from commission's secretary

Secretary: Prof. Walter Leimgruber, walter.leimgruber@unifr.ch

NEWS - Flash Nr. 2022/8: IGU Conference on Health, Environment and Sustainable Development

Dear members,

From Romania we have received the first circular of a conference in Bucharest and Tulcea (Danube Delta/Black Sea), jointly organized by the IGU Health and the Environment Commission, the Land Use/Land Cover Change Commission, and the Local and Regional Development Commission. It promises to be an exciting event.

Kind regards


More about the conference on the conference website:


June 2023, Bucharest & Danube Delta, Romania

NEWS - Flash Nr. 2022/7: Mobilising geographical knowledge in response to increased and intensified pandemics and risks

The Africa Commission of the IGU invites for a conference in Moçambique in May 2023. Borna (our chair) and I think that the topic could be of interest for many of you. I therefore attach the first circular to this message. It is also an opportunity to put Africa more into our focus and recruit new members.

Walter Leimgruber


Theme: Mobilising geographical knowledge in response to increased and intensified pandemics and risks

Date: 28 – 30 May 2023

Venue: Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo, Campus da Lhanguene, Moçambique


In recent years, the world has experienced an unprecedented onslaught of disasters and other hazards. One of them is the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the world in December 2019 with devastating consequences. The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging leaving in its wake a trail of destruction and/or devastation.Africa in general and Southern Africa specifically have not only been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic but also face many other risks such as tropical cyclones accompanied by flooding, loss of life, and destruction of property as well as social and physical infrastructure. These are questions that invite ongoing and consistent academic conversations. In this context, the IGU Commission on African Studies (IGUCAS), invites paper and session proposals for its 2023 annual conference themed; Mobilising geographical knowledge in response to increased and intensified pandemic and risks, which will be held at Pedagogical University (Universidade Pedagógica), Maputo, Mozambique from 28-30 May 2023. The theme of the scientific event address geographic, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary scientific research on pandemics and various risks and how and to what extent geographic knowledge can be mobilized to address these challenges, in this way the conference directly responds to the challenges that afflict and affect people in different scales and locations.

The IGU CAS, therefore, invites paper and session proposals from all fields of geography and other disciplines which respond to and interrogate, but are not limited to the following:


  • a) Geographic knowledge in a globalized world;

  • b) Cartography and geographic information sciences;

  • c) Geographic education and teaching;

  • d) Climate change, disasters and socio-environmental risks;

  • e) Sustainability in the use of natural resources;

  • f) Challenges of health geography and demographic dynamics;

  • g) Urbanization and development;

  • h) Geopolitics, culture and citizenship;

  • i) Natural resource use/management.


The IGUCAS welcomes proposals for panels, papers and posters on any of the themes above or any other. Each panel or session should constitute between four to five papers. Proposals should clearly indicate the form and theme of presentation proposed:

  • Deadline for panel OR session proposal submission: 30 November 2022;

  • Deadline for paper and poster abstract submission: 30 November 2022;

  • Notification of abstract/session acceptance: 30 January 2022;

  • Deadline for submission of full papers: 30 March 2023.

Abstracts should follow the following format and be sent to all of the following emails:

igucasconference@gmail.com; sabildamiao@hotmail.com; gudgedge@gmail.com

Your Abstract must follow the ensuing format:

• Title

• Abstract (250 words)

• Keywords (not more than 6)

• Full name(s) and institutional affiliations of the author(s)


Level * Value in Mozambican Meticais

  • All undergraduate students * 500

  • All graduate students * 1 000

  • Mozambican academics/teachers * 1 500

  • Non Mozambican academics * 3 000

  • Gala Dinner * 2 500

  • Geographic excursion * 1 500

Local organsing Committee

1. Prof. Gustavo Sobrinho Dgedge, Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo (Coordenador) 2. Prof. Sabil Damiao Mandala, Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo (Vice - Coordenador) 3. Prof Elisa Eda Nhambire, Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo (Membro) 4. Prof José Júlio Júnior Guambe, Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo (Membro) 5. Prof Palmira Isaura de Castro Morgado, Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo (Membro)

International Scientific Committee

1. Prof I Moyo, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Zululand, South Africa. 2. Prof Hazel Barrett, Chair in Development Geography, Coventry University 3. Prof CC Nshimbi, SARCHI Chair on the Political Economy of Migration in Southern Africa, , University of Pretoria, , Pretoria, South Africa 4. Prof Alain François LOUKOU, Enseignant - Chercheur, Géographie des TIC/Lecturer, Geography of ICT Université de Bouaké (Côte d'Ivoire / Ivory Coast) 5. Prof. Kenneth Matengu, Vice Chancellor, University of, Namibia 6. Dr Augustin Chabossou, Centre d'Etudes, de Formation et de Recherchesen Développement (CEFRED), Université d'AbomeyCalavi (Bénin), 7. Prof. Yazidhi Bamutaze, Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Climatic Sciences, Kampala, Uganda 8. Dr. Ibrahima Sylla, Département de Géographie de l'Université Cheick Anta Diop, Dakar, Sénégal, 9. Prof A.I. Tanko, PhD, FRGS, Dean, Faculty of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Bayero University, Nigeria, 10. ProfJ.A. (Tony) Binns- Ron Lister Chair of Geography, Department of Geography University of Otago, New Zealand 11. Prof. Gustavo Sobrinho Dgedge, Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo 12. Prof. Sabil Damião Mandala, Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo 13. Prof Elisa Eda Nhambire, Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo 14. Prof. Luis Adriano Guevane, Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo 15. Prof Suzete Lourenço Buque, Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo 16. Prof José Júlio Júnior Guambe, Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo 17. Prof Manuel Madeira Macandza, Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo 18. Prof Miguel Ribeiro Muguio, Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo 19. Prof. Manuel Salvador da Conceição Rebelo, Universidade Pedagógica de Maputo

