EFG/UNECE conference

International cooperation on natural resources:geoscientists’ contribution to enhanced governance, policy making and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals


9 ‐10 February 2017



Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Rue Vautier 29, B‐1000 Brussels



European Federation of Geologists (EFG) and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)


The continuing rise in global population and living standards, as well as technological innovation, is increasing global demand for energy and minerals with consequent requirements for a broader and more diversified range of natural resources, including conventional fossil and nuclear fuels and renewable energy. The combined effect is a global rush to secure sustainable supplies of energy, minerals and water.

In this context, a transparent and consistent estimation and classification methodology for mineral and renewable energy resources is vital to support international and national resources management and forecasting, as well as to advance global cooperation. Reliable estimates of mineral and energy reserves and resources, including renewables – coherent with social and economic aspects – are critical for effective resources management and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ensuring sufficient, reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible supplies of energy and minerals for sustainable development is a key challenge for the world.
The United Nations Framework Classification (UNFC) is a unified management system for energy resources, including renewables, and solid minerals (for both energy production and non-energy applications) – providing a single framework on which to build international energy and mineral studies, analyze government resource management policies, plan industrial processes and allocate capital efficiently. UNFC has taken fossil energy and minerals classification from describing the natural endowment to classifying the projects exploiting them. It has moved classification from answering the question of “what have we found” to the question we need to answer now of “what can we get” out of the endowments we have found.
In Europe and beyond, the use of common and universally classification standards for energy resources can actively contribute to more reliable inventories of natural resources providing data comparability and consistency at a range of scales and will help to ensure a better governance of these resources with a number of objectives:

  • Maximizing opportunities at EU or Member State level – updating natural resource inventories, and developing and implementing policies to support their sustainable development and to not inadvertently lock out energy sources or mineral deposits that could be exploited sustainably through land use;
  • Reducing risk and creating opportunities at financial market level – ensuring that investors have access to reliable information to underpin investment decisions, and providing regulators with consistent information to ensure the highest standards;
  • Reducing risk and creating opportunities at company level and for regulators – maintaining information on fossil and renewable energy and mineral production potentials using a standard resource classification that is suitable for business planning and monitoring, for shaping effective legal, regulatory, fiscal and contractual framework conditions, for making decisions on infrastructure – soft and hard – and for aligning stakeholder interests more generally;
  • Leveraging international cooperation and partnerships – supporting international cooperation and collaboration through global standards for communications and exchange of information.
This conference will foster the convergence of terminology and the comparability/compatibility of data, thus contributing to the creation of a solid European Knowledge Database on mineral and energy resources. Such harmonization is equally important to government policymakers and to companies and regulators within the energy and minerals industries, including the users and providers of data on energy and minerals reserves and resources and renewable energy. UNFC will be reviewed, including its potential for application in Europe and beyond and its relationship with other classification and public reporting systems.
The conference provides a unique opportunity to discuss a transparent and harmonized classification framework for fossil and renewable energy sources and minerals in a cross-disciplinary environment, including EU policymakers, UN representatives, international energy experts, national government officials, academics, energy and minerals company executives, as well as finance, industry and environment experts.

Thursday 9 February 2017: Enhancing the governance of natural resources


14:30 – OPENING SPEECH: Vladimir Šucha (Director General Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission)

Section 1: The importance of international cooperation on raw materials: the role of diplomacy and trade (Chairperson: Marko Komac, EFG)

16:30 – Coffee break

17:00 – Panel Session A: Understanding and using natural resources classification systems in management and reporting (Moderator: Vitor Correia, EFG)


18:30 – Welcome cocktail


Friday 10 February 2017: Classifying and managing energy, minerals, geothermal and CCS resources


Section 2: Oil and Gas, classification and reporting (Chairperson: Marko Komac, EFG)

Section 3: CO2 Capture and Storage, classification and reporting (Chairperson: UNECE)

10:40 – Coffee break (Sponsored by Sibelco)

