentations and papers from this and other events and latest competition and other news can be found on the HERODOT Web site.
The next HERODOT conference will be held in Liverpool (European Capital of Culture) at Liverpool Hope University between September 4-7 2008.
Membership of the network is free. There are currently more than 200 participating organisations worldwide, for more information contact either Karl Donert ( or Glenda Wall (

7) Sustainable Futures
A book conceived in the Home of Geography
Edited by Margaret Robertson

Publisher: ACER Press: 347 Camberwell Rd, Camberwell, VIC 3124, Australia
ph: 1800 338 402, +61 3 9835 7447; fax: +61 3 9835 7499 email:

(This book has been conceived during a workshop hosted in the Home of Geography, from 13 through 24 June 2005 (see e-newsletter # 1). In the opening days the team enjoyed the presence of Ron Abler, Ashley Kent and Stuart Brooks, while Anne Buttimer joined the group in the last days.)

Sustainable Futures covers cross-cultural understanding, environmental issues and sustainable lifestyles, and is a valuable resource for teachers and students in schools and higher education institutions seeking to expand their knowledge of these areas.
Sustainable Futures is the result of an extraordinary collaboration between ten scientists from around the world. It offers a unique and fascinating approach to sustainable development issues in developing countries.
Providing an illustration of a working model for meeting global targets at local levels, Sustainable Futures warmly embraces the need to think globally and act locally. It focuses on educating the next generation of young people about environmental issues with water and forest management as major themes.
Detailed case studies from India, Thailand, China, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Georgia and Portugal reveal the passions and endeavours of local communities seeking to bring about a better way of life.
Case Studies include:
  • Capacity-building for disaster management in southern Thailand
  • Water-saving in a city: A case study of Beijing City
  • Rainwater harvesting in Mumbai
  • Water resources, tourism and sustainable development in the Tres Palos lagoon area, Mexico
  • Geography for urban sustainable development: Students' proposals to deal with Santiago de Chile urban sprawl
  • Community and sustainable development: Sustainability awareness through transportation, food and water in a Buenos Aires neighbourhood
  • The forest fires issue in Portugal
  • Geographical perspective on training of students in sustainable development in Georgia
For individual and local communities, however, the prospects of doing anything toward achieving these ideals in one's own immediate milieu remain opaque. Sustainable Futures offers potential solutions to this enigma via local, area-based initiatives by teachers and students.

Presentation by Anne Buttimer, University College Dublin
Past President of the International Geographical Union

8) Summary of forthcoming 2007 IGU events

The following are events which will be held during 2007. 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: (then choose Events 2007).

November 2007
December 2007
  • 5th International Conference of Critical Geography: "Imperialism and resultant disorder: imperatives for social justice" Mumbai, 3-7 December 2007. URL:

2008, received until now

Home of Geography Publications Series: Sale.
(A 10% discount will be applied when ordering 2 books, and 15% when ordering 3 books or more)
To obtain copies of the following volumes, please contact Dawn Bissell at: . Payment can be made by bank transfer or by credit card. Costs (incl postage and packing) are as follows:
Vol I - Human Mobility in a Borderless World? (2002) Ed: A. Montanari, (OUT OF PRINT)
Vol II - Food and Environment - Geographies of Taste (EU: € 13 / non-EU: € 19)
Vol III - Rights to the City (EU: € 18 / non-EU: € 24)
Vol IV - The New Geography of Human Mobility - Inequality Trends (EU: € 20 / non-EU: € 26)
Vol V - Migrations in Europe - The Four Last Decades (EU: € 13 / non-EU: € 19)
Vol VI - Gendered Cities: Identities, Activities, Networks - A Life-course Approach (EU: € 20 / non-EU: € 26)
Vol VII - Managing Water Resources in a Changing Physical and Social Environment (EU: € 18 / non-EU: € 24)

