International Year of Planet Earth 2008


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2008 was proclaimed the International Year of Planet Earth External site link by the United Nations General Assembly External site link. This celebration aims to bring together the international knowledge base of geoscience and demonstrate new and exciting ways in which Earth sciences can help meet future challenges.

This international endeavour has an exciting and diverse scientific program, which many of Geoscience Australia's research activities are aligned with.

By contributing, Geoscience Australia is committed to enhancing the international knowledge base of geoscience, aiding in the effective decision-making about planet Earths' resources and health.

We aim to enhance awareness by incorporating International Year of Planet Earth themes into existing programs, through the Geoscience Australia Education Centre, and other outreach mechanisms ensuring that this celebration will have a world-wide and diverse impact.


Any organisation, institution, school or individual wishing to share their International Year of Planet Earth activities with the rest of Australia are invited to submit details [PDF 1.2MB] and photos to make the information available on this national website.

  • One of the flagships of the International Year of Planet Earth 2008, OneGeology External site link global geological map was launched in Oslo on 6 August 2008. The event was followed by a symposium External site linkon 7 August which considered the best way to develop the 1:1 million scale map. Supported by UNESCO, the project is aimed at developing geological maps from around the globe to enable nations to share data with each other through the world wide web. The ultimate objective is to provide the opportunity for all nations, regardless of their development status, to take part in, and benefit from the project. Geoscience Australia is a major contributor to the project, which is driving interoperability and web services delivery of geoscience data.
  • The Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum External site link is holding a photography competition open to enthusiasts of all ages. Unearthed and Exposed [PDF 737KB] will contribute to Australia's International Year of Planet Earth celebrations by encouraging people to get behind the lens and capture evidence of our geological world or the beauty of a fossil or mineral specimen. The competition closes on 10 October 2008. Winning entries will be on display at the museum from 14 November - 15 December 2008.
  • The Australian Science Festival hosted a number of fun and informative earth science events during National Science Week 2008, held from 16 - 24 August. The festival included events such as Earth from Above and demonstrations from the Amazing World of Science as a contribution to the international celebration.
  • The American Geological Institute is sponsoring an international photo competition [PDF 73KB] running in conjunction with Earth Science Week. The competition is open to people of all ages any where in the world.
  • The 2008 Australian Science Teachers Association's (ASTA) National Science Week Teacher Resource Book will be themed 'Planet of Earth - Planet of Change'. For more information contact ASTA's National Science Week Project Officer on (02) 6282 9377.  
  • FACET (Forum Advocating Cultural and Eco Tourism) held the Inaugural Global Geotourism Conference External site link in Fremantle, Western Australia, from 17-20 August 2008. The conference was a hallmark event which looked at the development, management and marketing of landscapes in relation to the tourism industry, highlighting its status as a conservation tool, educational process and nature-based activity.
  • The Royal Australian Mint 2008 Coin Set highlighting the International Year of Planet Earth was unveiled at a twilight movie event in Canberra. The 2008 Coin Set features a special $1 coin depicting focal points of earth science. The 2008 Six Coin Uncirculated Set includes a commemorative 20 cent piece illustrating images of tsunami, floods, plate movement and salinity. These images provide reminders of the fundamental roles that the geological sciences have in assisting future generations meet the challenges involved in ensuring a safer, healthier and more prosperous world.
  • Lachlan O'Brien was selected as Australia's winner of the International Year of Planet Earth student contest [PDF 37KB] for his musical piece, Rondo Symbiosis - The rhythm of life. He attended the official international launch of International Year of Planet Earth in Paris, along with leading scientists and Government representatives from 191 United Nation countries.
  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics External site link has adopted an Earth Science theme for its release of the 2008 edition of Year Book Australia in celebration of International Year of Planet Earth. Geoscience Australia has contributed feature articles for this special edition.
  • The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation was involved in the launch of the International Year of Planet Earth when its Institute for Environmental Research Head, Professor John Dodson, attended the event in Paris in February 2008. Professor Dodson contributed two chapters on climate change to a commemorative book [PDF 76KB] to mark the year. The book is to be published soon by Boston Hannah International in London.
  • International Year of Planet Earth activities in Australia [PDF 28KB].


International Year of Planet Earth 2008 Logo

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013