Section 4: Minerals exploration and exploitation, classification and reporting (Chairperson: Michael Neumann, EFG)

12:40 – Network lunch

Section 5: Geothermal energy, classification and reporting (Chairperson: Isabel Fernandez, EFG)

14:40 – Coffee break (Sponsored by Deltares)

15:30 – Panel Session B: Socio-economic and environmental drivers for natural resources development and management (Moderator: Harikrishnan Tulsidas, UNECE)

CLOSING SECTIONMartin Bohle (Advisor to Deputy Director-General, DG Research and Innovation, and Corresponding Citizen Scientist of the International Association for Promoting Geoethics’ (CCS/ IAPG))


There will be presentations from speakers representing a range of relevant UNECE and European policy areas linked to energy and minerals, as well as from international and European experts drawn from regulatory authorities, industry and non-governmental organizations. There will also be contributions from representatives of fossil and renewable energy companies, the mining industry and academia.

Vladimir Šucha (EC-JRC)

Vladimir Šucha is Director-General of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, its in-house scientific service. He was Deputy Director-General of the JRC between 2012 and 2013. Prior to that, he spent 6 years in the position of director for culture and media in the Directorate-General for Education and Culture of the European Commission. Before joining the European Commission, he held various positions in the area of European and international affairs. Between 2005 and 2006, he was director of the Slovak Research and Development Agency, national body responsible for funding research. He was principal advisor for European affairs to the minister of education of the Slovak Republic (2004-2005). He worked at the Slovak Representation to the EU in Brussels as research, education and culture counselor (2000-2004).  In parallel, he has followed a long-term academic and research career, being a full professor in Slovakia and visiting professor/scientist at different academic institutions in many countries. He published more than 100 scientific papers in peer reviewed journals.

Marko Komac (EFG)

Assoc. Prof. Marko Komac, Ph.D., is currently an independent consultant, an external researcher at the Faculty for civil engineering at the University of Ljubljana, an Associate Professor for GIS I and GIS II at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of Nova Gorica, and from November 2016 the member of the European Federation of Geologists (EFG) Board in the role of the External Relation Officer. Between 2006 and 2014 Marko was the director of the Geological Survey of Slovenia where he also worked as a researcher. From 2012 to 2016 he was a Vice-President of the IUGS, and in years 2011 and 2012 he was the President of the EuroGeoSurveys. He has more than 19 year experiences in the field of landslide analyses, geographical information systems (GIS), application of remote sensing in geology, spatial analyses and modelling, geostatistics, mass-movements analyses. He’s an author or co-author of over 480 bibliographic units mainly from the above listed research areas.

Mattia Pellegrini (DG Growth, European Commission)

Mattia Pellegrini is currently Head of Unit for “Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials” at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW). Previously, he worked as Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Nelli Feroci and as a Member of the Cabinet of the Vice President of the European Commission, in charge of Enterprise and Industry. Mr. Pellegrini has a Master’s Degree in European Legal Studies obtained at the College of Europe, Bruges, and a postgraduate diploma in EC Law obtained at L.U.I.S.S. “Guido Carli”, University of Rome.

Vitor Correia (EFG)

Vitor is the President of the European Federation of Geologists, a professional organisation that represents the professional geoscientists from 25 European countries. He is the coordinator of the project INTRAW, which aims to launch in 2017 the European Observatory of Raw Materials. Vitor founded and managed several companies working in geosciences, and he has over 25 years of experience in strategic management, innovation and organizational effectiveness. He began his career as a mining geologist and he worked in mineral exploration, geological engineering and environmental geology in Europe, Africa and South America. Vitor holds a BSc in Geology and a MBA, both from the University of Lisbon. He is registered as a Eurogeologist.

David G. MacDonald (EGRC)

David MacDonald is the Vice President Segment Reserves for BP, where he is the principal individual responsible for the governance of the estimation, classification and reporting of reserves and resources. He has worked for BP for over 30 years in a variety of engineering and management roles.