NEWS - Flash Nr. 2022/6: Conference on "Islands in Relations"

Dear members,

Please note the following conference, which is in the hybrid format (there is no need to travel)

October 15, 2022, will be the deadline for abstract submission and travel grant application for the IGU Thematic Conference on "Islands in Relations" in Osaka, Japan. The conference will be held in a hybrid format (separated in-person and virtual sessions). An abstract and/or application can be submitted on our website at https://polgeog.jp/igu-tc2023/.


Takashi Yamazaki, Ph.D.

Chair, Local Organizing Committee, IGU-TC Osaka 2023

Professor, Department of Geography, Osaka Metropolitan University



Website: https://polgeog.jp/igu-tc2023/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/292057433080525

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IGUTC_Osaka2023

Kind regards,


NEWS - Flash Nr. 2022/5: International Geodiversity Day

The following announcement has been sent out by the IGU:

6th October 2022 is the first International Geodiversity Day in human history! In order to enhance awareness on this international day and significance of geodiversity, and to think what geographers are desired to do in relation to this UNESCO international day internationally, regionally, locally, or as disciplinary groups, the IGU Executive Committee is pleased to organize the following zoom webinar, and to invite everyone interested in these issues.

Title: IGU Zoom Webinar on International Geodiversity Day

Time: 11:00 – 12:00 GMT on 6th October 2022

Coordinator: Yukio Himiyama (IGU Past President) yukiohimiyama@gmail.com

Application: Send email to the coordinator with the applicant’s name, affiliation, email address no later than 11:00 GMT 5th October 2022

Maximum number of participants: 100

The outcome of the webinar will be reported and discussed at the IGU Executive Committee meeting planned on 18th October.

This is a UNESCO initiative and the original call had been launched in March as follows: International Geodiversity Day will enable coordinated activities to take place worldwide, highlighting the importance of geodiversity. Bringing together people, communities, organisations, and countries across the world, it is expected that this will include educational, awareness raising, and public and policy engagement activities. More details can be found here: http://www.geodiversityday.org/

NEWS - Flash Nr. 2022/4: UN Geospatial Information Congress

STAT 421(4-128)

16 August 2022

Second United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC 2022)

10 – 14 October 2022, Hyderabad, India

We are pleased to provide you updated information on the Second United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC 2022) that will be convened in Hyderabad, India from 10 to 14 October 2022. The Congress is being organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) with the support of the Government of India through its Ministry of Science and Technology. The venue is Hyderabad International Convention Centre.

The Congress will promote comprehensive dialogue on global geospatial information management with all relevant governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and academia, as mandated by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to the Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management, a subsidiary body of ECOSOC.

With an overarching theme “Geo-Enabling the Global Village: No one should be left behind”, the programme has developed significantly over the last few months and includes a high-level Opening Ceremony, three Plenary Sessions and a comprehensive programme of Parallel Sessions related to the themes of the Congress. The Plenary Sessions will be dedicated to how geospatial information is important for: Supporting Sustainable Development and the Wellbeing of Society; Environmental and Climate Challenges; and Embracing Digital Transformation and Technological Development. Two Special Sessions focus on the United Nations Integrated Geospatial Information Framework as a mechanism for strengthening of nationally integrated geospatial information management towards transformative change. The International Advisory Committee of the Congress has also developed a parallel session programme that is anchored on the nine Strategic Pathways of the Integrated Geospatial Information Framework.

The closing session includes short summaries from the thematic viewpoints of the plenary, special and parallel sessions, and the outcome of the Congress will inform the global geospatial information management agenda for the coming years. On 14 October there will also be a number of formal meetings of represenatives and experts, including the 11th Plenary Meeting of UN-GGIM-AP and the annual meeting of the UN-GGIM Expanded Bureau.

You may wish to note that many senior officials from across the world will attend. Some will take part in plenary sessions, others in special and parallel sessions that discuss the societal, economic and environmental benefits of reliable, timely and quality geospatial information, particularly important for national development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and consider its role in creating a more sustainable and equitable world for all, where no one is left behind.

We trust you will join us and participate in the Congress. The registration process for the Congress is now open through the registration link at: https://ggim.un.org/2unwgic/. Please register promptly as requests for participation will close on 23 September 2022. In an effort to inform a wide cross section of our professional geospatial information management community, we ask that you share this information and updates with relevant government agencies and related stakeholders in your country, private sector and academia. Information about the Congress, including an updated Information Note, thematic areas, special, parallel and plenary sessions are posted on the Congress website at: https://ggim.un.org/2unwgic/.

