International Efforts

The 35th International Geological Congress was hosted in Cape Town (South Africa) in 2016.
Issues related to global climate challenges and natural disasters have dominated the media and gained wide public attention over the last few years.

A warmer and more unpredictable climate, along with growing public concern for  tsunamis, landslides, volcanic eruptions, and diminishing resources,  has resulted in an increasing interest in geology.   At the same time, the public is demonstrating an increased appreciation in nature-based experiences which bring in geoscience.  Hence, various forms of geological parks are rapidly emerging across the globe.

Internationally active

Today, various tools are being developed to transfer knowledge effectively and cheaply.  This means that geological surveys must respond to the need for standardized, harmonized data collection and nomenclature. Norway has traditionally participated actively in the international organizations. This is also the case in the field of Earth Sciences. Hence, Norway is a member of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), and under the IUGS umbrella cooperates with researchers across the globe on many projects (IGCP, International Commission on Stratigraphy, Task Group on Heritage Stone, Geoparks, etc.). Through its membership in IUGS, the interests of the geological community of Norway is also well represented in Earth Sciences in UNESCO and the International Council of Science.

 The International Geological Congress (IGC) is IUGS' main scientific event.  IGC organizes this global geological congress every four years. In 2008, Congress took place in Lillestrøm (Norway),  in 2012 it was in Brisbane (Australia), with plans now well under way for the 35th IGC  Capetown (South Africa) in 2016.


OneGeology is an international initiative of the geological surveys of the world.  The purpose is to make available online geological world map, from data provided by geological surveys who are members of OneGeology.  OneGeology aims to present the data collected in standardized map format.  Activities related to environment, industry, capacity building and planning will benefit. Behind OneGeology programme is IUGS and UNESCO, as well as the geological surveys.  Nearly 121  countries are currently participating.

Increasing influence

Geology pays no attention to political borders, which is why geological surveys should maintain close alliances. The EuroGeoSurvey (EGS) is an Association of more than 30 surveys across Europe.  EGS plays an increasingly important role in guiding the European Union's directives and positions.  NGU also has a cooperation agreement with the Directorate for Mineral Resources in Russia (Rosnedra) which incorporates a wide range geological mapping activities.  NGU also has agreements with the Ukraine, South Korea and China. On a less formal level, NGU maintains close collaboration with the geological surveys in other Nordic countries and the Baltic States.