He is the current chair of the Bureau of the Expert Group on Resource Classification of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and a past member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ Committee on Resource Evaluation and the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Oil and Gas Reserves Committee.

Harikrishnan Tulsidas (UNECE)

Hari Tulsidas currently works as Economic Affairs Officer in United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in the Sustainable Energy Division and supports the work of Expert Group on Resource Classification. Mr. Tulsidas has over 30 years of experience in management of energy resources including uranium and thorium. Mr. Tulsidas has extensive experience in mineral exploration, resource evaluation, classification, techno-economic feasibility studies, sustainable mine development, data analysis, information processing, simulation studies, public reporting and innovation management. For the past six years, Mr. Tulsidas has contributed to the development of United Nations Framework Classification for energy resources (UNFC). Before joining UNECE in 2016, Mr. Tulsidas worked in International Atomic Energy Agency as Nuclear Technology Specialist and has led over 20 international technical cooperation and coordinated research projects in sustainable energy development. Mr. Tulsidas has a B.Sc in Physics, Chemistry and Geology and an M.Sc in Geosciences, both from University of Kerala, India.

Roger Dixon (CRIRSCO)

Roger Dixon is a global authority on reporting standards for Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves currently serving as a South African representative on the Committee for Mineral Reserve International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO). He represents CRIRSCO on the Expert Group on Resource Classification (EGRC) an international group which operates under the auspices of the Committee on Sustainable Energy at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). He has been a member of the South African Mineral Resource Committee since its inception in 1996. He has experience in senior mine management on deep level gold mines and experience consulting to the global mining industry in my 11 years with SRK Consulting five of which were as the chairman of the South African practice. He has a special interest in the development and mentoring of young engineers and scientists on the African continent. Post retirement in January 2016 he still acts as a Corporate Consultant for SRK Consulting however this does not preclude him from taking up positions or assignments in his private capacity.

Aaron W. Johnson (AIPG)

Dr. Aaron W. Johnson is the Executive Director of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG). At AIPG, Dr. Johnson continues to focus on competent, ethical practice in all fields of geology. His primary focus has been to provide continuing education opportunities that focus on understanding the role of ethics in the regulatory environment. Prior to joining AIPG, Dr. Johnson worked extensively in higher education, where he focused primarily on issues related to mineral resource exploration, development, and extraction. Dr. Johnson previously held lectureship positions at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise and Northwest Missouri State University. He holds a B.S. in Geology from Missouri State University, and a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from the University of Missouri at Columbia.

Ruth Allington (PERC, IUGS TG-GGP)

Ruth Allington is Joint Senior Partner of GWP Consultants LLP in Oxfordshire, UK, the firm she joined in 1981 directly from her masters degree in engineering geology. She is the current chair of the IUGS Task Group on Global Geoscience Professionalism, a past President of the European Federation of Geologists, and a former Professional Secretary of the Geological Society of London. She has 35 years’ UK and international experience of mineral resource evaluation, geological modelling and the detailed design and scheduling of quarries, landfills and open pit mines for construction materials and industrial minerals (especially cement raw materials). This includes optimising economics, safety and environmental impact issues. Alongside mainstream technical consulting, Ruth is very experienced as an expert witness and mediator and a trainer of specialists and non-specialists in the quarrying and related industries. A developing skill and passion is as a communicator of scientific and engineering concepts to members of the public and non-specialist legislators and regulators. Ruth is a member of the Pan European Reserves and Resources Reporting Committee (PERC) as an EFG representative (and current treasurer). She is committed to encouraging the highest professional and technical standards amongst geologists and others involved in resources and reserves evaluation, reporting and exploitation, particularly through the promotion of professional titles such as Chartered Geologist and European Geologist.

