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Logos: Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), IUGS Commission for the Management and Application of Geoscience Information (CGI), Geological Survey of Namibia (GSN)

GIRAF 2009: Geoscience InfoRmation AFrica. Logo

Press Release

Windhoek, 11.03.2009

Building a pan-African network for geoscience information and knowledge

Between 16 and 20 March 2009, an international workshop will take place at the Geological Survey of Namibia, Ministry for Mines and Energy, in Windhoek. The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), in cooperation with the Geological Survey of Namibia (GSN), and together with the IUGS Commission for the Management and Application of Geoscience Information (CGI) have organised this workshop to initiate the building of a pan-African network to exchange knowledge about geoscience information.The Workshop has been generously supported through funds from the German Federal Ministry for Cooperation and Development. GIRAF aims to bring together the relevant responsible authorities and national experts for geoscience information across the continent, and to integrate these experts and their colleagues into global geoinformation activities to ensure that Africa is an active part of the international geoscience information community.

Leading scientists from 30 countries (27 of which are African countries) are involved, spanning the whole continent from Morocco and Egypt to Moçambique and Namibia. During the workshop, participants will look at approaches being taken across Africa to manage and deliver critical information on hazards and resources. Delegates will exchange ideas on best practice in managing geological information from around the globe, and how to make it available in ways that meet society’s pressing needs.

Dr. Kristine Asch of BGR and organiser of the Workshop says “Africa is a continent full of riches - natural resources, a wealth of cultural heritage and beautiful landscapes, but also of pressing issues - poverty, water supply and poor health. This Workshop is focused on the role geoscience information can play in maximising the opportunities and mitigating the risks,- it has been long-planned and it is a pleasure to be finally able to realize it. The GIRAF 2009 Workshop has the potential to do immense good and we hope it will be the start of a very important international African initiative.”

Dr. Gabi Schneider, Director of the Geological Survey of Namibia adds “this Workshop is bringing together key international experts in the field. The mixing of ideas between these delegates and those who understand the realities of operating in Africa will be enormously positive.”

For further information please contact:

Dr Gabi Schneider at GSN (++264) 61 - 284 8242

Dr. Kristine Asch, BGR (cell phone Namibia) (++ 264) 81 – 4292756



BGR: The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources in Germany

Mission Statement:
Improvement of Living Conditions by Sustainable Use of the Geo-Potentials

The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) is the central geoscientific authority providing advice to the German Federal Government in all geo-relevant questions. It is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi).
Geosciences are an integral part of daily life – much more than we are probably aware of. Clean drinking water, sand and clay for building houses, energy and heat are just as much a part of geoscientific research as protecting human lives from georisks.

The Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources is committed to sustainable use of natural resources and protection of the human habitat. As a neutral institution feeling responsible for the future we advise ministries and the European Community and act as partners in industry and science.
More about the BGR can be found at

The Geological Survey of Namibia (GSN)

The Geological Survey of Namibia as the National Institute for Earth Science and Mineral Resources of Namibia is entrusted with management and research of one of our most important assets – the earth in which our life support system is rooted. Our mission is to enhance knowledge and awareness of Namibia’s geological resources.

Through scientific investigation as well as application and dissemination of quality research data we are facilitating the search for and the assessment of mineral resources, geological engineering and land use planning and sustainable development with due regard to the environment. More information about GSN and the Ministry of Mines and Energy can be found at Geological Survey of Namibia (GSN) .

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Pressesprecher: Andreas Beuge, Tel.: 0511 643 2679, mobil: 0170 8569662
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