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Episodes 2016; 39(4): 604-611

Published online December 1, 2016


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

2016 International Year of Global Understanding: Building bridges between global thinking and local actions

Benno Werlen1, Luiz Osterbeek2 and M. H. Henriques3

1Friedrich-Schiller- University of Jena, Executive Director of IYGU. E-mail: benno.werlen@gmail.com
2Geosciences Centre and Instituto Politécnico de Tomar, Secretary General of the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences and Scientific Board of the IYGU. E-mail: loost@ipt.pt
3Geosciences Centre and Department of Earth Sciences, University of Coimbra (Polo II), President of the Executive Board of the IYGU Reference Action Centre in Portugal. E-mail: hhenriq@dct.uc.pt

Received: December 21, 2015; Accepted: April 12, 2016

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


2016 is the International Year of Global Understanding (IYGU). The IYGU declared by the three leading global sciences organizations of the natural, social, and human sciences recognizes that global social, cultural and climate changes require a global level of understanding. In this paper the basic IYGU guidelines are discussed, as well as the goals and action areas of this ambitious initiative. The topical framework and the outreach program are also described, as well as coordination, partners and organizational structure. The IYGU aims to bridge the gap in awareness between local actions and global effects, and will provide information on culturally differentiated ways to achieve global sustainability. By doing so, the IYGU will help in developing a new geographical imagination for a radically changing world.