New book sets out the role of geoscience in achieving a sustainable future

The role of geoscience in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals is the subject of a new book, with contributions from Marleen de Ruiter, Assistant Professor at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM).

04/21/2021 | 1:00 PM

In 2015, global leaders came together at the United Nations to agree 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), providing a blueprint to create a better and more sustainable world for all with a vision of ‘a world free of poverty, hunger, disease and want, where all life can thrive’.

Geosciences and the Sustainable Development Goals, published by Springer-Nature, explores how geoscientists’ understanding of the natural environment is essential to achieving this vision. Edited by BGS International Development Geoscientist / GfGD Executive Director, Dr Joel C. Gill and BGS Global Science Director, Dr Martin Smith, the book features contributions from 42 authors in six continents. 

The transformational vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development demands our attention and action”, explains Dr Gill.

Tackling these complex challenges requires interdisciplinary solutions, engagement and participation by diverse groups from across sectors and disciplines. This includes geoscientists.  We wrote this book to demonstrate how geoscientists’ understanding of Earth systems, dynamics and resources can support sustainable growth and decent jobs, resilient cities and infrastructure, access to basic services, food and water security, and effective environmental management”,

“We hope it will support geoscientists, in all sectors and specialisms, to play their part in securing a sustainable and equitable future for all”.

The book takes readers through 17 chapters, each exploring how geoscience contributes to the 17 SDGs through the diverse perspectives and examples of the global authors. It discusses a range of themes from ethics, to equity, conduct, and partnerships, as well as exploring many varied aspects of geoscience such as water, energy, minerals, engineering geology and geological hazards.

Marleen de Ruiter contributed to the chapter on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. “Many geoscientists investigate natural hazards, risk, and the impacts of disasters. Disasters disproportionately affect the poor, and those living in states affected by violence and active conflict. Conflict may result in heightened vulnerability to hazardous events, or the displacement of people into areas more exposed to natural hazards. [...] Geoscientists may, therefore, come into direct contact with the impacts of conflict, and their work may be shaped by the likelihood of conflict changing exposure or vulnerability”. (p. 395)

“As coordinator of the Earth Sciences’ Global Environmental Change & Policy (GECP) programme, I very much welcome a book on the role of geosciences in meeting the SDGs. I hope that with this book we can support geoscience students to recognize how they can contribute to the UN’s SDGs“. – Marleen de Ruiter

I hope the different geoscience bachelor and master programmes at the Faculty of Science will find use in this course book as it reflects the interdisciplinary character of many of our teaching programmes”. – Marleen de Ruiter