International Committee on issues of Global Changes of the Geological Environment, “GEOCHANGE”

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Istanbul Declaration On Natural Cataclysms


19-21 September 2011, Istanbul, Turkey

“Istanbul Declaration On Natural Cataclysms”


Istanbul 21 September 2011

1. Participants of the World Forum – International Congress GEOCATACLYSM-2011 state that the continuing trend of global change in the geological and geophysical parameters of the Earth and near-earth space, acceleration of the growth rate of the number and energy of natural disasters, global changes observed throughout the Earth including its core, mantle, lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere represent a serious threat to the sustainable development of humanity.

2. The consequences of natural disasters in recent years more and more often transform into anthropogenic disasters. At the same time, major human-caused accidents have a large-scale natural environmental effect and lead to irreversible processes in our planet’s biosphere, adversely affecting human lives and health. They have become a key destabilizing factor endangering the sustainable development of certain regions and countries. Natural- anthropogenic disasters result in the increased rate of negative changes of the environment the quality of which deteriorates when natural and human-made disasters and social pressures have a combined impact. The accelerated population growth and creation of megalopolises most often take place in areas prone to hazardous natural phenomena. Those zones frequently experience earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, hurricanes, landslides, mudslides, flooding of large areas and other natural disasters. The quality of engineering-geological research and risk assessment for adverse effect of likely natural and human-made disasters has to be improved in those areas. Global climate change caused by both natural and anthropogenic processes leads to disturbance of the planetary ecosystem, large-scale desertification, land degradation, ozone layer depletion and other negative consequences which may cause food shortages for the inhabitants of large areas of our planet.

3. The most sensitive indicator of the increased negative effect of natural disasters on the development of modern civilization is the economic damage caused by them, the average annual amount of which have risen 8-10 times from January 2009 to September 2011. Such a rapid growth of economic losses from natural disasters may significantly exacerbate the instability of the global financial system.

4. The experience of a number of developed countries proves that preparing the population for likely natural disasters and raising its educational level for taking effective steps before, during and after natural disasters significantly reduces the number of victims and improves the quality of emergency management. Meanwhile, the world’s population in many countries still lacks the skills, knowledge and experience to counter natural disasters. For the most part, this refers to the people of poor and densely populated countries.

5. The geological life of our planet have repeatedly witnessed periods of a significant increase in endogenous and exogenous activity and another such period, as shown by many natural indicators, has already begun.

Large-scale negative effect of natural disasters in recent years has shown that humanity is not prepared to enter the era of global natural cataclysms, either technologically, economically, legally, socially or psychologically. A joint effort by scientists, international organizations and governments of different countries under the aegis of the UN is needed in order to take effective measures to counter natural disasters and to minimize the casualties and damage they cause to humanity.

6. The threatening consequences of the increase in the number of natural and human-caused disasters lead to the growing need for coordination of international efforts to develop and implement technologies and systems for forecasting and monitoring impending hazards, risk assessment and disaster management.

The World Forum declares the expediency of:

- Development and creation of a unified international system for geological and environmental monitoring and forecasting of natural disasters;

- Creation of a unified international educational system for preparing the world’s population to act before, during and after natural disasters, with extensive use of the Internet and other information technologies;

- Development and adoption of international standards and recommendations for forecasting, monitoring and evaluation of disaster risks.

The Declaration has been unanimously approved by the participants of the World Forum – International Congress GEOCATACLYSM-2011:

Members of Presidium of the World Forum:

Honorary Chairman of the World Forum:

Prof. Dr. Franz Halberg, Honorary Director of the Halberg Chronobiology Center, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, US)

Honorary Co-Chairman of the World Forum:

Prof. Dr. Nikolay Laverov, Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, President of the National Center for Development of Innovative Technologies (Moscow, Russia)

Honorary Co-Chairman of the World Forum:

Prof. Dr. Walter Kofler, President of the International Academy of Science Health and Ecology (Innsbruck, Austria)

Chairman of the World Forum:

Prof. Dr. Elchin Khalilov, Chairman of the International Committee on Global Geological and Environmental Change (Munich, Germany), Director General of the Scientific Research Institute for Prognosis and Studying of Earthquakes (Baku, Azerbaijan)

Co-Chairman of the World Forum:

Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman, President of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, Coordinator General of the Committee on Science and Technology of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (Islamabad, Pakistan)

Co-Chairman of the World Forum:

Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bulut, Vice-Rector of the “Ondokuz Mayıs” University (Samsun, Turkey)

Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the World Forum:

Prof. Dr. Vitaly Starostenko, Director of the Institute of Geophysics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Kiev, Ukraine)

Co-Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the World Forum:

Prof. Dr. Cengiz Toklu, Head of Civil Engineering Department of Yeditepe University (Istanbul, Turkey)

Co-Chairman of the “Health Care” Section of the World Forum:

Yoshihiko Watanabe MD, Ph.D., Assistant professor, Head of Department of Tokyo Women’s Medical University (Tokyo, Japan)

Co-Chairman of the Section “Cosmic-terrestrial relations, chronobiology, BIOCOS program”:

Prof. Dr. Abdullah Alabdulgader, General Director of the Prince Sultan Cardiac Center (Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia)