Statutes of the International Association for Geoethics
Article I – NAME OF THE ASSOCIATION
The name of the organization is the “lnternational Association for Geoethics”. The official abbreviation is IAGETH. Throughout these Statutes the word “Association” or the abbreviation IAGETH is used to mean the International Association for Geoethics.
The Association is based on all experiences of the geoethical community born in 1992 at Pribram (Czech Republic) with regular repeated meetings there as well as specialized sessions elsewhere .especially symposia on geoethics in all International Geological Congresses (since 1996 in Beijing), and since 2004 temporarily established as the Working Group for Geoethics under the umbrella of the Association of Geoscientists for International Development (AGID).
IAGETH is a non profit organisation.
Article II – THE DEFINITION OF GEOETHICS
Geoethics is an interdisciplinary field between Geosciences and Ethics which involves Earth and Planetary Sciences as well as applied ethics. It deals with the way of human thinking and acting in relation to the significance of the Earth as a system and as a model. Not only geoeducational, scientific, technological, methodological and social.cultural aspects are included (e.g. sustainability, development, geodiversity and geoheritage, prudent consumption of mineral resources, appropriate measures for predictability and mitigation of natural hazards, geosciences communication, museology, etc.), but also the necessity of considering appropriate protocols, scientific integrity issues and a code of good practice, regarding the study of the abiotic world. Studies on planetary geology (sensu lato) and astrobiology also require a geoethical approach.
Article III – AIMS OF THE ASSOCIATION
The aims of the International Association for Geoethics are:
- to promote and encourage the advancement of Geoethics – primarily through educational and publishing activities and research;
- to foster geoethical ways of thinking and acting – especially in Geosciences (because of their significance for any support and help in developing realistic sustainability concepts)
- to improve teaching and training in Geoethics;
- to realize the goals defined by the International Declaration of Geoethics approved in October 2011 by the AGID Working Group for Geoethics; and
- to collect, evaluate and disseminate the results of geoethical activities on a world wide basis by
- o encouraging the formation of National Groups of Geoethics and their affiliation with the Association;
- o the organisation of Conferences, Symposia, workshops and other meetings;
- o the creation and operation of specialist commissions and other organisational units for the study of matters of interest to the Association;
- o the publication of scientific and technical achievements of members of the IAGETH in the own periodical and relevant news (GEOETHICS NEWS, web pages http://tierra.rediris.es/IAGETH, other regional and local newsletters and web pages; and
- o interactivities with other scientific, technical and social.cultural associations as may be appropriate (if needed, “liaison officers” can be nominated or “Ambassadors” exchanged).
One of the most important messages of geoethics to the population of our planet concerns the fact that the future of our planet is determined not only by anthropogenic influences but also by long term exogenous and endogenous natural processes, often accompanied by natural disasters beyond human control. The most significant of these events are often beyond the reach of human memory. Only Earth and Space sciences are able to serve as mediators for any research needed in detecting the behaviour and predictability of such phenomena. In the light of this knowledge, it seems necessary to modify the mostly oversimplified ideas about the environment sustainability, by an appropriate geoeducation and by a geoethical approach. It is necessary to realize that the so.called ‘abiotic nature’ has its own dynamic evolution and that its regularities and laws need to be known and understood in order to improve any forecasting and mitigation of important catastrophes and climate changes.
Article IV – MEMBERSHIP
A. Types of membership of IAGETH
IAGETH wishes to make it easy for all geoscientists who sympathise with its aims to minimize any effort to become an individual member of the Association or to establish national IAGETH networks and initiate local activities. Such a membership policy should increase the interest to promote geoethical ideas and aims of the Association as well as to strengthen the international solidarity of all members of geoethical communities all over the world.
1. National Group Members
Anyone interested in becoming a Member of IAGETH is asked to contact his colleagues and try to establish an appropriate national network for geoethics. Such local national networks may be deemed a national chapter of IAGETH and may be a purely informal body and levy appropriate membership dues in local currency and use any money so raised for local administration and local projects/events.
If levying annual subscriptions requires the national network to be legally registered in the country, then any money required for local administration should be raised from members on an ad hoc voluntary basis. All members of such a network will be considered as normal members of IAGETH. One member of such a local chapter should be nominated as a contact person and their names communicated to the relevant regional Vice President and Secretary General of the Association. The contact person should send a brief annual report at the end of the calendar year listing new members and contacts with any other IAGETH projects, working groups or other activities such as preparing symposia for International Geological Congresses etc.
