Terms of reference
of IUGG Union Commission on Geophysical Risk and Sustainability

The IUGG Union Commission on Geophysical Risk and Sustainability (Georisk Commission; GRC) was established by decision of the IUGG Executive Committee in August 2000.

Purpose and Scope

The purpose of the GRC is to promote scientific studies aimed at reducing risks from natural hazards in an increasingly urbanized world. The GRC shall facilitate communication between scientists through meetings, workshops, publications, websites etc., between scientists and decision makers, and between scientists and the general public.

The scope of the GRC shall include research and knowledge dissemination on all types of geophysical hazards and their mitigation measures. The hazards shall include but are not limited to floods and droughts, landslides and debris flow, earthquakes and tsunami, volcanic eruptions, fires, windstorms, magnetic storms and other natural or human induced environmental hazards. The GRC shall also promote and foster research activities on scientific aspects of geophysical hazards and risk minimization as well their societal impacts.

Executive Committee

Nine months prior to the General Assembly (every 4 years), each IUGG Association will be asked to nominate one expert to sit on the GRC Executive Committee, in cases where a position is vacant.

Prior to an IUGG General Assembly, the GRC shall elect a Chair, two Vice-Chairs (on the basis of geographical location and research expertise), a Secretary and a Treasurer.

The Chair, two Vice-chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, the 8 representatives of associations and the immediate Past-Chair form the 14-member GRC Executive Committee.

The IUGG Vice-President shall be informed about the results of the election prior to the IUGG General Assembly. The list of GRC Executive Officers is subject to approval by the IUGG Bureau and their term of office shall start immediately after the IUGG General Assembly.

The Term of Office of a GRC Executive Officer shall be 4 years, but may be extended for a further period of not more than 4 years.


Membership of the GRC is open to all scientists who share the mission of the GRC to promote research on natural hazards, disaster risk and sustainability to the benefit of society.

Membership of the GRC does not lapse. However, members may be removed by the Executive Committee if they are inactive for a period of at least 4 years.

The GRC Secretary shall keep an up-to-date register of members.

Advisory Board

The GRC may appoint an Advisory Board of no more than five members comprising of experts in the field of natural hazards and risks, and representatives from relevant international, regional and national organizations.

The Board shall advise on (i) strategy in development of research on natural hazards and risk, and (ii) cooperation between IUGG and other organizations on problems related to natural hazards, risks and sustainability. The Board shall provide guidance and constructive criticism to help charter the future direction of the GRC’s activities.

The term of office of an Advisory Board Member shall be 4 years initially but may be extended for a further period of not more than 4 years.

Honorary Members

The GRC may from time to time appoint Honorary Members, comprising past or existing members of the Commission who have had dedicated and exemplary service to the Commission.

The term of office of an Honorary Member is permanent.


The GRC shall meet during IUGG General Assemblies and at scientific events it organizes.


Any motions put to the GRC, including nominations for Advisory Board and Honorary Members, must be passed by a two-thirds majority of the Executive Committee.


The GRC shall submit activity and financial reports to the IUGG Secretary General as required.


The GRC shall have access to funds allocated by the IUGG.

The GRC Treasurer shall collect funds, make payments and keep correct accounts and books showing the financial affairs of the GRC.


The GRC shall be reviewed by the Executive Committee of IUGG every 4 years.

The GRC will terminate its activities through a decision of the IUGG Executive Committee.


Terms of reference

Purpose and structure of committee

Commissions's statements

Official statements from the commission

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