The talks on signing a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding between PGI-NRI and USGS have been finalized. On 4 February 2016 Prof. Andrzej Gąsiewicz, acting PGI-NRI Director, approved the final version of the Memorandum proceeding to the final stage of agreeing and signing the MoU.
Recently, the efforts aiming at establishing scientific and technical cooperation between PGI-NRI and USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) in the domain of Earth Sciences have been markedly intensified. According to the latest proposals of the U.S. side, the understanding is to be signed at the 40th General Meeting of EuroGeoSurveys Directors held in Brussels on March 10-1, 2016. The U.S. Geological Survey will be represented by Director Suzette Kimball.
The Memorandum of Understanding is a framework agreement with the following key areas of cooperation:
- climate change and spatial management changes,
- energy, mineral resources, environmental factors and health,
- georisks, risk assessment and mitigation,
- water resources,
- information technology and data integration.
Continued working meetings are intended to firm up potential areas of cooperation and prepare annexes to the Memorandum, of which standard forms have been already proposed by the U.S. party.
Dr. Ingrid Verstraeten, Coordinator of Cooperation with Europe, Russia, Central Asia and Polar Regions at USGS International Programs Office, led the U.S. delegation, while PGI-NRI's international cooperation team was in charge on the Polish side.
Memorandum of Understanding signing will crown a series of meetings that started a few years ago. It should be noted that this lengthy process that involved complicated procedural issues helped to establish closer contacts and bilateral cooperation.
Enough to mention technical support by U.S. experts to the shale gas resource estimation attempts (Potential for Technically Recoverable Unconventional Gas and Oil Resources in the Polish-Ukrainian Foredeep, Poland, 2012, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012–3102, July 2012).
MoU signing will certainly open new prospects for a broader focused cooperation in the area of Earth Sciences bearing with benefits to both parties. The work on firming up potential cooperation topics are likely to start soon, as USGS invited again PGI-NRI management to visit USGS headquarters and continue the talks. The meeting would be an excellent opportunity for getting an insight into USGS experience regarding structure organization, management and the scope of operations of that leading geological survey. This may prove especially relevant now, considering heated discussions on the shape of Polish Geological Survey in the future.
Authors: Wojciech Brochwicz-Lewiński & Ilona Śmietańska