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Policy Update

Joel Gill (Director, Geology for Global Development) reports on a successful meeting

dftjyIn September, more than 80 young geoscientists gathered at Burlington House for the Geology for Global Development (GfGD) annual conference. Coming from as far as Aberdeen and Falmouth, delegates were eager to explore the role of geologists in international development. The event focused on the skills needed to contribute effectively and sustainably to this important work.

We initially heard from Neva Frecheville (CAFOD) about the development sector’s work to build on the Millennium Development Goals post-2015. Many challenges are underpinned by geology (among other things), including access to water, agriculture, infrastructure, economic growth and energy. We discussed the skills required to communicate across cultures (Arjen Naafs, WaterAid), strengthen the technical capacity of institutions (Joseph Mankelow, British Geological Survey) and engage with policy-makers (Nic Bilham, The Geological Society).


An interactive keynote lecture, delivered by Jenni Barclay (University of East Anglia), highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary work, focusing on volcanic resilience. There was an opportunity to hear about GfGD’s University Groups, projects and future vision. Finally there was an opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine, network and enjoy some excellent poster submissions and a photo exhibition from recent work in India, Tanzania and Guatemala.

We were greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm of those attending, the quality of questions, informal discussions and the submitted feedback, with phrases such as ‘inspiring’ ‘engaging’ and ‘great fun’ regularly being used. We are grateful to the Geological Society for supporting the event, and look forward to our third annual conference next year.