Should you have any questions regarding the Congress, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Greg Scott and Ms. Vilma Frani (Email: ggim@un.org) at the UN-GGIM Secretariat, Statistics Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. For information on local logistical arrangements in Hyderabad, India, please contact unwgic2022@iiit.ac.in.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Second United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress as we work to advance the critical role of integrated geospatial information management in the implementation of national and global development objectives for a shared future and a more inclusive world.

Yours sincerely,

Stefan Schweinfest


UN-GGIM Secretariat

United Nations Statistics Division/DESA

NEWS - Flash Nr. 2022/3: Expulsion of Russian NC from IGU

Expulsion of the IGU National Committee of Russia

The International Geographical Union (IGU) condemns the invasion of Ukraine by Russian armed forces and notes that the sustained escalation of the military offence continues to take a terrible toll on innocent civilians and is responsible for an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the country.

The IGU further notes that the current Russian National Committee of the IGU has an integral, symbolic association with the Russian Geographical Society (RGS), that the RGS President is the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, and that Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, chairs the RGS Board of Trustees and whose decisions underpin the illegal invasion of Ukraine which is counter to the purposes and values of the IGU as indicated in its Statutes (https://igu-online.org/organization/statutes/).

In light of these circumstances, the General Assembly of the International Geographical Union at the Extraordinary International Geographical Congress, Paris, July 18th to 22nd 2022, agrees to expel the IGU National Committee of Russia with immediate effect.

In so doing, the IGU recognizes that many Russian geographers are outraged by the continued aggression by Russian armed forces in Ukraine. Accordingly, in expelling Russia’s formal IGU membership, the IGU welcomes, encourages and supports continued engagement with our colleagues in Russia in their individual capacities and a reconfigured relationship with the Russian geographical community.

Le Comité exécutif de l'Union géographique internationale suspend le Comité national russe de l'UGI

L'Union géographique internationale (UGI) a déjà exprimé sa ferme opposition à l'invasion de l'Ukraine, un État souverain indépendant, par les forces armées russes (voir : https://iguonline.org/declaration-by-the-international-geographical-union-on-the-ukraine-crisis/). Cependant, l'escalade de l'offensive militaire et la crise humanitaire qui en découle exigent que nous prenions de nouvelles décisions. Le Comité exécutif de l'Union géographique internationale (UGI) a donc pris la mesure sans précédent de suspendre l'adhésion du Comité national de la Russie de l'UGI avec effet immédiat, en attendant une décision formelle sur son adhésion lors de la prochaine Assemblée générale de l'UGI en juillet 2022.

Le Comité national russe de l'UGI a une association intégrale et symbolique avec la Société de Géographie de Russie ( SGR ). Le président de la SGR est le ministre de la défense de la Fédération de Russie et Vladimir Poutine, président de la Fédération de Russie, préside le conseil d'administration de la SGR. Leurs décisions soutiennent l'invasion illégale de l'Ukraine. Le Comité exécutif de l'UGI condamne les actions du gouvernement russe, qui vont à l'encontre des objectifs et des valeurs de l'UGI, comme indiqué dans ses statuts (https://iguonline.org/organization/statutes/). Dans ces circonstances, le Comité exécutif considère que l'UGI ne peut pas continuer à s'engager formellement avec le Comité national russe.

Néanmoins, le Comité exécutif de l'UGI reconnaît que de nombreux géographes russes sont profondément consternés par la présence continue des forces armées russes et l'agression en Ukraine et ont ouvertement appelé à la fin des opérations militaires là-bas (voir : https://protect-za.mimecast.com/s/LA5XCKO7nQIY0YYDUpcM0H). Par conséquent, en suspendant l'adhésion formelle de la Russie à l'UGI, l'UGI maintient une porte ouverte pour un engagement continu avec nos collègues en Russie dans leurs capacités individuelles.

NEWS - Flash Nr. 2022/2: The word from the IGU president

Dear members of the IGU community

The recent IGU e-newsletter contained a brief “from the President’s desk” message. However, I don't really feel that such a short piece was able to do full justice to the Extraordinary International Geographical Congress celebration that was held in celebration of our centennial. Therefore, I am writing to the entire IGU community today to offer a few more reflections on the event and, in so doing, mention a few highlights from the General Assembly that took place in association with the Congress.

There is no doubt that the pandemic over the last three years has disrupted organisations such as ours enormously. Our plans to hold the 34th International geographical Congress in 2020 in Istanbul had to be put on hold for a year, and even the postponed Congress that was held in 2021 had to held in online format. It was with some trepidation that we entered the year 2022 the year of our Centennial with the hope that the Extraordinary International Geographical Congress to be hosted in Paris in July would go ahead face-to-face as hoped. There is little doubt that such uncertainty placed a huge amount of pressure on the local organizing committee. Understandably many in the IGU community hedged their bets as to whether or not an excursion to Paris to join in the celebrations would be possible at all. This meant that many of us delayed registration until the last possible moment and -as understandable as that was under the circumstances, the difficulty of predicting final numbers was a real challenge for the organizers. In the end, however, the outcome was a veritable triumph, as almost 2500 delegates, including a small percentage who attended online, were able to participate in the Congress and join in what transpired as a fantastic 100th birthday celebration.

