ReSToRE is bringing science and people together for sustainable development

There is an urgent need for a wider discussion on how we will resource present and future generations in a sustainable way. That’s according to iCRAG, the SFI Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences who are coordinating the inaugural Researching Social Theories, Resources, and Environment (ReSToRE) International Summer School in UCD this week (1st to 5th July).

The summer school brings together a group of 42 early-career geologists and social scientists from developed and developing countries to tackle the question of how society should meet the challenge of providing water, energy, and mineral resources in a sustainable way.

Speaking on the first day of the summer school, Dr Geertje Schuitema, Director of the ReSToRE International Summer School, said, “The ReSToRE Summer School is focused on bringing researchers together to tackle complex issues of resource sustainability across the globe. The nexus of social science and geoscience is key in ensuring that development, the environment and people are all considered as both population and resource demand continue to grow.

“Diversity is a key strength of ReSToRE and through the summer school, we will be building on the diverse experience and skills of participants from 25 countries.”

The nations where ReSToRE participants come from include Chile, Tanzania, Colombia, Australia, Finland, Croatia, Botswana, the USA, Ireland and many more. Research interests of participants include gold mineralisation in India, impact of climate change in Bangladesh and evolution of sedimentary basins off the west coast of Ireland to name but a few.

Professor Murray Hitzman, Director of iCRAG, said of the summer school’s focus on sustainable development, “The responsible sourcing of earth resources is a key issue in addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As we transition to a low carbon economy, the metals, natural resources, and energy sources we need will change. iCRAG is proud to lead this confluence of geoscientists and social scientists in tackling how we will resource present and future generations in a sustainable way.”

A key issue which will be addressed during ReSToRE will be how best to design community engagement in resource and environmental activities. Effective interaction with local communities can facilitate shared decision-making on how land is managed to sustainably develop resources.

One of the speakers at ReSToRE is Edmund Nickless, a geologist and Chair of the International Union of Geological Sciences New Activities Strategic Implementation Committee. The Scientific Union represents 90 member countries and more than 1 million earth scientists around the world.

Edmund’s talk will include a focus on security of supply amidst increasing global demand for materials.

“Deposits of the metals that we need are irregularly distributed across the globe, and their value must be assessed with respect to sustainable development, alleviation of poverty and empowering of communities,” he said. “I look forward to working with the diverse group of ReSToRE participants as we explore sustainable consumption and production patterns.”

ReSToRE International Summer School is coordinated by iCRAG, the SFI Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences and run under the patronage of UNESCO.

ReSToRE grew out of a meeting held in Vancouver, BC, last summer called Resources for Future Generations. More than 2,000 delegates attended and plans for the ReSToRE Summer School were set in motion.

The week-long summer school (from Monday 1st to Friday 5th July 2019) will be led by international scholars and practitioners. Further information is available at: https://www.icrag-centre.org/restore/.