pISSN 0705-3797 eISSN 2586-1298
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Episodes 2019; 42(3): 225-233

Published online September 1, 2019


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Interconnected geoscience for international development

M G Petterson*

School of Science, Auckland University of Technology, St Pauls Street, Auckland, New Zealand; *Corresponding author, E-mail: michael.petterson@aut.ac.nz

Correspondence to:E-mail: michael.petterson@aut.ac.nz

Received: February 27, 2019; Revised: July 29, 2019; Accepted: July 29, 2019

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.


Spending in international aid programmes from governments and other agencies represents a >> $100Bn US investment annually. International development and global environmental management greatly benefit from the application of high quality/ appropriate geoscience and related expertise. Barriers exist, particularly between research-intensive geoscience organisations and development agencies, that inhibit the greater application of geoscience within development. Key barriers include differing world-views, performance rewards, and values. This paper argues that geoscience can rapidly evolve in its importance and application to complex regional/global, development and environmental challenges. Changes in ethos, performance rewards, attitudes, and culture, will drive an increase in relevance. Case studies are presented, from Afghanistan, and Solomon Islands, to illustrate how geoscience approaches can be applied, within complex multi-faceted development contexts, with consequent outcomes and challenges. Lessons can be learned from such case studies that inform interconnected approaches. A conceptual model is presented of ‘interconnected geoscience’, defined as: ‘a philosophy that combines geoscience expertise with an equivalent expertise/consciousness in the understanding of developmental situations, conditions, and context, including the integration of diverse world views/wisdom and values, placing development-goals at the heart of the interconnected-approach’.