The Dutch section of the International Geographical Union
International Geographical Union (IGU)
The International Geographic Union, commonly referred to as IGU, is an international, non-governmental, non-profit scientific organisation with the following aims:
- to promote the study of geographical problems;
- to initiate and co-ordinate geographical research requiring international co-operation and to promote its scientific discussion and publication;
- to provide for the participation of geographers in the work of relevant international organisations;
- to facilitate the collection and diffusion of geographical data and documentation in and between all member countries;
- to promote International Geographical Congresses, regional conferences and specialised symposia related to the objectives of the Union;
- to participate in any other appropriate form of international co-operation with the object of advancing the study and application of geography;
- to promote international standardisation or compatibility of methods, nomenclature, and symbols employed in geography.
The International Geographical Union adheres to the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and recognises them as co-ordinating bodies for the international organisation of science.
Currently the IGU focuses on the following priorities:
- Working with local hosts to upgrade the IGU’s congresses and regional conferences. To remain viable in the competition for scholars’ time and limited travel budgets, the IGU’s meetings must provide good value in terms of organisation and new scientific knowledge.
- Upgrading the quality and utility of the IGU web site. We hope to make it a premier resource for geographic information and contacts for the global geographic community that, in combination with the IGU E-Newsletter, will be an effective and powerful means of publicity for IGU.
- Taking more vigorous steps to recruit young scholars. Too many geographers encounter the IGU only in mid- or late career. Capturing the interest of beginning scholars will, of course, require that IGU leaders demonstrate and illustrate the value of participation in the IGU.
- Taking a leadership role in international inter-, multi-, and trans-disciplinary projects. Widespread concerns over global climatic change and its human geographical dimensions offer exception opportunities for geography and geographers. We hope the current initiative to have the United Nations decree an International Year of Global Understanding (IYGU) in 2014 led by IGU Commission on the Cultural Approach in Geography Chairperson Benno Werlen is an example of additional future programs conceived and led by geographers. (The IYGU is an outgrowth of the Cultures and Civilizations for Human Development—CCHD—initiative launched by deceased IGU President Adalberto Vallega.
- Finding additional sources of sustainable funding for IGU operations. The IGU now operates on an average annual budget of about €75,000, which barely covers its basic operating expenses. To be more effective in promoting geography, the members of the IGU Executive Committee, must find additional sources of funding while also reducing the expenses of executive committee operations. To that end, the committee will henceforth hold one of its two annual meetings virtually via the increasingly powerful technologies of internet conferencing.
Priorities of Dutch section of IGU
In the Dutch section of the IGU all main governmental and non-governmental scientific institutions in the field of the Spatial Sciences are represented. The Dutch section is open to new institutions and organisations in this field. Currently the following Institutions are member of the Dutch Section of the IGU: Radboud University Nijmegen, Free University Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Wageningen University, University of Groningen, and Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Erath Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente. Representatives of these institutions and organisations regularly meet to coordinate their activities. Currently the Dutch section of the IGU is chaired by Prof. dr. Huib Ernste, of the Radboud University Nijmegen (h.ernste@). The Dutch section of the IGU is administratively supported by the fm.ru.nlRoyal Dutch Geographical Society. The Dutch Section of the IGU is also recognised and supported by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).
Currently the Dutch section of the IGU focuses on the following priorities:
- Coordinate the Dutch contribution to the International Geographical Congress 2012 in Cologne, in line with the IGU priority to make the International Geographical Congress to an important international pivot for highly relevant scientific encounters both in contents and in person. In addition, through this contribution Dutch Spatial Science in general and Dutch Geography in particular should be made internationally visible and should position itself as valuable partners in all kinds of international scientific endeavours.
- Further the Dutch membership of thematically focussed scientific commissions of the IGU and support Dutch initiatives for new scientific commissions of the IGU.
- Forster young scholars in their participation in international scientific endeavours, international scientific conferences, and international scientific publications.
- Communicate all relevant information about activities of the IGU to Dutch Spatial Scientists and communicate relevant information about Dutch activities in Spatial Sciences to the respective bodies of the IGU. See also IGU-Newsletter and Newsletters of the Netherlands Graduate School of Urban and Regional Research (NETHUR), the Research School for Resource Studies for Development (CERES), the Netherlands Research Centre for Integrated Solid Earth Science, the Darwin Center for Biogeosciences, the Buys Balllot Research School, and the Boussinesq Center for Hydrology.
- Constructively collaborate with the IGU to push forward the rejuvenation and transformation of the IGU organisational structure in such a way, that it fits needs of future generations of scholars, and it fits current world wide developments in scientific practices in general and in developments in internationalisation of these practices in particular. At the same time, we want to contribute to adjusting the focus of scientific geographical activities of the IGU to important global problems and issues in the field of the spatial sciences.
Contact Dutch section of IGU
Prof. dr. Huib Ernste
Department of Human Geography
Radboud University Nijmegen
Thomas van Aquinostraat 3
P.O. Box 9108
NL-6500 HK Nijmegen
Telephone: +31-(0)24-361 19 25
Telephone Secretary: +31-(0)24-361 19 25