Garth Kirkham (Geoscientists Canada)

Mr. Kirkham obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Science from the University of Alberta in 1983. He became a Registered Professional Geoscientist in Alberta (APEGGA) in 1987, in Northwest Territories and Nunavut Association (NAPEGG) and BC (APEGBC) in 2005, in Ontario (APGO) in 2011, in Manitoba (APEGM) in 2012 and is a member in good standing in all. He is also a fellow of SEG (Society of Exploration Geologists), fellow of CIM (Canadian Institute of Mining) and member of AMEBC (Association of Mineral Exploration of BC), GAC (Geological Association of Canada) and PDAC (Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada).
Mr. Kirkham is the Past-President of the Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM). He the Chair of the CIM Best Practices Committee and the Chair of the Geoscientists Canada, Securities Committee. He is the past-Chair of the Mineral Deposits Division of the GAC along with being on National Council and the Distinguished Lecturer Coordinator from 2007-2010. He is Past Chair of the Vancouver Mineral Exploration Group (MEG) and a two-term Councillor for with APEGBC along with being Vice-Chair of the Geoscience Committee. He is currently the APEGBC representative and director of Geoscientists Canada.
Now after 30 years of 3D computer modeling for the geosciences, Mr. Kirkham is currently heading Kirkham Geosystems Ltd. (established in 1997), which provides consulting services to the mining, environmental, geotechnical and oil & gas industries.

Carolina Coll (Co-Chair of the UNFC communication sub-committee)

Dr Carolina Coll is a Senior Lecturer in Petroleum Engineering at the LBSU University in London leading Advance Petroleum Engineering courses as part of the M.Sc. program. She has more than twenty five years of diversified international experience in the oil and gas industry.  Previously she held senior positions within the BG Group including as Global Head of Corporate Reserves for BG Group. Carolina is the co-Chair of the UNFC Communication Sub-Committee of the Expert Group on Resource Classification of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. She is a member of the SPE Awards and Recognition Committee, a past Chair of the Carll, Lucas and Uren SPE international; Awards, a member of the SPE Technical Committee of Europec, and a past member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Oil and Gas Reserves Committee (OGRC). She has a PhD in Petroleum Engineering from Imperial College in London and is the author of more than 50 publications.

Marcel van Loon (EAGE) 

Marcel van Loon is the Executive Director of the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE). He has over 15 years experience in the oil & gas industry, working closely with companies and geoscience and engineering related societies to promote the development and application of geosciences. Marcel van Loon graduated at the University of Utrecht. With a strong focus on Commercial Economics and International Business Studies he ended up in the publishing industry. Since then he has been holding several senior positions in Marketing, Publishing, Business Administration and Management.

Karin Ask (Statoil)

Karin Ask is presently Manager of the corporate reserves team in the Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil. Karin has been with Statoil for 30 years in various technical and managerial roles, including 8 years in her current position. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth Sciences from the University of Gothenburg and a Master of Science degree in Petroleum Exploitation from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Karin is a member of the UNECE Expert Group on Resource Classification  (EGRC) where she has recently been leading a Task Force working on application of the United Nations Framework Classification (UNFC) to injection projects such as carbon storage projects. She is also a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and a member of the SPE sub-committee currently developing a proposal for a Storage Resources Management System (SRMS) analogous to the Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS).

Michael Neumann (EFG)

Michael Neumann is a mining and environmental geologist, based in Germany with more than 30 years of expriece in exploration, mining and mine site remediation. He worked in many countries around the world for Metallgesellschaft, Sachtleben Bergbau and other companies. Recently he retired from the position of the Chief Geologist and Operations Manager. Among others Michael was involved in the development of the Cayeli copper mine and the exploration Ovacik Au deposit in Turkey, the Nanisivik lead/zinc mine in Canada, iron-manganese deposits in Kazakhstan, copper in Armenia, gold in Siberia as well as lithium and fluorite / barite in Germany. During his career he was involved in 3D modelling of deposits, resource / reserve estimation, preparation of due diligence and feasibility studies. Michael is member of the BDG (Professional Association of German Geoscientists) since 2003 and is since 2015 the press officer in the Board of Directors. He is Eurogeologist since 2005 and was in 2016 elected as the Vice-President of the European Federation of Geologists.

