Geografie 1973, 78, 11-20

22nd International Geographical Congress in Canada 1972

Jaromír Demek

Geografický ústav ČSAV, Mendlovo nám. 1, Brno, Czechia

In his paper the author submits a report on the valuation of the 22nd International Geographical Congress and the 13th General Assembly of the International Geographical Union. The Congress prepared by the Canadian organizing committee headed by Prof. J. B. Bird was held from July 25 to September 5, 1972 in Canada. Among 2800 participants from 72 countries was the official Czechoslovak delegation consisting of J. Demek (head), P. Plesník (secretary) and K. Ivanička, V. Král and V. Panoš (members). From Czechoslovakia took further part M. Blažek, S. Šprincová and Z. Mocko. The author presents a detailed report on various Congress sections, symposia and field trips. He pays special attention to the valuation of some new elements which appeared in the work of the Congress. In his opinion, most important novelties in the work of international geographical congresses reflecting necessarily even in the work of future congresses are: 1. publication of all accepted papers in full in two volumes of International Geography 1972-La géographie internationale 1972. 2. cut-back of the number of section papers to those referring to topics laid out for the individual sections by the organizing committee. Though the choice of papers could sometimes be matter of polemics this fact remains an indisputable asset of the Congress. The author stresses the fact that all papers of the Czech and Slovak delegates were accepted by the organizing committee. 3. establishment of section meetings devoted to discussion of selected topics both on the basis of panel, discussions prepared in advance and of free discussions of the participants in the Congress. 4. introduction of discussions ordered in advance, above all with Canadian geographers. 5. drawing of attention to significant problems of modern geography and mankind (relationship man and environment, problems of environment - pollution and quality, etc.). 6. organization of meetings of most IGU Commissions before the Congress in various parts of Canada. 7. publication of several important publications which considerably contributed to the acquirement of knowledse of Canada. 8. high number of field trips and symposia in different parts of Canada very well organized of high professional level. The Canadian organizing committee and many Canadian geographers deserved well of the success of this - as to the number of participants greatest - world meeting of geographers and should be thanked for their work. The 22nd International Geographical Congress in Canada of high scientific and organization standard opened the second century of international geographical congresses. In conclusion the author emphasizes that the 23rd International Geographical Congress 1976 will for the first time in the more than 100 years old history of world congresses take place in a socialist country, the USSR. He points to the fact that it is necessary to start with the preparation of the Czechoslovak participation in the next International Geographical Congress.