It was an immense privilege for me, personally, to have been able to oversee the 100th anniversary event in celebration of the distinguished and illustrious history of a great geographical organization. The success of any large and complex event such as this is the product of enormous amounts of hard work. That work could never be effective without partnerships, collaboration and, of course, leadership. The local organizing committee in Paris proved to be the real engine room of the Congress and it provided an example par excellence of the importance of partnerships to accomplishing success. The collaboration between geographers from numerous universities in France, under the auspices of the French National Geographical Committee (CNFG), in partnership with the IGU, proved to be the linchpin of a massively positive outcome. Partnerships need leaders, and we were extremely grateful to have had the steadfast and indefatigable support of CNFG President Amaël Cattaruzza and Secretary-General Jérôme Verny as key members of the relentlessly diligent and highly effective Congress executive. I think in Paris we witnessed a landmark event that truly demonstrated how a local geographical community can harness its strengths to advance the discipline globally. On behalf of the international community of geographers, I wish to express my deep appreciation for the work of the CNFG and the entire local organizing team in facilitating such a fitting celebration of IGU history in Paris.

In addition to the rich and diverse scientific and social programme at the Congress, we also held a General Assembly. Over and above the usual business of, for example, reports from the President and Secretary-General, we also took two very significant decisions at the meeting. The first of these centred on the membership of the IGU Russian National

Committee. Earlier this year, in response to the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the IGU executive committee took the unprecedented step of suspending Russian membership, pending a formal decision to be taken at the Paris General Assembly. Following a robust discussion in which inevitably the issue of academic freedom was raised the General Assembly voted ‘nemine contradicente’ to expel the IGU Russian National Committee indefinitely. The full text of the resolution adopted is appended to this letter. I wish to reaffirm that this is in no way intended to isolate geographers in Russia and we encourage all our colleagues in that country to maintain their highly valued contributions to the IGU through its commissions and task forces, its congresses and regional and thematic conferences and with all its broader activities -in their individual capacities. A second important, albeit largely technical, decision was taken by the assembly to revise formally the duties and responsibilities of the Secretary-General and to establish a separate position of Treasurer. Accordingly, the Executive Committee has appointed IGU VP Professor Holly Barcus as Treasurer for the period 2022 to 2024.

As the celebration in Paris demonstrates, IGU at 100 is a strong and growing organization but one that needs to find ways to further expand and deepen its sphere of influence. The glorious heritage of the organization provides ample evidence of the sustenance it has given to our discipline, and I anticipate with confidence that it will continue to do so for the next 100 years and more. Thank you all for your ongoing support.

Michael Meadows, IGU president

Cape Town, South Africa

September 2022

NEWS – Flash Nr. 2022/1: Conference on Sustainability, Future Earth and Humanities

Dear members,

A few days ago, we received invitations for two events that might be of interest to you.

1) Our colleague Manish Kumar, University of Haryana (India), invites us to participate in a conference on “Sustainability, Future Earth and Humanities: Opportunities and Challenges”. It will be held in the Central University of Haryana, Mahendergarh (India) on November 24th -25th, 2022. Please find the details below:



Geography is the study of the earth's surface, with humans at the centre. Its transdisciplinary approach aids in developing a more comprehensive understanding of human-environmental issues. By clarifying the principles behind the dynamics of complex human-environmental interaction systems, we can better understand and address the critical challenges and potential opportunities for a sustainable future earth.

The complexity of interconnections between natural, technical, and social systems, as well as their spatio-temporal consequences for the planet’s life support systems, socioeconomic development, and human well-being, provides fundamental challenges to sustainability. Future Earth is a new multinational research initiative that promotes sustainable transitions. The IGU Thematic International Conference, 2022 of Central University of Haryana, with the theme “Sustainability, Future Earth, and Humanities: Opportunities and Challenges”, aims to draw attention to innovative, actionable, solution-oriented, fundamental and/or applied research efforts aimed at achieving global sustainability. The goals are to get into more depth on several geographical dimensions (broadly natural and social). However, in light of Future Earth endeavours to promote global sustainability through research and innovation, the conference aims to especially highlight the linkages between sustainability and the humanities. Without a comprehensive understanding of how humans adapt to cultural and environmental issues, significant progress toward sustainability is improbable. In this century, it will be very difficult for the global community to handle the key Anthropocene risks while also achieving and maintaining global human and ecological welfare. In order to gain a holistic understanding of the human and natural worlds, the Environmental Humanities bring together expertise from a variety of disciplines that span the major fields of science and inquiry. The systems approach aims to improve our understanding of complex Earth systems and human interactions across disciplines and to serve as the foundation for systems-based policies and

strategies for sustainable development. Therefore, discourse on the disciplines included in the environmental humanities including geography, philosophy, history, literature, aesthetics, culture, traditions and religion shall be the key aspect of the conference. Nonetheless, these domains must have been used to reveal sustainable practises and knowledge across spatial and temporal divides. The conference will serve as a forum to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of leveraging modern digital capabilities to promote transformative reforms for a more sustainable and equitable future.

Using the past as a repository of human responses to socio-ecological challenges may assist us in managing the challenges of the present and future in an era of accelerated global change. Traditionally, Indian culture has placed a high value on sustainability. India's faith, culture, food habits, philosophy, and value system all contribute to the nature-as-nurture lifestyle.

The theme of the conference is also dedicated to the ongoing celebration of "Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav" by the government of India as it is centrally concerned with the wellbeing of mankind and nature in broader perspective. The deliberation during the event will certainly enlighten those who are in the forefront of safeguarding the world from obliteration.



  • Climate change and sustainability

  • Sustainability and dynamic landscape

  • Disasters and Sustainability

  • Urbanisation, Resources and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • Mountain landscape and sustainable livelihood

  • COVID 19 pandemic and Sustainable tourism

  • Informality, social mobility and sustainability

  • Future Cities/ Smart Cities/ Sustainable Cities

  • Globalisation and sustainable Rural and Regional development

Future Earth

  • Our Future on Earth

  • Climate Change and future Earth

  • Earth Observations (EO) and Future Earth

  • Hazard, disasters, extreme events and Future earth

  • Analysis, integration and modeling of the Earth system

  • Big Data, Open Data and Future Earth

  • Earth system governance and sustainability

  • Sustainable education and Future Earth

  • Future Earth initiatives and challenges


  • Youth, Gender and Society

  • COVID-19 pandemic and humanities

  • Human diversity and sustainability

  • Humanities, health and wellbeing in the Anthropocene

  • Humanities and SDGs

  • Geography of integrated risk governance

  • Humanities and biodiversity conservation

  • Heritage, power, culture and economy

  • People, poverty, geopolitics, peace and prosperity

Access to details: https://igu2022.cuh.ac.in/images/IGU_Thematic_Conference_2022.pdf

Our Commission will try to participate, but no details can at the moment be communicated. Eventual physical participation very much depends on the general health situation and political restrictions that might be in place at that time (if travel and crossing borders will again be possible). The steering committee will monitor the situation and get into contact with you as quickly as possible.

2) The Commission on Local and Regional Development will be holding a Pre-Congress seminar in Cuenca (Spain), University of Castilla-La Mancha, on July 16 & 17, 2022 (Saturday and Sunday, before the IGC in. Paris). Its topic Sociodemographic change and its impact on territorial development policies might also be of interest to some of you. The conference will be chaired by our colleague Prof. Carmen Vázquez-Varela (contact: carmen.vazquez@uclm.es).

Kind regards

Borna Fuerst-Bjelis (chair)

Walter Leimgruber (secretary)

NEWS -Flash Nr. 2021/7

IGC Paris 2022

Dear members,

We have been informed, that within our Commission, three sessions have been proposed (translations WL):

Guibert Martine

Marginalization, globalization, and grands projets agricoles dans les périphéries des suds : des logiques adaptées aux transitions actuelles ?

Marginalization, globalization and large agricultural projects in the peripheries of the global South: a logic adapted to the current transitions?

Carpentier Irène

La valorisation internationale du local au sud de la méditerranée : entre impasses et recompositions territoriales

International valorization of the local scale in the southern Mediterranean: between deadlock and spatial reconfiguation

Fuerst-Bjelis Borna

Global and regional inequalities. what does the past teach us for the future?

Inégalités globales et régionales : qu’est-ce que le passé nous renseigne pour le futur ?

In addition, Mohana Basu’s session figures among the general sessions:

The plight of the marginalized women in the developing world.

We invite you to submit your papers on the conference website (https://www.ugiparis2022.org); the call for abstracts is now open until January 11 2022. When you do so, please send also a copy to the Commission chair (bornafb@geog.pmf.hr) and the secretary (link below).

Thank you and kind regards

Borna and Walter


NEWS -Flash Nr. 2021/6

IGC Paris 2022

Dear members,

A few days ago, we received the good news that our proposal for a session at the IGU centennial congress in Paris in July 2022 has been accepted. The session title is Global And Regional Inequalities. What does the Past teach us for the Future?

Please submit your paper on the conference website (https://www.ugiparis2022.org); the call for abstracts will be open from November 16 2021 – January 11 2022. A drop-down list of sessions will be proposed where you will have to indicate the appropriate session in which you are submitting the abstract.

When you submit your abstract, please send also a copy to the Commission chair and the secretary as quickly as possible*.

A young Indian colleague of ours, Ms. Mohana Basu, has successfully handed in the following session proposal: Plight Of The Marginalized Women In The Developing World. This is an additional opportunity to work on a topic that has hitherto received little attention in our Commission. If you submit a paper there, please inform Borna and me as well.

An exciting year lies ahead of us, hopefully an in-person event.

Kind regards

Borna and Walter

* bornafb@geog.pmf.hr; walter.leimgruber@unifr.ch


NEWS – Flash Nr. 2021/5

Bridging Regional Responses to Marginalization and Disparities in a Globalized World

The annual Commission conference had been postponed from 2020 to 2021 and was held online via Zoom on August 9 and 10. Head of the organizing committee was Prof. Raularian Rusu, his local team included Prof. Titus Man, Dr. Ana-Maria Pop, Dr. Lelia Papp and Dr. Gheorghe Hognogi, all of Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca (Romania).

Considering the special situation (the COVID-19 pandemic), the conference opened with a panel session focusing on marginality issues provoked by the pandemic. In was introduced by three papers, followed by a lively discussion on problems related to the pandemic.

Afterwards, an additional 16 papers on a variety of topics were presented in five session (see programme below), three on Monday and two on Tuesday. The conference was attended by around 20 persons.