Mark Howson (PERC)

Mark Howson is a consultant mining geologist with 39 years of experience in the mining industry involving over 50 operations in 25 countries in 6 continents.  This includes many innovative technical achievements in geology, mineral resources, planning and production, at exploration, due diligence, underground, open pit and dredging operations, from very profitable to marginal, from very large to small-scale, with international companies. In his early career, Mark worked at gold mines in South Africa and copper mines in Zambia, and developed and applied mining computer systems with Seltrust Engineering Ltd.  He was then employed for 31 years by Rio Tinto plc and based in London and Bristol UK.  Since 2013 he is an independent consultant with Mineral Resources Professional Limited.  A member of the Pan-European Reserves & Resources Reporting Committee (PERC) since 2012, he was elected as Executive Secretary at its AGM in 2016. Notably, with Rio Tinto, Mark was involved with acquisition and/or development of the Escondida copper mine in Chile; Morro-do-Ouro gold in Brazil; Palabora copper and vermiculite mines in South Africa; Neves-Corvo copper, Portugal; several European talc operations; Kazan trona in Turkey and diamond mines in Canada and Australia.  He was Competent Person (CP) for Mineral Resources reporting at the La Granja copper project, Peru and Jadar Lithium-Borates project in Serbia.  Other products not listed include potash, molybdenum, zinc, nickel, cobalt, PGMs, titanium, iron, coal, lead, silver, tin and uranium. Mark’s independent consultancy assignments have involved him with gold, talc and copper operations in Europe, Africa and South America.

Ulrich Kral (Institute for Water Quality, Resource and Waste Management, Vienna University of Technology)

Educated in Austria (doctoral degree in technical sciences, Vienna University of Technology), Dr. Kral holds a post-doc position at the Institute for Water Quality, Resources and Waste Management at Vienna University of Technology. His research focuses on the life cycle of materials in the anthroposphere, in particular on methodologies to analyse, evaluate and manage material stocks and flows. The outcomes are used in the field of resource and environmental management. Currently, he chairs the COST Action “Mining the European Anthroposphere”, which is an expert network on the anthropogenic resource classification.

Carlos Almeida (EFG PE Coordinator on Mineral)

Carlos Almeida is a Mineral Exploration & Exploitation Geologist with 18 years of experience. He has a licentiate degree in Geology-Technical & Scientific Branch and also a Master of Science degree in Mineral Resources Exploration & Evaluation in Faculty of Sciences in Oporto University. He has a specialized degree in mining engineering with the license to operate as a technical director of open cast & underground excavation with explosives application from the IST – Technical University of Lisbon. He is experienced in geology and mining consultancy as a project manager for quarrying and mining, member of multidisciplinary teams in environmental impact assessment studies as a specialist geologist regarding mineral property licensing procedures. At the moment he is the Raw Materials Manager of the Portuguese market leader for roofing and façades manufacturer in the industrial structural ceramics sector.

Carlos Almeida is coordinator of the EFG PE on Minerals and their sustainable use since November 2013 and was Secretary General of the Pan-European Reserves & Resources Reporting Committee (PERC) from May 2013 until June 2016. He also was CRIRSCO Member EUROPE (representing PERC) from March 2014 until April 2015.

Isabel Fernandez (EFG)

Dr Isabel M Fernández Fuentes is Executive Director of the European Federation of Geologists since 2008. She is an engineering geologist with over 25 years of professional experience, graduated from the Granada University, 1987, Master Engineering Geology, 1990, and PhD in Geology, 1997, from the University Complutense in Madrid, Spain. Since 1987 she worked as a researcher in applied Geophysics in the Centre for Studies and Experimentation of the Ministry of Public Works, Madrid, Spain. From 2001 onwards, she works for the European Federation of Geologists, EFG, covering expertise and professional input especially in the field of geothermal energy and environmental protection. In 2008 she was appointed as Executive Director of EFG. Working with EFG, Isabel has coordinated and participated in different European projects, and supports the coordination of EFG’s Expert Groups, among others activities.

