Thematic Scientific Conference of the International Geographic Union  “Practical Geography and XXI Century Challenges”


The Thematic Scientific Conference of the International Geographic Union (IGU) “Practical Geography and XXI Century Challenges” dedicated to the Centennial of the Institute of Geography of Russian Academy of Sciences will take place on 4-6 June 2018 in Moscow, Russian Federation. The conference will respond to the recommendations of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nation Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) (decision 19/COP.12) which guides the provision of scientific advice to the decision-making process.

Over the past few decades, the Institute of Geography has remainedone of the world-renowned scientific centres working on the problems of desertification, land degradation and drought. Following this tradition, this IGU Thematic Conference will pay special  attention to  land related issues, including the development of the modern concept of Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and the implementation of the new UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework. It is expected that the conference will gather about 1000 scientists, experts, practitioners and the international organizations from around the world. The outcomes of the conference will contribute to the priority areas of the UNCCD Committee on Science and Technology as well as the Science-Policy Interface. 

The occasion of the conference provides an opportunity to place sustainable land management (SLM), land tenure, LDN, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a regional and global context, providing the means to enhance or adapted underlying theoretical paradigms, encourage the radical renewal of research methods and the validity of environmental change predictions, as well as to strengthen the integration between social and environmental branches of geography.

Topics to be addressed by the papers and sessions at the conference will cover a broad spectrum of research questions, but with a specific emphasis on land-based issues:

Sustainable land management and the pursuit of land degradation neutrality:

  • Loop of desertification, land degradation and drought
  • Sustainable land management practices: experiences and evaluation
  • Land use and land cover change: challenges of globalization
  • Climate vegetation interaction under present and future climate conditions
  • Dangerous geomorphologic processes: regional and global trends, human impact, current methods of study assessment and forecast
  • Monitoring atmospheric composition and environmental pollution

Global environmental changes and people in changing environment

  • Geopolitical dimension of population: the demographic revolution as challenge of XXI Century
  • Geographical challenges in extreme environments of recent and past epochs
  • Historical geography and climate change: new directions
  • Local governance for local development in the XXI Century: opportunities and limitations
  • Evolution of the world economy under globalization and regionalization processes

Land-based solutions in regional context:

  • Northern Eurasia in a telecoupled world: agricultural potential and ecosystem tradeoffs
  • Migration, mobility and climate change: an overview with a specific focus on Russia and neighboring countries
  • From water to dust: environmental problems in Central Asia
  • China Belt and Road Initiative and Eurasia: risks and challenges

Under the auspices of the UNCCD, the IGU Thematic Conference will serve as one of the important mechanisms for providing expert and scientific support for the implementation of the UNCCD strategic goals and related Sustainable Development Goals. The Conference will also provide an opportunity to strengthen the network of the UNCCD national scientific and technical correspondents for the dissemination of knowledge and national experience in combating desertification, land degradation and drought.

The IGU Organizing Committee invites UNCCD to take an active part in the conference and present the UNCCD priorities regarding land degradation neutrality, sustainable land management and land-based climate change adaptation.

Additional information about the event can be found at the IGU Thematic Conference website, available in Russian, English and French.

The deadline for abstract submission and registration is 01 March 2018!

For any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact:

Dr. German Kust, the UNCCD CST Vice-chair: e-mail, copy to

Mr. Alexander Sebentsov, PhD, Scientific Secretary of the IGU Conference: