WORKING GROUP ON DUST – ORIGINAL AIMS, OBJECTIVES, AND WORK PROGRAMME
The IUGS/GEM Working Group will focus on the environmental management of problems associated with atmospheric dust and other particulates. These have major implications for human health, agriculture and habitats. Impacts may be physical, chemical or biological (e.g. soil loss through erosion and effects on crops and people during deposition; effects of contaminants from industrial processes, military actions, or volcanic activity on various receptors; or potential hazards from bacteria carried in dust clouds). A regulatory system has developed in many countries to deal with anthropogenic dust and articulates but responses to dealing with emissions from natural sources are, as yet, poorly developed. There is a need to identify appropriate approaches to mitigating the effects of emissions and to disseminate the information widely. This will need to draw on expertise from a number of fields including the earth, atmospheric, health, geomorphological, agricultural, microbiological and ecological sciences.
a) review, collate and disseminate material on the existing understanding of the nature, behaviour and impacts of dust and particulates in the earth system and to stimulate new investigations into associated under-researched areas;
b) review existing legislation, regulation and management responses and to set out good practices in forms that can be readily appreciated and followed by administrators, land managers and the public; and
c) to develop and disseminate innovative approaches to dealing with dust issues.
3. Proposed work plan
Task 1: convene an inception committee and consolidate plan of action –early 2009
Task 2: establish contacts with other international scientific organisations in the atmospheric, health, geomorphological, agricultural, microbiological and ecological sciences to secure representatives and potential participants
Task 3: make arrangements for working group meeting in late 2009 with the main aim of “scoping the topic” and to publish a paper summarising the outcomes
Task 4: set up and populate website
Task 5: undertake planning for a book, aimed at a wide readership, reviewing dust issues and management responses, solicit initial contributions from members and identify gaps
Task 6: attempt to secure contributions to fill gaps in proposed book and potential publisher
Task 7: working group meeting 2010
Task 8: working group meeting 2011
Task 9: draw together and review contributions to book and submit to publisher
Task 10: working group meeting 2012 (linked to IGC Congress)
Task 11: take steps to set up an international association for the study of dust and particulates 2012-2013
The Working Group should be self supporting. The Committee members should be supported by their own organisations or personally. Funds will be sought from other sources, particularly to support Committee members from developing countries and for the organisation and conduct of meetings, but, at this formative stage, it is not yet possible to give a detailed account of sources. It is intended that a finances should be discussed at the first Committee meeting so that approaches can be made to potential funding organisations.
Consultations have been undertaken to peer review the proposal and to identify members of a wider international Committee.
6. Communication plan
• Reporting via the Chairman to each GEM annual meeting;
• An article in “Episodes” at 2 year intervals to reach the international scientific community;
• Articles to peer reviewed journals and publications of international conference proceedings;
• A book covering the whole of the topic; and
• A short text aimed at administrators and land managers on appropriate responses to dealing with problems.
However it is also important to communicate much more widely. Therefore it is proposed to issue announcements on key issues on issues and findings at intervals for the wider public in order to raise awareness of the importance of these.