Janos Szanyi (EFG PE on Geothermal Energy)

János Szanyi is an Assistant professor at the University of Szeged. He has graduated master degree from the József Attila University, Faculty of Natural Sciences, majoring in Mathematical and Computer Science, and Geology. He has a PhD in Environmental Sciences. Finally he is specialized in Hydrogeology as a Hydrogeologist-engineer at the Miskolc University, Hungary.

After the university years he worked for the Hungarian Geological Survey for 12 years, first as a field geologist later as a head of the Regional Office in Szeged. At the university, and even in Hungarian Geological Survey years he took part in many hydrogeological and geothermal activities, like planning and doing field work, organizing geothermal data base. He coordinated several international geothermal projects, which dealt with transboundary aquifers. He also took part as a modeler expert for several geothermal energy utilization and groundwater contaminant cases. He has lectures in Hydrogeology, Modelling groundwater and heat flow, and Geothermics. He is the coordinator of the PE on Geothermal Energy at EFG.

Martin Bohle

Martin Bohle was educated as Physical Oceanographer (Kiel, Germany). He applied geophysical fluid dynamics to Lake Geneva (Switzerland; PhD at EPFL). He worked at University Hamburg on marine ecosystems, to join then the team of the Marine Science and Technology Programme of the European Commission. Since 1991 he works there in the Directorate General for Research and Innovation, from 2001 in management responsibilities. His current scientific interests focus on questions at the interface between geosciences and society, e.g. geoethics. He is also Corresponding Citizen Scientist of the International Association for Promoting Geoethics (CCS/ IAPG).

Julian Hilton (Aleff Group)

Dr. Julian Hilton is Chairman of the Aleff Group, a privately held consulting company established in 1992 at the suggestion of senior managers of European Commission DGXIII for which he led and managed a number of R&D projects from 1985-1996. Aleff Group has a wide range of public and private sector clients and has offices in London, UK, Lakeland, Florida, and Ifrane, Morocco. Julian leads Aleff Group NORM industry projects notably phosphates, uranium, aluminium and oil and gas. A focus is the transformation of secondary resources such as tailings and residues (eg red mud and phosphogypsum) into commercially viable products as part of a wider “zero waste” strategy. He is a member of the UNECE Expert Group on Resource Classification, serves on the Sustainability Working Group and represents UNECE on the EC COST funded MINEA project. He led the consulting team that developed the IAEA Safety Report on the Phosphate Industry (Safety Series 78, 2013), since 2009 has participated in numerous IAEA Expert Missions on uranium, phosphates and rare earths and he is General Editor of the forthcoming IAEA publications on Uranium extraction from phosphates and Comprehensive Extraction. He is a member of the Technical Committee on the International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA) and as co-Convenor of its NORM & Phosphogypsum Working Group project managed the IFA Report on the Sustainable Management and Use of Phosphogypsum (March 2016). He is widely published and is a frequent speaker at international meetings and conferences. He was educated at Oxford, Munich, Grenoble and Salamanca universities, and held senior academic positions in UK, Germany and Austria before co-founding Aleff Group.

Daniel Franks (UNDP)

Dr Daniel Franks is Chief Technical Advisor and Programme Manager at the United Nations Development Programme where he leads the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme. Dr Franks is well known for his research on sustainable development in the extractives sector. He is the author of more than 80 publications including his recently published book Mountain Movers: Mining, sustainability and the agents of change and has field experience at more than 70 mining and energy sites internationally. Dr Franks serves as Co-Chair for Social Impact Assessment at the International Association for Impact Assessment. Prior to joining UNDP he was Deputy Director of the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at the Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland, Australia and was an active part of the International Mining for Development Centre. You can follow him on Twitter: @_DanielFranks

Luca Demicheli (EuroGeoSurveys)

