International Geographical Union

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International Geographical Union (IGU)
Formation1922; 99 years ago (1922)
Region served
Official language
English, French
Japan Yukio Himiyama
AffiliationsInternational 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 International Geographical Union adheres to the International Science Council (ISC), which it recognizes as the coordinating body for the international organisations of science.


The IGU has seven objectives or aims:

  1. to promote the study of geographical problems;
  2. to initiate and co-ordinate geographical research requiring international co-operation and to promote its scientific discussion and publication;
  3. to provide for the participation of geographers in the work of relevant international organizations;
  4. to facilitate the collection and diffusion of geographical data and documentation in and between all member countries;
  5. to promote International Geographical Congresses, regional conferences and specialized symposia related to the objectives of the Union;
  6. to participate in any other appropriate form of international co-operation with the object of advancing the study and application of geography;
  7. to promote international standardization or compatibility of methods, nomenclature, and symbols employed in geography.

Senior Officers[edit]

The following lists contain the Senior Officers of the IGU from 1922 to present:


Secretaries-General and Treasurers[edit]

Commissions and Task Forces[edit]

The IGU is organized into a number of commissions and task forces that deal with specific topics.[1]

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).[2]

It publishes the IRGEE journal and organizes yearly conferences.[3] The "International Charter on Geographical Education" constitutes an international agreement on different aspects with global impacts. The 2016 charter features e.g. important geography education research questions and policy recommendations.[4] In the 1992 charter there is also information on geographic questions, key concepts, approaches and the selection of spatial examples.[5]


  1. ^ "Commissions". IGU Online. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  2. ^ "People - IGU CGE". IGU CGE. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  3. ^ "Home - IGU CGE". IGU CGE. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  4. ^ "2016 Charter - IGU CGE". IGU CGE. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  5. ^ "1992 Charter - IGU CGE". IGU CGE. Retrieved 2018-06-28.

External links[edit]