The first day ended with a music show by our member and former chair, Prof. Steve Déry, who demonstrated his talent as a singer, texter and composer. The first part comprised his own creations (essentially in French), in the second part he performed classic songs and evergreens as far back as the 1960s, in both English and French.

The conference ended with a business meeting on Tuesday afternoon, which included both a record of past achievements and an outlook on our future activities.


Panel: The global impact of COVID-19 pandemic and local responses

Etienne Nel

Exacerbating marginalization: COVID-19’s impact on peripheral, tourism- dependent regions in New Zealand and local responses

Dolores Sánchez-Aguilera, Ángela Martínez-Rivas, Jaime Martínez-Ruiz

Pandemic as a driver of marginality in the heart of the city. New dynamics in the Ramblas in Barcelona (Spain)

Paulo Nossa, Anabela Mota-Pinto, Julio Masquete, Alice Freia, Fernanda Cravidão

A geographical reading of the diffusion of covid19 from hyperconnectivity territories and the way they impact marginal regions: the case of Lichinga, Northern Mozambique

Paper session 1: Opportunities and challenges in rural area

Toivo Muilu, Olli Voutilainen

Rural proofing as a method and practice – experiences from Finland

Chhabi Lal Chidi

Population dynamics and agricultural land abandonment in the mountains and the hills of Nepal

Lelia Papp, Ana-Maria Pop

Turning constraints into opportunities: farming activities and labelling agricultural and food products in the Romanian mountain area

Paper session 2: Gendered and cultural inequalities and vulnerabilities

Marinela Istrate, Andreea Fedor, Corneliu Iaţu

European citizens’ perception of women’s involvement in political life. Evidence for Romania and other central and eastern European countries

Elena-Manuela Bîrsănuc

Gendered vulnerability to energy poverty in Romania

Hugo Capellà Miternique

Solitude: a lost voice in the desert

Paper session 3: Economic and social inequalities and disparities in the globalized world

Ibolya Török, József Benedek

Measuring the spatial dimension of income inequality: evidence from Romania

Steve Déry, Claudia Currado, Marcel Lefebvre, Weldy Saint-Fleur, Arnaud Vigouroux

Reduire les inegalites pour sauver la planete : par quel bout commencer ?

Ştefana Rotaru

Three Seas Initiative – between geography, economy and politics. The strategic importance of the U.S.’ engagement

Paper session 4: Land use management and change in marginal areas

Mohd Salleh Daim, Jamalunlaili Abdullah

Protected area as a source of livelihood: analysis on the perspectives of the local stakeholders to Taman Negara National Park (TNNP), Pahang, Malaysia

Andreea Costea, Ştefan Bilaşco

Evaluation of the risk induced by erosion on the land use. Case study: Guruslău depression

Uttam Sagar Shrestha

Population growth and land use change in the Tamakoshi river basin of central mountain region, Nepal

Paper session 5: Ways out of marginality. Accessibility, mobility and urban development

Walter Leimgruber

“I knew early on I wanted to be a plumber. And it worked out.” Education as a way out of marginality

Raularian Rusu, Titus-Cristian Man, Ciprian-Sandu Moldovan, Bogdan-Eugen Dolean

Accessibility and marginality of settlements in Cluj county (Romania)

Ciprian-Sandu Moldovan, Raularian Rusu, Titus-Cristian Man, Elena-Manuela Bîrsănuc, Iulia Hărănguş, Bogdan-Eugen Dolean

Towards smart transportation. Mobility and urban development in Cluj metropolitan area

Cosmina-Daniela Ursu

The evolution of impervious surfaces based on Copernicus high resolution layers. Case study: growth poles and their metropolitan areas, Romania

Business meeting of August 10, 2021


· Publication matters

· Conferences

· Any other business


· Information was given as to our publication schedule. Volume 7, edited by Pushkar Pradhan & Walter Leimgruber, includes chapters based on the 2019 Kathmandu conference. The volume is in preparation and should be ready this year. Volume 8 will be dedicated to the COVID-19 issues (as suggested by the publishers); there are currently 11 chapters waiting, more will come from the panel session during this conference and from the COVID-19 session at the IGC next week.

· The future of the IGU Centennial book is still uncertain. The sudden passing away of Prof. R.B. Singh (the designated editor) and discussions about the publishers delay the process.

· The presentations of this conference should be part of volume 9 of our series. Details will be discussed later.


· We have registered for a session at the special IGC in Paris, 2022 and are waiting for a reply. Preceding this, we shall meet for a pre-congress conference in Reims (France) where our colleague Céline Burger has agreed to host us. We all hope to be able to meet in person, not only for socializing but also for an exciting field trip.

· For 2023, we have a confirmed invitation to come together in Malaysia, where Proffs. Firuza Begham Binti Mustafa (University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur) and Jamalunlaili Abdullah (UiTM Shah Alam) will host us.

· The next ‘official’ IGC will take place in Dublin, Ireland in 2024. The secretary will try to establish contact with a colleague in Ireland about the organization of a pre-congress conference.

· Prof. Raularian Rusu also proposed and invited to the next in vivo conference (hopefully) in Cluj-Napoca in 2024.