Since April 2009 Luca Demicheli has been Secretary General of EuroGeoSurveys, the Brussels based organisation representing the Geological Surveys of Europe. Luca also serves the Executive Committee of the European Technology Platform on Sustainable Mineral Resources (ETP SMR) grouping mining and minerals industries, as well as universities and institutions engaged around the topic of sustainable supply of mineral resources across the whole value chain, and developing long- term research and innovation agendas and roadmaps for action at EU and national level. Since March 2016 he also covers the position of Acting Executive Director of the Minerals4EU Foundation, which  is among other tasks, in charge for the production of the European Minerals Yearbook, providing official statistics and data, and foresight studies on commodities quantity, flows and trade. Following a Decree of the Italian Minister of the Environment, in 2007 he was charged with the position of Secretary General of the Italian Committee for the International Year of Planet Earth, a UNESCO initiative to promote earth sciences among decision- makers and the public at large. Formerly responsible for the coordination of the international activities of the Geological Survey of Italy, he also served for several years within the European Commission where he launched and coordinated the environmental strategy of several major international scientific projects. A geologist specialised in environmental  engineering and environmental management and planning, he performed his post-graduate studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, at the National Technical University of Athens, and at Imperial College London. He is member of several national and international task forces, committees and management boards.

Prof. Gioia Falcone (Cranfield University, UK)

Dr. Falcone is currently Professor and Head of the Oil and Gas Engineering Centre at Cranfield University (UK). She previously held the Endowed Chair and Professorship in Geothermal Energy Systems at Clausthal University of Technology (Germany), where she was also the Director of the Institute of Petroleum Engineering. She was formerly an assistant and then associate professor in petroleum engineering at Texas A&M University (U.S.A.), Chevron Corporation Faculty Fellow and faculty member of the ODASES partnership.

Dr. Falcone holds a Laurea Summa Cum Laude in environmental-petroleum engineering from the University Sapienza of Rome, a M.Sc. degree in petroleum engineering from Imperial College London and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Imperial College London. Prior to joining academia, she worked with ENI-Agip, Enterprise Oil UK, Shell E&P UK and TOTAL E&P UK, covering both offshore and onshore assignments.

Along with being actively engaged with the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), she is one of the 21 members of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Bureau of the Expert Group on Resource Classification, and of its Renewable Reserves Taskforce. She is also the appointed Leader of the International Geothermal Association (IGA)/UNECE working group for the development of geothermal specifications for the UNFC-2009.

Kris Piessens (Geological Survey of Belgium)

Kris Piessens is geologist at the Geological Survey of Belgium of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, where he is one of the key members of the GeoEnergy team. He has been involved in  CCS related research for over a decade at national, European and international level, working on the interface between geological, economic, policy, engineering and regulatory aspects.

Edmund Nickless (Chair, IUGS strategic implementation committee, IUGS councillor 2016-2020)

Edmund was Executive Secretary of The Geological Society of London from 1997 until his retirement in September 2015. Previously he held senior posts within the British Geological Survey, the then Science and Technology Secretariat of the Cabinet Office where he was environmental adviser, and the Natural Environment Research Council. Since 2013 he has chaired a group on behalf of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) promoting a new initiative, Resourcing Future Generations. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Geologist and European Geologist.

Sigurd Heiberg (Petronavit a.s)

Sigurd Heiberg is Chairperson of Petronavit a.s. He chaired the Oil and gas reserves committee of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (2000-2001), the UNECE Expert group on resource classification (2002-2009) and the Bureau of the UNECE Intergovernmental Committee on Sustainable Energy (2010-2012). Sigurd has held the positions of Deputy director of Resource Management at the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and Project manager of Corporate Strategy at Statoil. He has a BSc (Magna cum laude) degree from UCLA and a SM degree from MIT.

The press release of this event is available for download here.

Supporting organisations

CRIRSCO, EAGE, EGU, EuroGeoSurveys, Geological Society of Africa (GSAf), PERC, Royal Belgian Museum of Natural Sciences