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Durban Meeting - Aug 2002

Dear Colleagues,

   The Extraordinary General Assembly convened in Durban South Africa voted unanimously to eliminate the distinction between IGU Commissions and Study Groups. All IGU Study Groups, by General Assembly and Executive Committee actions, are now IGU Commissions, as follows:

C00.23. Biogeography and Biodiversity
C00.24. Diversity in Mountain Systems 
C00.25. Fluvial System Research 
C00.26. Applied Geography
C00.27. Geography of Tourism, Leisure, and Global Change 
C00.28. Global Change and Human Mobility 
C00.29. Land Use and Land Cover Change
C00.30. The Cultural Approach in Geography 
C00.31. Local Development
C00.32. Water Sustainability

  The General Assembly and Executive Committee also approved new terminology for the members of IGU Commissions and Task Forces. The term "Steering Committee Member" (or alternatively "Member of the Steering Committee") replaces the former "Full Member." Those members of commissions and study groups formerly called "Corresponding Members" are now simply "Members." Thus, commissions should henceforth consist of a Chair and nine additional members of its Steering Committee, and unlimited numbers of Members.

   The statutes were also amended to state that the Steering Committee will "normally" consist of ten members (including the chair). This change will provide commission chairs with some flexibility in filling out a steering committee slate.

  Please do be aware that commissions will continue to be required to report to each general assembly on their activities and accomplishments, and that the general assembly, taking into account the recommendation of the executive committee, must approve the continuation of each commission for the following period. In short, the executive committee may now establish commissions, but only the general assembly may approve their continued existence. Thus both the new commissions and those established by the Seoul general assembly must be prepared to document their contributions and to state the need for their continuation at the regular general assembly to be held in Glasgow in 2004.

   Please contact me if you have any questions. I will be away from the secretariat until 19 August, but will answer you as soon thereafter as I can.


Ron Abler
Secretary General and Treasurer


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