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Advancing Education

Society strongly depends on the work of geologists, including access to natural resources (e.g., minerals, building materials, energy resources), water security, agriculture and an understanding of the natural and environmental hazards that threaten our security. For a full outline of the ways by which geology serves society, please see Geology for Society (Geological Society of London, 2014)A recent study of the 17 United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development (aimed at ending extreme poverty, reducing inequality and ensuring environmental sustainability) demonstrated that an understanding of geology is necessary to achieve the sub-targets of at least 12 (71%) of these internationally agreed goals (Gill, In Press)

Given that society strongly depends on the resources and expertise that geologists provide, it is also important to acknowledge that the way in which society gets these has a wide impact on the lives of individuals and communities. Where poor practice exists, such as a lack of understanding of good development principles, the public will be negatively impacted. By advancing education of issues relating to geology and sustainable development, Geology for Global Development is introducing new perspectives to geologists, emphasising the importance of geology in affecting the lives and livelihoods of individuals around the world. We are working to reshape the geology sector so that it is better able to serve the public by delivering high-quality, sustainable, poverty prevention and relief projects. 

Furthermore, this purpose also relates to advancing public education of issues relating to geology and sustainable development. Through the publication of relevant educational materials, we believe that we can help to increase public understanding of: 
  • Geology. How can an understanding of the Earth (including the materials it is made of, and the processes by which it is constantly being shaped) help to relieve poverty? Increasing the understanding of geology in the public at large can help communities to make informed and improved decisions. For example, an understanding of rock and mineral properties can help rural communities to reduce soil erosion and improve soil fertility. 
  • Best Practices in Geology. An understanding of good practices in the interface between geology and sustainable development can help empower communities to hold the geology community to account when involved in overseas work. For example, a better informed community could ensure a hydrogeologist is using appropriate meaningful consultation when deciding where to site a water project.

Gill, J.C. (In Press), Geology and the Global Development Goals. Episodes.