Preface | 2006 Achievements | Serving a Changing Society | Supporting the Knowledge Economy | Protecting our Environment | Mapping our Earth Resources | Engaging with Society | Co-operating Abroad | Providing a Stimulating Work Environment | Using GSI Services
The key focus of GSI is – and must remain – to meet national objective in the sectors it serves and an essential element in achieving this mission is its cooperation with overseas partners and organisations. International cooperation is important to ensure GSI observes best practice, upskills its staff through contact with relevant expertise, and thereby provides high quality services for its customers and stakeholders.
The Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (GSNI) has been a key strategic partner of GSI for more than a decade and this is set to continue. Staff of the two surveys collaborate with each other on a variety of projects and each Director sits on the other’s Consultative Committee, thereby ensuring an effective sharing of information and experience. During 2006 an all-island Bedrock Geological Map of Ireland (1:500,000 scale) was published, the first ever such map to be jointly published. Cooperation also continued on the Breifne Project, the Landslides Working Group and the Tellus GSNI project.
Long-standing membership of Eurogeosurveys, the association of European Geological Surveys, has provided GSI with access to a wide range of European expertise as well as an effective gateway to European institutions. Eurogeosurveys adopted a long-term strategic plan in 2006 which establishes an effective mechanism for the organisation to provide a “shop front” for European geological expertise while facilitating individual geological surveys to staff a virtual “back-office” on a periodic or thematic basis. During 2006 the second part of the Geochemical Atlas of Europe was published and the two-volume set, representing important baseline information on the European environment, is available for sale in the GSI Customer Centre while the datasets can be accessed on the Internet.
GSI maintains bilateral links with a number of other national geological surveys. Cooperation with the British Geological Survey, based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), has covered information management and seabed mapping in 2006. Similar MoUs are currently under negotiation or consideration with other geological surveys, designed to promote cooperation in staff exchanges and joint projects. JAC, a joint venture of the Geological Surveys of Britain and Finland, was contracted to undertake airborne surveys in 2006. GSI is participating in the Global Mineral Resources Assessment Project, organised by the US Geological Survey.
GSI, with the support of the Royal Irish Academy, became the national agency for adhering to both the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) and the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) of UNESCO. In September 2006 the Executive Board of IUGS held one of its regular meetings in Dublin and this was availed of as a suitable occasion for interaction between the Board members and the Geoscience community in Ireland.
Professor Hongren Zhang
Traditionally there has been active cooperation in the area of mineral resources with a variety of countries but especially with Canada. The North Atlantic Minerals Symposium, organised biannually with the Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador, will be held in Dublin in August 2007 as part of a major conference. GSI regularly exhibits jointly with the Exploration and Mining Division (DCMNR), the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Northern Ireland) and GSNI at the Prospectors and Developers Association Convention in Toronto each March.
Cooperation also continues in the groundwater area, including on visualisation and aquifer typology products in a European context. Strong links have been developed with the National Groundwater and Contaminated Land Centre in the Environment Agency (England and Wales), the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Environment and Heritage Service. These links have formed in the context of regular meetings to discuss the EU Water Framework Directive.
International research continued on the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) drill cores which were recovered in 2005 from carbonate mounds in the Porcupine area of offshore Ireland (see last year’s Annual Report). Elsewhere in this report an account is given of recent progress with Atlantic Partners, an initiative under the aegis of the Irish Newfoundland Partnership designed to apply seabed mapping skills in third countries.
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