Other business

· It has been suggested that future Commission conferences should be held in hybrid form (in person and virtual) to open them to participants who for some reason cannnot travel

· Small seminars can be organized spontaneously by members in an online format. As to cost, the organizer should contact the secretary.

· SC members suggest to open some of their online lectures to the marginality commission, thus producing digital certificates for students and professors.

· Prof. Daichi Kohmoto’s proposal to create and manage a Facebook page of the Commission was welcomed. The page has already been created: https://www.facebook.com/GeographicalMarginality

· Prof. Raularian Rusu informs that the Zoom-platform, acquired for the virtual conference, can be used for seminars during the next 12 months as he has paid for it. Anybody who is interested should contact the secretary or the chair.

WL-BFB 10/08/2021

NEWS – Flash Nr. 2021/4

Passing away of the IGU General Secretary

Dear members,

The acting IGU General Secretary, Prof. R.B. Singh, has unexpectedly passed away on July 21, 2021 at the age of 66. Professor Singh taught at Delhi University in the fields of Environmental Geography and GIS applications. He was elected Vice-President of the IGU and, in 2018, took over the office of General Secretary.

In our Commission we remember him for having participated in the 1989 conference in Fribourg/Switzerland organized by the Subcommission on Development in Highlands and Nigh-Latitude Zones, and for having agreed to publish the papers of our Study Group 1994 Conference in Cesky Krumlow (Czech Republic). In 1994, he also organized a conference on disaster management in Delhi where several of our members participated.

May he rest in peace.

Kind regards

Walter Leimgruber

NEWS – Flash Nr. 2021/3

Passing away of the IGU General Secretary

The acting IGU General Secretary, Prof. R. B. Singh, has unexpectedly passed away on July 21, 2021 at the age of 66. Professor Singh taught at Delhi University in the fields of Environmental Geography and GIS applications. He was elected Vice-President of the IGU and, in 2018, took over the office of General Secretary.

In our Commission we remember him for having participated in the 1989 conference in Fribourg/Switzerland organized by the Subcommission on Development in Highlands and High-Latitude Zones, and for having agreed to publish the papers of our Study Group 1994 Conference in Cesky Krumlow (Czechia). In 1994, he also organized a conference on disaster management in Delhi where several of our members participated.

May he rest in peace.

Kind regards

Walter Leimgruber

NEWS – Flash Nr. 2021/2

Romania virtual conference, August 2021

Dear friends and colleagues,

The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over and an increasing number of people are suffering. It also slows down many activities. Although restrictions have been lifted or relaxed in some places, they are maintained or even reinforced in others – the future is unpredictable. We have been reflecting on our commission conference in Cluj-Napoca (Romania) that has been shifted from August 2020 to this year. The local organizing committee and the Commission steering committee have jointly decided to hold our conference as a virtual event on Zoom. The decision by the Istanbul organizers to hold the IGC online has made this decision easy.

Please note the following details, which can also be found on the conference website:

  • Conference Date August 9 and 10, 2021

  • Deadline to submit abstract or panel proposals 25 May 2021

  • Proposal notification (acceptance/rejection) 1 June 2021

  • Payment for conference fee upon acceptance

  • Registration fee deadline 15 June 2021

  • Full conference programme 1 July 2021

The registration fee has been fixed at 20€ (20 Euros), to be paid once your paper has been accepted.

More information can be obtained on the website https://georeg.conference.ubbcluj.ro.

It is a pity that we cannot meet in person and be able to discover an exciting region. The organizers had prepared field trips, but the current situation prevents us from making this experience.

Kind regards


Secretary: Prof. Walter Leimgruber, walter.leimgruber@unifr.ch

NEWS – Flash Nr. 2021/1

Extract from the IGU Annual Report 2020

IGU Virtual General Assembly (21st August 2020, 7:30-11:30 GMT)

The General Assembly was hosted on the Zoom platform and chaired by President Yukio Himiyama who presided over representatives from 37 IGU National Committees along with 20 or so other online delegates. A further 700 participants joined the General Assembly via the dedicated YouTube channel. The results of the previously held e-ballot for positions on the Executive Committee were announced as follows: Professor Michael Meadows (South Africa) was elected as President; Vice-Presidents Professor Nathalie Lemarchand (re- elected), Holly Barcus, Barbaros Gönençgil (reelected), and Professor Céline Rozenblat were confirmed as new members of the IGU ExecutiveCommittee.

Major items of business at the General Assembly included discussion on EC recommendations for continuation of IGU Commissions and Task Forces. All were confirmed to continue to 2024 with changes in identities of the chairpersons and steering committee members where this was required according to the IGU Statutes. Two new Commissions, Mountain Studies and Research Methods in Geography were established. Reports by the President Secretary-General and Acting Treasurer were all accepted by the assembly by concensus. Fulll membership of the Dominican Republic was approved and the re-application of Colombia was accepted pending clarification of their National Committee membership. A discussion on IGU priorities was followed by items relating to IGU relations with external bodies such as the International Science Council. There were votes of thanks to outgoing members of the Executive Committee, Past-President Vladimir Kolosov, Vice-Presidents Joos Droogleever-Fortuijn and comments by incoming new members who will serve office for the period 2020-24, viz. President Michael Meadows, and Vice-Presidents Holly Barcus and Céline Rozenblat.

The full report can be consulted from the IGU website:


Kind regards


NEWS – Flash Nr. 2020/6

Dear friends and colleagues,

COVID-19 is still around and wreaking havoc in the second wave. Everybody is waiting for the pandemic to end, but nobody knows when that will be. The IGU is optimistic and has announced a new deadline for the International Geographical Congress, scheduled in Istanbul for 16-20 August, 2021. The new Abstract deadline is January 11, 2021.

Our Commission has reserved one slot in the special COVID-19 session, called

Bridging in a Covidian World (of still Increasing Inequalities

Construire des ponts dans un monde covidien aux inegalites (toujours) croissantes

Your papers must clearly refer to the current pandemic, which should not be too difficult given that all aspects of life have been struck. Apart from reflecting on the current pandemic you can also look at the past or attempt to forecast the future (‘after’ the pandemic, without knowing when ‘after’ will be). Please let us know if you intend to present a paper and on what topic. Thank you.

I take this opportunity to invite you to send me details of your own publications to be diffused through our next newsletter. My address can be found below. Thank you.

The next Newsletter is under preparation and will arrive shortly.

Kind regards. Take care and stay healthy.

Walter Leimgruber


NEWS - Flash Nr. 2020/5

Dear friends and colleagues,

I hope that you all get well through the current Covid-19 crisis and manage to survive under these difficult circumstances. Life has become challenging, at least on the material basis, but our intellectual capacities continue to flourish. To help you stay active, this NewsFlash is accompanied by two flyers that I received from our member Prof. Sarah Halvorson in Montana (USA). They invite you to hand in papers on the two topics of ‘conservation area management’ and ‘nature-based tourism’, to be published in the open access journal ‘Sustainability’. Please contact the guest editors Sarah and Keith directly; they are both members of our Commission.

I take this opportunity to invite you to send me details of your own publications to be diffused through our next newsletter My address can be found below. Thank you.

I wish you a good summer (northern hemisphere) or winter (southern hemisphere). Take care and stay healthy.

Kind regards

Walter Leimgruber


NEWS – Flash Nr. 2020/4

Romania conference postponed

Dear friends and colleagues,

As you may have heard, the Istanbul IGU Congress has been deferred to August 16-20, 2021, as a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic and the resulting travel restrictions.

This affects our planning as well. Our local organizer in Cluj-Napoca (Romania) had timed our annual conference for the week before the IGC. Since nobody can foretell when the current pandemic and all the restrictions that go along with it will end, the Steering Committee of our Commission has decided to do the same and hold the conference in the week preceding the IGC. The new date is therefore August 8 – 13, 2021. Further information will follow in the appropriate moment.

Thank you for taking notice. I am looking forward to seeing many of you next year under (hopefully) better circumstances.

Kind regards

Walter Leimgruber

NEWS – Flash Nr. 2020/3

Proposed Book on Covid-19 and Marginality

Dear Commission Members,

The publisher of our Commission Book Series, Springer, have approached us to see if we, as a commission, can develop an edited book focusing on Covid-19 and Marginality.

As editors we have met and feel that, while it might at this stage be too early to develop a formal proposal given the evolving situation, we do however feel that, in due course, a book should be written about how marginal areas have been impacted and responded. In addition, getting a true global perspective is ideal, given widely different national impact rates and national responses. Ultimately though our interest will be more in the impact and implications for marginal places and of local responses within nations (or between nations). Issues which may be worth exploring include:

  • demographic impacts

  • impacts on welfare and wellbeing

  • impacts on housing / food supply / employment etc.

  • impact of national and local policy changes and interventions

  • environmental impacts

  • local responses including volunteerism, new or alternate economic activity, networking (or the opposite)

  • society has adapted.

At this stage we are looking for expressions of interest from potential chapter contributors. It is too early to ask for formal proposals, but we would be interested to know if, in principle, you would like to submit a chapter, and if so what part of the world would it focus on and, as far as possible, what issues might you hope to discuss. Please contact one of us: bornafb@geog.pmf.unizg.hr; etienne.nel@otago.ac.nz; stanko.pelc@guest.arnes.si; walter.leimgruber@unifr.ch

Best Wishes

Borna, Etienne, Stanko & Walter

NEWS – Flash Nr. 2020/2

Annual conference 2020, Cluj-Napoca (Romania)

Dear members, friends and colleagues

Our next annual conference will take place in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, August 9-14, organized by Professor Raularian Rusu and colleagues at Babeş-Bolyai University. I am happy to send you some information about registration and also attach the first circular.

The registration form will be available on the conference website (address on the circular). This website is currently under construction and should be operational from February 5 onwards. Please do not use it before, you might end up with a previous conference.

This promises to become another exciting conference week, and I am looking forward to meeting many of you in the Carpathian mountains.

Kind regards


NEWS – Flash Nr. 2020/1

Dear members,

In December we had a most successful conference in Kathmandu with an adventurous field trip to the Pokhara region, Sirubari (local homestay tourism initiative) and Bandipur. I am pleased to send you the report of this event, hoping that it encourages some of you to continue to support our work with papers and your presence.

The next newsletter will follow shortly, delayed because of the late date of our annual 2019 meeting.

Kind regards

Walter Leimgruber