UNESCO Strategy in Earth Sciences

The Concept of the IGCP Projects

Purpose and objectives of the IGCP

The International Geological Correlation Programme (IGCP)

is a cooperative enterprise of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and UNESCO.

The purpose of the IGCP is to encourage and facilitate international cooperation in research on geological problems and thereby to promote the wise use of the Earth as a human habitat and as a source of natural resources.

It is generally agreed that the IGCP is the most successful programme open to scientists worldwide in the field of solid earth sciences and is one of the most highly regarded scientific programmes in UNESCO. To achieve its aims within the rapidly changing world in which the IGCP now finds itself, it pursues the following broad objectives:

Return to this chapterís menu

Operational policies

The programme is carried out through individual projects. Their number is controled by the availability of financial resources and by scientific peer review of project proposals and of reports of progress.

IGCP projects normally have to meet the following main criteria:

IGCP projects are approved for a period of no more than five years. The success of the Programme has depended on the dedication of project leaders and on the enthusiasm and support of geologists around the world. Projects have generally built on existing activities of member countries, and have attracted to a great or lesser extent, additional funds from governmental and other funding agencies. Thus some projects have attracted substantial sums to support their international activities, including major training workshops which have been of particular benefit to less developed countries. Experience has shown that the IGCP is a very effective, and cost-effective way of promoting development, by building the base of scientific knowledge and expertise in less developed countries.

Return to this chapterís menu

Projects funding

It must be emphasized that IGCP is not a funding agency for research. The limited funds available have a catalytic purpose. The financial support is provided to cover part of the costs of organizing and managing IGCP projects, and particularly to facilitate participation in meetings, workshops, seminars, symposia and field excursions by scientists from economically weaker countries. The remainder of the costs of organizing and managing the projects, together with the costs of actually conducting the research, must be covered by financial support from other sources.

The purpose of funding is catalytic and relevant criteria for the assessment of its usefulness are

The IGCP #405 project belongs to 9 new projects that have been given medium funding (only one being bestowed high funding). The total 1996 funds for IGCP #405 are 5700 USD.

Digested from recent materials of the IGCP Scientific Board by P. Sulovskż.

Return to this chapterís menu

Return to Project Menu