IGU strongly supports the transdisciplinary project of the International Year on Global Understanding (IYGU) which was created on the IGU initiative and is coordinated by Professor Benno Werlen, Chair of IGU Commission on Cultural Geography. 2013 was marked by spectacular progress in the implementation of this project.

First, its bodies (the Advisory Board, the Steering Committee, the Outreach Panel and partly Regional Action Centres were formed and started their activities. More important, the UNESCO Executive Board and later the UNESCO General Assembly have unanimously adopted the resolution of the IGU initiative for the IYGU presented by the group of the East African countries in the name of Rwanda. Therefore, there is a real chance that the UN General Assembly could proclaim the IYGU during 2014 for 2016. 2015 would then be the year of preparation, 2016 the UNIY itself and 2017 the year of harvest.

The main idea of the project is to bridge the gap in awareness between local actions and global effects and that there is the urgent need in global action towards resolving the problems arising from global social and climate change. It was stressed that geographical education for global understanding is critical for addressing global challenges – for providing sustainable sources of clean water, food and energy, and for maintaining an intact environment for the well-being of all people. The IGU initiative has already obtained earlier the support of ISSC, ICSU and a great number of other international and national institutions. More information about IYGU is available at: http://global-understanding.info/