International Geographical Union
|Affiliations||International Science Council|
The International Geographical Union (IGU; French: Union Géographique Internationale, UGI) is an international geographical society. The first International Geographical Congress was held in Antwerp in 1871. Subsequent meetings led to the establishment of the permanent organization in Brussels, Belgium, in 1922.
The IGU has seven objectives or aims:
- to promote the study of geographical problems;
- to initiate and co-ordinate geographical research requiring international co-operation and to promote its scientific discussion and publication;
- to provide for the participation of geographers in the work of relevant international organizations;
- to facilitate the collection and diffusion of geographical data and documentation in and between all member countries;
- to promote International Geographical Congresses, regional conferences and specialized symposia related to the objectives of the Union;
- to participate in any other appropriate form of international co-operation with the object of advancing the study and application of geography;
- to promote international standardization or compatibility of methods, nomenclature, and symbols employed in geography.
The following lists contain the Senior Officers of the IGU from 1922 to present:
- 2021–present Michael Meadows, South Africa
- 2016–21 Yukio Himiyama, Japan
- 2012–16 Vladimir Aleksandrovich Kolosov, Russian Federation
- 2008–12 Ronald Francis Abler, United States
- 2006–08 José Palacio-Prieto, Mexico, acting
- 2004–06 Adalberto Vallega, Italy, died in office
- 2000–04 Anne Buttimer, Ireland
- 1996–2000 Bruno Messerli, Switzerland
- 1992–96 Herman Th. Verstappen, Netherlands
- 1988–92 Roland J. Fuchs, United States
- 1984–88 Peter Scott, Australia
- 1980–84 Akin L. Mabogunje, Nigeria
- 1976–80 Michael J. Wise, United Kingdom
- 1972–76 Jean Dresch, France
- 1968–72 Stanisław Leszczycki, Poland
- 1964–68 Shiba P. Chatterjee, India
- 1960–64 Carl Troll, Germany
- 1956–60 Hans Wilhelmsson Ahlmann, Sweden
- 1952–56 L. Dudley Stamp, United Kingdom
- 1949–52 George B. Cressey, United States
- 1938–49 Emmanuel de Martonne, France
- 1934–38 Sir Charles Close, United Kingdom
- 1931–34 Isaiah Bowman, United States
- 1928–31 General Robert Bourgeois, France
- 1924–28 General Nicola Vacchelli, Italy
- 1922–24 Prince Roland Bonaparte, France
Secretaries-General and Treasurers
- 2021–present Barbaros Gönençgil, Turkey, acting
- 2010–20 Michael Meadows, South Africa
- 2008–10 Yu Woo-ik, South Korea
- 2000–08 Ronald Francis Abler, United States
- 1992–2000 Eckart Ehlers, Germany
- 1984–92 Leszek A. Kosiński, Canada
- 1976–84 Walther Manshard, Germany
- 1968–76 Chauncy D. Harris, United States
- 1956–68 Hans Boesch, Switzerland
- 1949–56 George H. T. Kimble, Canada
- 1940-49 Marguerite Lefèvre, Belgium
- 1938–40 Paul Michotte, Belgium
- 1931–38 Emmanuel de Martonne, France
- 1928–31 Filippo De Filippi, Italy
- 1922–28 Sir Charles Close, United Kingdom
Commissions and Task Forces
The IGU is organized into a number of commissions and task forces that deal with specific topics.
The commission topics include e.g. specific approaches (e.g. Applied Geography), topics (e.g. Climatology, Health and Environment), methods (e.g. Geographical Information Science), and spatial examples (e.g. Mediterranean Basin). There are also commissions for the International Olympiad and Geographical Education.
The two task forces are "Young and Early-Career Geographers" and "Centennial and Sesquicentennial".
The IGU-CGE (Commission on Geographical Education) focuses on geography education. It is currently headed by co-chairs Clare Brooks (UK) and Chew-Hung Chang (Singapore).
It publishes the IRGEE journal and organizes yearly conferences. The "International Charter on Geographical Education" constitutes an international agreement on different aspects of geography education with global impacts. The 2016 charter features important geography education research questions and policy recommendations. As such the charter is: Convinced that geographical education is indispensable to the development of responsible and active citizens in the present and future world; Conscious that geography can be an informing, enabling and stimulating subject at all levels in education, and contributes to a lifelong enjoyment and understanding of our world; Aware that students require increasing international competence in order to ensure effective cooperation on a broad range of economic, political, cultural and environmental issues in a shrinking world; Concerned that geographical education is neglected in some parts of the world, and lacks structure and coherence in others; Ready to assist colleagues in counteracting geographical illiteracy in all countries of the world.  In the 1992 charter there is also information on geographic questions, key concepts, approaches and the selection of spatial examples.
List of congresses
International Geographical Congresses have been held as follows:
|8th||1956||Rio de Janeiro|
- Originally scheduled for 2020, the Congress was postponed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Extraordinary Congress for IGU Centenary.
- "Commissions". IGU Online. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
- "People - IGU CGE". IGU CGE. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
- "Home - IGU CGE". IGU CGE. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
- "2016 Charter - IGU CGE". IGU CGE. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
- "1992 Charter - IGU CGE". IGU CGE. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
- "List of congresses". International Geographical Union. 3 August 2021.
- Kish, George (1992) "International Geographical Union: A Brief History" GeoJournal 26, No. 2:224-228 ISSN 0343-2521
- Marie-Claire Robic, Anne-Marie Briend, Mechtild Rössler (eds.) (1996) Geographers to the world. The International Geographical Union and the International Geographical Congress Paris: L'Harmattan ISBN 9782738445735
- Dunbar, Gary S. (2001) Geography: Discipline, Profession and Subject since 1870: An International Survey Kluwer Academic Publishers ISBN 1-4020-0019-7 pg 36
- Lidstone, John; Williams, Michael (2006) Geographical Education in a Changing World: Past Experience, Current Trends and Future Challenges Springer ISBN 978-1-4020-4806-7 pg 39
- International Geographical Union (IGU)
- Royal Irish Academy (RIA)