An International Year of the Planet Earth
The International Union of Geosciences, together with UNESCO, has worked
hard to have 2008 proclaimed as ‘The international year of the
Planet Earth’ (IYPE) with the subtitle Earth Sciences for Society. According
to UN guidelines for the proclamation of international years, suitable
subjects should be 'of priority concern to political, social, economic,
cultural, humanitarian or human rights'; of concern to 'all (or a majority
of) countries, regardless of economic and social system', and should
'contribute to the development of international co-operation in solving
global problems', paying special attention to those effecting developing
On the 22 December 2005, the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus
a Resolution of the United Republic of Tanzania, co-signed by 82 nations
to proclaim 2008 as the UN Year of the Planet Earth. It also designated
UNESCO to organise activities to be undertaken during the year, in collaboration
with UNEP and other relevant UN bodies, IUGS and other Earth Sciences
Societies and groups throughout the world.
IUGS and its partners in this venture are planning an ambitious Science
Programme based around ten themes and an extensive outreach programme
together spanning a three year period (2006-2009) including one year
on either side of the 'International Year of the Planet Earth' (2008).
To find out more about the progress of these ambitious plans and details
of the programme structure you should consult the dedicated website www.yearofplanetearth.org where
explanatory brochures on all the themes can be consulted online and/or
Glass manufacturing in Kabul.
Terrazo producer in Kabul.
AGID is one of sixteen organisations that are Associate Partners of IYPE and plans to take an active role in the Outreach Programme with a project aimed at developing countries as outlined in the section below.
AGID and the IYPE outreach programme
AGID has submitted a project proposal to the Outreach Committee of IYPE entitled 'Geoscience information for Schools in Developing Countries: The Earth and Me TEAM)' The purpose of the project is to raise awareness of schoolchildren in developing countries of the ways in which geoscience is relevant to their daily lives. The focus is on children attending schools in relatively impoverished areas of developing countries with a first phase concentrating on pilot projects in Africa (Nigeria) and Asia (Bangladesh and India).
Simple handouts on key topics of local significance will be prepared in the appropriate vernacular language and distributed free to schools. Schoolchildren will be encouraged to take the leaflets home thus transferring the information to the wider community.
The project has been positively evaluated. AGID is providing some seed money from its own limited resources and it is hoped that further IYPE funding will become available to launch the project fully in mid 2008.