A national chapter of IAGETH may also be part of a recognised national association of earth scientists (e.g. a national Geological Society) or part of a specialist group of such an association. Members will in this case pay their normal membership fees to the respective national Association/Society but again a contact person should be nominated from the group for liaison with IAGETH centrally. The contact person should send a brief annual report to the Secretary General of IAGETH detailing activities in which the name of the Association is used and contacts during the year with other IAGETH groups/working parties etc. All members of the group will be regarded as normal members. Such groups might explore the possibility of the society to which they subscribe providing some funds for specific local activities in which the interests of IAGETH and their Society coincide (e.g. working groups and activities linked to geoethics, geosciences and development).
National Group Members of IAGETH are associations, corporations, or societies which represent the interests of Geoethics applying for affiliation to the Association through their National Group.
2. Individual Members
3. Associate Members (Supporting Members)
Institutions, organizations and companies interested in supporting the activities of the IAGETH for the advancement of Geoethics and paying their membership fees directly to the IAGETH Treasurer are considered as Associate members. Individual members can be considered as Supporting Members in case of paying at least 10 times higher individual membership fees to the IAGETH Treasurer or sponsoring special events of the Association.
4. Honorary Members (Fellows) and Honorary President
Individuals interested in Geoethics whose affiliation to the IAGETH is not through any National Group and who pay their fees directly to the Treasurer of the Association.
Persons with exceptional services to geoethics and to the IAGETH can be appointed as Honorary Members (Fellows) of the Association.
The appointment of a person of distinction as the Honorary President of the IAGETH may be made in recognition of extraordinary and long term merits and work for the prosperity and development of geoethics and of the Association. This honour shall be restricted to very rare and outstanding cases.
A proposal for the appointment of an Honorary Member (Fellow) or Honorary President shall be made to the President who will submit such a proposal to the Council for approval.
B. Admission and Resignation
A national organization representing the interests of Geoethics and willing to support the aims of the IAGETH shall submit a written application to become a National Group of IAGETH to the Council of the Association (usually through any of its Council members). The letter of application should be accompanied by documents outlining the nature of the organization, a copy of its statutes and a list of its officers. Preferably the letter should also be accompanied by a list of members (unless it is against the confidentiality of its own regulations/bylaws), willing to become individual or associate (supporting) members of IAGETH.
Admission becomes effective after approval by the Executive Committee.
Applications of Individual and Associate Members (Supporting Members) should be made by writing to the Secretary General or any of the Council members and their admission becomes effective after approval by the Executive Committee.
Any admission act should be jointed with a written consent of applying organizations or individual persons with accepting the Code of Ethical Behaviour joint to the IAGETH Statutes.
Resignation of members may be given in writing before July 1to take effect from January 1in the following year.
C .Dismissal of Membership
The dismissal of members, who act against the aims and interests of IAGETH or against the Code of Ethical Behaviour jointed to the IAGETH Statutes, shall be decided by a majority of two.thirds of the votes cast in Council. Such matters can be initiated by any member of the Association and submitted to the Council by the Secretary General. Also members whose dues have not been paid for three consecutive years (in spite of appropriate remainders) will be dismissed.
Article V – LANGUAGES
The official language of the IAGETH is English. When conferences are held in countries where the national language is not English, oral presentations and conference proceedings may take place also in the national language; it is recommended to ensure at least the edition of abstracts in English. Adequate simultaneous translation facilities should be available in case when they will not demand any exceedingly high increase of registration fees.
Publications resulting from the proceedings of official IAGETH international conferences, seminars, etc. are to be realized in English (later translations into other languages are also allowed).
Article VI – ADMINISTRATION
The Association shall be governed and administered by a Council which is responsible for the regular conduct of the business of the Association in accordance with its Statutes and possible By Laws.
Council decides upon the working programme of the Association including the appointment of Commissions, and Working Groups, the location and scope of Association and Association.sponsored meetings, approves the annual budget, authorizes major expenditures in addition to those shown in the annual budget and elects the members of the Executive Committee.
A General Assembly of Association members will be called usually on the occasion of the International Geological Congresses and in special cases on the occasion of the selected IAGETH International Conferences. This Assembly will enable the Executive Committee to report, directly to individual members of the Association, the major decisions of Council and the progress of activities within the Association.
The General Assembly may be called to vote on some matters, provided such request is presented by, at least, 25% of the National Groups.
The membership of the Council shall consist of:
– The President, the Honorary President (if any), the First Vice.President, the Vice.Presidents, the Secretary General and the Treasurer;
– Past Presidents; and
– a nominated representative of each National Group.
The Vice.Presidents (including the First Vice.President) are chosen from different geographic areas or regions: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America. One Vice.President will be chosen from each designated region except that two will be chosen from Europe (East and West). Council may approve the addition of new vice.presidents or vice presidential regions as may be appropriate.
b) Executive Committee
The membership of the Executive Committee shall consist of the President, the Vice.Presidents, the Secretary General, the Treasurer, the Immediate Past President and the Honorary President.
a. The Council will meet once each year, generally at the time of the IAGETH International Conferences, an IAGETH (co.)sponsored event (symposium, etc) or the International Geological Congress. The President will call an extraordinary meeting of Council if requested by a minimum of a quarter of the total membership of Council.
The Agenda of the Council meetings shall include:
i. reports from the President, the Secretary General, the Treasurer, the Vice.Presidents, Chairpersons of Commissions and Working Groups as well as from persons to whom special tasks have been entrusted by the Council or by the Executive Committee;
ii. voting on amendments to Statutes and By Laws;
iii. election of the Executive Committee, as appropriate;
iv. determination of the places and dates of IAGETH Conferences and Symposia;
v. any other appropriate agenda.
Council will determine in the preceding meeting, and preferably a year in advance, the place and time of subsequent meeting of the Council.
b. The Executive Committee will meet at least once per year usually in advance of the meeting of Council or in combination with the Council and always at the place and time of the IAGETH International Conference or of the (co.) sponsored event or of the International Geological Congress. Additionally, the Executive Committee may meet at the call of the President.
The Executive Committee will decide on such matters as the award of honours and prizes and as otherwise authorized by the Statutes and By Laws. Such decisions will be conveyed to Council for its ratification.
On other matters the Executive Committee will make recommendations to Council for discussions and decisions to be made by the Council.
On urgent matters, both the Executive Committee and/or the Council may be called to vote upon a particular matter. Voting may be by postal voting or through electronic mail.
In meetings of the Executive Committee and of the Council, authorized members of either body will have the right to vote on any matters under discussion.
Any member of the Executive Committee or of Council may appoint any other member to act as his/her proxy. No one person may hold more than three (3) proxy votes. The appointment of a proxy must be in writing (and should be provided to the Secretary General in advance).
Voting may be by show of hand (or through a secret ballot if called for by any two members of the Executive Committee or Council). Decisions of the Executive Committee or of the Council will be carried by a simple majority of votes except for decisions on amendments to the Statutes and By Laws and on the affiliation or dissolution of the Association which must be decided by a majority of two thirds of the votes cast.
In the event of a tied vote, the President (or the Chairman of the meeting in the absence of the President) shall cast a tie.breaking vote.
The Quorum of the Executive Committee for the legal transaction of Association business shall be at least 4 persons, one of whom will be the President or the First Vice.President or the Secretary General.
The Quorum of Council for the legal transaction of Association business shall be at least a quarter of the members of Council including at least three members of the Executive Committee.
4. Election or Appointment to Council
a. Election of the Executive Committee
The election of members of the Executive Committee will take place on the occasion of the meeting of the Council at an IAGETH International Conference or on the occasion of the General Assembly. Vacancies on the Executive Committee which may occur may be filled by an appointment by Council and be effective to the following International Conference. The vacant post of the President can be replaced by the First Vice.President.
The nomination of a person for any position on the Executive Committee shall be made in writing at least four (4) months in advance of a Council meeting. If more than one person is nominated for any one position, Council will vote, by secret ballot, to select one of the nominees for the position involved.
The term of office of members of the Executive Committee will be four years, effective on January 1st following the date of election. Members of the Executive Committee are not eligible for the third re.election to the same office unless admitted by a special by law.
b. Selection of Representatives of National Groups The representatives of National Groups and the term for which they serve will be determined by the respective National Groups in accordance with the agreements/decisions on the particular National Group. National Groups will advise the IAGETH Secretary General of the name and address of their representative as soon as possible after a new appointment.
Article VII – FINANCES
The financial year of the Association runs from January 1to December 31.
The resources of the Association are:
i) the annual dues of the members;
ii) gifts, legacies, grants, advertising, etc.;
iii) income from the activities of the Association such as receipts from meetings, courses, etc.; and the sale of publications.
Membership dues shall be determined by the Executive Committee on recommendation from the Treasurer. The Council shall approve any change in dues before any change can become effective. Membership dues are payable in advance on or before January 1st .
