GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 201-2
Presentation Time: 8:22 AM


LEBEL, Daniel, Natural Resources Canada, Geological Survey of Canada, 601 Booth Street, Ottawa, ON K1A0E8, Canada

From Marshall McLuhan who coined the term and concept of ‘Global Village’ in 1962, to Maurice Strong chairmanship of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, Canadians have taken leadership positions to advance international peace and sustainable development. National commitments to global sustainable development are now solidly rooted into Canadian domestic and foreign policy objectives. The Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) leads nationally to advance such objectives through the development of new geoscience at home, to “think globally and act locally” to enable concrete actions by government and civil society.

The evolving demand for geoscience and challenges in brokering appropriate societal responses require new solutions. From the original 2D geoscience maps and reports about natural geology, new 3D models have emerged to depict the hidden resources and hazards of our country. The GSC is actively involved in providing policy responses to enable land related decisions over a range of issues from economic development, to biodiversity conservation and public health and safety. We address questions such as “where” are the critical mineral resources and geothermal potential that lie underground for renewable energy, “what” are the challenges in protecting groundwater from contamination, and “what” is the potential for oil and gas in the offshore in areas considered for marine protection. As we move forward, the societal questions are getting more complex and more pressing: it is not anymore only about the “what” and “where”: people increasingly want to know about the “when” will disaster strike and the “how” can we reduce risks. This requires a shift in paradigm, global collaboration, and forming natural and social science communities of practice to advance the application of new concepts such as digitally enabled “Predictive geoscience” systems to help our societies navigate through time and space in the trouble waters ahead toward world sustainability.

Examples will be presented to support illustrate action and interdisciplinary engagement on local and global scales, to influence thinking and action of diverse societal stakeholders ranging from indigenous communities, to private investors, and government decision makers.