Brief presentation of the available books:
Vol II - Food and Environment - Geographies of Taste (2002) Ed: A. Montanari
The second volume in the Home of Geography Publication Series refers to the relationships between food, culture and environment. During most of history, food and beverages have been representative of environments and agricultural and cooking techniques, but also, and increasingly so, of cultures. We all eat as we can, according to our means, but also in relation to our dreams and what food represents for us. This is why food changes in time, in relation to techniques and fashions, but also in space, at which point the geographer becomes very interested. Today appearances are pointing to the standardisation of food, as to many expressions of culture, but also, paradoxically, to the reinforcement of foods, beverages and recipes rooted in a particular place, a geographical space, a region. This is very representative of what happens in all domains of cultural geography. "Living in Diversity", the motto of the Seoul 2000 IGU Conference, is not only a wish, a program, but also a tangible reality implying difficulties and the real opportunities to exchange our experiences of life in all their depth and nobility. The stakes of the battle between global food and local food are economic, but also cultural.
Vol III - Rights to the City (2005) Eds: D Wastl-Water, L. Staeheli & L. Dowler
The third volume in the Home of Geography Publication Series includes the presentations held at the "Rights to the City" conference of the IGU Commissions on Geography and Public Policy and Political Geography, which was held in Rome, from 29th May - 1st June, 2002. The 30 contributions of scholars from multiple disciplines interested in questions of governance, justice and rights in urban areas around the world discuss the following proposition: contemporary changes in economies and governance are creating increased inequality leading to a retrenchment of rights. Social groups within cities differentially experience the effects of these changes. The volume tentatively offers the following themes as foci of discussion:
Evaluation of urban social, economic and political trends;
Evaluation of competing theories and conceptualisations of justice and rights;
Changing governance structures;
New political movements, sites, and agents;
Differential access to spaces of the city;
New scalar linkages that change the relationships between cities, states and the international scale.
Vol IV - The New Geography of Human Mobility - Inequality Trends (2003) Eds: Y. Ishikawa & A. Montanari
In post-industrial society, mobility in the working and leisure related activities tends to take on subtle differences as far as place of work, free time, recreation, training and continuing education are concerned. Human mobility is sensitive to change in the organisational plan and logistics of a model which is mainly concerned with demand. The concentration of mobility flows occurs as a result of the devolution of production centres and the consumption of these products is the determining component of mobility, whereas in the past traditional political-administrative boundary trends were the factors which determined mobility. Inequality in human mobility is considered from the point of view of the divide between developed and developing countries, the unskilled/skilled perspective, and the relationships between internal and international flows. The fourth volume in the Home of Geography Publication series assembles the research carried out by the IGU Commission on Global Change and Human Mobility during meetings organised in three locations that are particularly significant for human mobility: California, where the metaphor "melting pot" has been replaced by the term "cauldron"; South Africa, during an IGU Regional Conference, whose position enabled the participation of many geographers from developing countries; and Mongolia, where migratory flows have until today continued to modify the ethnic and cultural map of the region.
Vol V - Migrations in Europe - The Four Last Decades (2004) Eds: C. Vandermotten, G. Van Hamme, P. Medina Lockhart & B. Wayens
The fifth volume of the Home of Geography Publication Series summarises the results of a European research project, founded by the European Commission, on interregional migrations in Europe (MIRE).
Starting from the Sixties, the study focuses on the changing causes and the new patterns of interregional migrations, paying special attention to the new waves of migrations and the new trends of the Nineties. The research crosses the geographical patterns with different logics of present-day mobility: ethnic and East European migration to the metropolitan areas, gentrification and migrations of executives, periurbanisation, rurbanisation, weak mobility of the early manufacturing areas, retirement migrations, etc.
A specific chapter is devoted to the migratory balances in the Central-Eastern European countries.
Vol VI - Gendered Cities: Identities, Activities, Networks - A Life-course Approach (2004) G. Cortesi, F. Cristaldi & J. Droogleever Fortuijn
This volume assembles a selection of papers presented at a conference organised by the IGU Commission on Gender and Geography held in Rome at the end of May 2003.
The gendered character of urban life and urban structures and the heterogeneous mix of people to be found in cities around the world have always fascinated feminist geographers. Today, the emphasis has shifted towards issues of identities, feelings and experiences. Women are now not primarily seen as "women", but rather as persons with multiple identities in terms of ethnicity, nationality, age, sexual orientation, and ability. The most important achievement of the seminar was the blurring of the boundaries between "first" and "third" world geography, between theory and empiricism, between identity and activity-focused research, and between quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
The papers highlight the problems, inequalities and contradictions of women's life in cities. They also clarify at the same time the improvements in the living conditions of women in many cities in terms of visibility, identity, activity, safety and network formation. Cities are highly gendered, but their gendered nature does not always imply subordination, exclusion, deprivation and sadness. Feminist activism and feminist urban research have resulted in some improvements in urban structures, urban life and urban policy from a feminist perspective.
Vol VII - Managing Water Resources in a Changing Physical and Social Environment (2007) Eds: P. J. Robinson, J. A. A. Jones & M-K. Woo
The seventh volume of the Home of Geography Publication Series refers to water sustainability and water resource issues.
Geographers are involved in all aspects of water sustainability and water resource issues, and in an immense variety of ways. The present volume provides only a sampling of the work of geographers and closely allied professionals, but is designed to indicate the range of research activities going on under the general heading of managing water resources in a changing physical and social environment. The geographical scope is wide, and the spatial scales range from individual lakes and reservoirs to whole nations. Topics run the gamut from the ethical underpinning of the work we do through explorations of the physical and chemical processes involved in water moving below, on, and above the surface of the earth, to studies of the roles of individuals and societies in using, mis-using or restoring that water. Approaches adopted range from qualitative discussions through standard statistical and mathematical analysis to complex process modelling. In short, it is a cross section of the kind of work geographers and environmental scientists do when involved with water.
The IGU Commission on Water Sustainability is a prime forum for the development and interchange of ideas and information about water, water resources, water sustainability, and related issues. Over the years it has organized a variety of meetings in a diverse number of places, many with specific themes, and from them has come a variety of publications. This book continues that tradition, but in a very different context. Rather than highlight and treat in depth a single issue, this volume celebrates the vast range of activities undertaken by Commission members and associates in addressing the many issues involved in providing safe and sustainable water to societies around the world. Most papers are based on information which was first presented at one of the Commission meetings. Often the objective of the original presentation was to stimulate discussion and to develop strategies for dealing with particular issues. Here we present the results of some of these efforts.

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