Many cities are reaching a breaking point and require a thoughtful response to the challenges of population growth and economic regeneration. At the same time, we are undergoing an energy transition and face unprecedented environmental change.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agreed by UN member states, are goals aiming to end global poverty, fight social injustice and ensure environmental sustainability. Geological research and practice can help deliver all the SDGs. Through a more sustainable approach to natural resources and understanding of Earth's processes, we can ensure people, jobs and infrastructure are resilient to environmental change and/or geological hazards.
Putting sustainability at the heart of geoscience training is key to delivering the SDGs. So in 2017, I completed a series of challenges to fundraise money for Geology for Global Development (GfGD)--A charity championing sustainability in geology. I completed the final challenge in January 2018, the Polar Night Half-marathon in the high arctic town of Tromsø, Norway, 5000-odd km away from where I am now. I am enthusiastic about GfGD's strategy and truly believe geologists will be responsible for ethical sourcing of energy and resources, engineering sustainable infrastructure and managing our impact on the environment.
GfGD are also investing in international projects that serve to educate vulnerable communities about their natural resources and potential geohazards. I have witnessed first-hand the difference this work makes. Most notably, while on an expedition in 2010 in Leh, India, when our group narrowly missed a cloud burst that destroyed ~70 villages and killed 250+ people. GfGD held a hazards education program in 2014 as part of a major international conference on sustainable development in Leh. Education programs save lives and play a vital role in developing resilient communities.
Please click on the link below if you'd like to learn more about the work of Geology for Global Development and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.