The funds of the Association are the responsibility of the Treasurer and shall be deposited in a bank account or in another fiscal instrument as may be approved by Council. The account (or bond, certificate, etc.) will be in the name of the Association. Signing authorities will be the Treasurer and the Secretary General, who, together, will have full control of the funds.
A statement of the current conditions of the accounts will be presented whenever the Executive Committee or Council holds a meeting or, at any other time, at the request of the President.
On one occasion each year, usually at a regular meeting of Council, the Treasurer will present a statement of accounts for the previous fiscal year. At the same occasion a budget for the following fiscal year will be presented for approval.
Article VIII – REPRESENTATION
The official representative of the IAGETH is the President. In special circumstances, the President may select or delegate someone else (usually the First Vice.President, the Secretary General or the Honorary President) to represent him on a particular occasion or at a particular event.
All contracts involving the IAGETH must be signed by the President (ot the First Vice.President) and by the Secretary General (or Treasurer).
Article IX – MEETINGS OF THE ASSOCIATION
Meetings shall be organized or (co.)sponsored by the Association, in order to make public, the scientific and technological results of Geoethics and its applications. These meetings are the international conferences of the IAGETH, international symposia and regional conferences.
The organization of the IAGETH International Conferences and the financial arrangements therefore will be undertaken by the National Group of the host country in agreement with and in consultation with the Executive Committee.
In addition, an international IAGETH meeting shall be organized on the occasion of and in conjunction with the International Geological Congress (IGC) – if appropriate by the IAGETH National Group of the host country.
National Groups shall be encouraged also to arrange meetings, usually under the auspices of the IAGETH, dealing with specific geoethical problems. Such meetings should be arranged preferably for those years in which neither IAGETH Conferences nor IGC Congresses occur. These meetings could be either international symposia or regional conferences. Under special circumstances, symposia sponsored by or under the auspices of the IAGETH can be held in a congress year provided there is no significant conflict of location, time and content of the proposed meeting with the IAGETH or IGC Congress. Meetings of the Executive Committee and/or Council will be arranged where possible to coincide with scientific meetings.
All National Groups, organizing IAGETH or IAGETH sponsored meetings must ensure the right of participation of all members of IAGETH, irrespective of their origin or nationality.
Article X – COMMISSIONS AND WORKING GROUPS
Commissions and Working Groups may be appointed to study, report and make recommendations on selected scientific, technical or administrative topics of importance for Geoethics or for the IAGETH.
The appointment of the Commissions will be made by the Council upon proposal by the Executive Committee or a National Group. The Chairman of a Commission will be selected by the Executive Committee.
A Commission shall endure for a period which shall be fixed at the time of its appointment, but limited to the term of office of the existing Executive Committee. The new (incoming) Executive Committee will review the activities of all Commissions and Working Groups and may extend the term of office of any pre.existing group.
Guidelines for the formation and operation of all Commissions and Working Groups are included in the By Laws.
Article XI – AWARDS AND PRIZES
The Association may determine to honour its members and other persons by the conferring thereon of an award or prize. Such honours shall be proceeded with according to the By Laws established, or which may be established, for each particular honour.
Article XII – BY LAWS
By Laws establishing guiding rules, procedures, rights and obligations might be always available in order to ensure the implementation of the principles defined in the Statutes.
Article XIII – AMENDMENTS TO STATUTES AND BY LAWS
The Statutes and the By Laws of the Association can be amended only by the Council.
Amendments may be proposed to the Council by the Executive Committee or by any National Group. Proposals must be submitted to the Secretariat at least six (6) months before the date of the next Council meeting to enable the Secretary General to notify the National Groups at least four (4) months prior to the date of the Council meeting at which the proposals are to be discussed and voted upon.
Amendments shall be ratified by a two.thirds majority vote of the members either by postal voting or through electronic mail and by members present at the Council meeting (in case they had not used any previous voting option).
Article XIV – DISSOLUTION OF THE IAGETH
The voluntary dissolution of the IAGETH can only be decided by a two.thirds majority vote of the Council preceded by a simple postal or electronic majority voting of all members of the Association. Any dissolution act should be accompanied by a decision how the existing property (or/and debts) of the Association will be distributed.
Article XV – PREPARATION OF NEW BY LAWS
Upon the approval by the Association of the above Articles to form the new Statutes of the Association, the President shall forthwith require that appropriate By Laws, consistent with the new Statutes, be prepared and submitted to Council for approval at the earliest possible opportunity. Other By Laws will be prepared as required by new decisions of the Council.